Lois Lane has been an integral part of Superman comics from the beginning, appearing in ACTION COMICS #1 as a newspaper reporter working alongside Superman’s Clark Kent identity. The love triangle of Kent, Superman and Lois was a mainstay of the feature. When Mort Weisinger took over the editing of Superman stories, Lois’ role became more focused on trying to trick Clark into revealing he was also Superman and failing, though she had a series of solo reporter stories starting in 1944. After the success of Jimmy Olsen’s own series, one for Lois was a natural next step, and it began in 1958, first cover above, after a tryout run in SHOWCASE, for which Ira Schnapp had already created this logo. Editor Mort Weisinger (later assisted by E. Nelson Bridwell) focused on stories of Lois dreaming of marrying Superman and what their family life would be like, fighting for his attention with rival Lana Lang, swooning over other super men, and generally acting catty and jealous with little attention paid to reporting. Was the title more attractive to female readers? I don’t know, but as a boy it didn’t appeal to me much. Ira also lettered this and many of the covers until issue #80 in 1968, but only lettered a few stories inside the book.
There was no end to the silly stories Weisinger and his writers came up with, including turning Superman into a baby, as on issue #3. I like the cursive note by Schnapp.
Issue #9 had a rare guest-star appearance by actor/musician Pat Boone, who also had a short-lived DC comic at the time. Ira’s note-filled song is clever, but somehow he always got the shapes of the notes wrong when he did this kind of thing.
There were plenty of crossovers with other DC super characters like Batman and Batwoman, as on this cover of issue #14 in 1960.
On issue #15, Ira Schnapp’s appealing lettering is as much the star as the art, taking up almost half the space if you include his logo. Weisinger was fond of these book-length three-part stories.
More guest-star hero appearances on issue #29. Even as a fan of the characters, I don’t think this would have convinced me to buy the comic.
Issue #53 has a typically ill-tempered Lois scene with some nice Schnapp lettering on the sign.
Occasionally Lois and Lana teamed up to torment Superman, as on the cover of issue #60 in 1965. I do love the goodbye note by Ira.
DC’s 80-Page Giants were all reprints with only the covers having new art and lettering. Schnapp made it work well.
Ira’s final cover lettering was on issue #80 from 1968. Ironically, Lois is tearing off part of his logo! Here are the covers with Ira Schnapp lettering: 1-25, 27-30, 32-40, 42-49, 51-57, 59-65, 67-74, 76-80. That’s 73 in all.
Ira only lettered a few stories inside the book. The first was this one from issue #8. Editor Weisinger probably had his own go-to letterers and only turned to Ira occasionally. The stories were usually text-heavy.
This story is from issue #17, and looks like it might actually be one I would enjoy reading, as it focuses on her early days as a reporter.
Ira’s last story lettering was for issue #25, above. Usually the first page of a story is a little lighter on words, but not this one. I do like the Kurt Schaffenberger art, though.
Very late in his time at DC, Ira lettered this fill page for an annual-sized issue #86, Oct/Nov 1968, all reprints except for this. It shows that Ira’s skills were still strong at the end.
Here are the stories lettered by Ira Schnapp:
#8 April 1959: The Ugly Superman 9pp, Queen For a Day 9pp
#9 May 1959: Lois Lane’s Stone-Age Suitor 8pp
#11 Aug 1959: The Leopard Girl of the Jungle 8pp, Lois Lane’s Super-Perfume 8pp
#17 May 1960: How Lois Got Her Job 8pp
#19 Aug 1960: The Superman of the Past 9pp
#25 May 1961: Lois Lane and Superman, Newlyweds 9pp
#86 Sept/Oct 1968 Souvenir Scrapbook 1pp
That’s a total of 69 pages.
More articles like this are on the Comics Creation page of my blog.
Lois Lane on Wikipedia.