Ira Schnapp in SCRIBBLY and MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD

This and all images © DC Comics.

Sheldon Mayer’s character Scribbly, the boy cartoonist, had a long history that predates DC Comics. He first appeared in POPULAR COMICS #6 from Dell, dated July 1936, where young Mayer was working for M.C. Gaines. Mayer was a teenager himself when he began writing and drawing Scribbly, and he continued to do so for Dell. When Gaines started his own comics publishing company, All-American Comics, he brought Mayer along as his editor. Their first effort, ALL-STAR COMICS, debuted in 1939, and Scribbly appeared in the first 59 issues. Then Shelly decided he was tired of the character and stopped drawing him. When All-American merged with National (DC) Comics, Mayer came over to edit his titles for a while, then when freelance full time as a cartoonist of humor and funny animal stories for DC. In 1948 he restarted Scribbly in a new title of that name with the first issue dated Aug/Sept 1948, above. I feel sure the logo is by Mayer, and lettering on the early issues may be as well. The series ran for only 15 issues, so sales were probably not great. Scribbly made a few later appearances in other DC humor comics.

Ira Schnapp’s involvement in the DC SCRIBBLY title was only on the last few issues. I think issue #14, Oct/Nov 1951, was the first cover he lettered, and it’s a charming one, though you can tell Ira was not a musician, as he has the shapes of the music notes backwards. Ira also lettered issue #15, the final one.

In issue #12 Ira lettered two stories, here’s the first page of one. If you look close at the word SOB in the first panel, you’ll see Ira has surrounded it with radiating teardrops, a nice touch.

Issue #13 has some unusually large lettering for Ira which I suspect was pencilled by Shelly Mayer and Ira just inked it.

Here are the stories Ira lettering in SCRIBBLY:

#12 July/Aug 1950: Scribbly 12pp (1), Scribbly 12pp (3)

#13 Sept/Oct 1950: Scribbly 12pp (1)

#15 Dec 1951/Jan 1952: “Clover’s Debut” 11pp

That’s 47 pages on this title.

In 1949 DC was testing the waters with this new title to see if readers were interested Hollywood starlets and Hollywood stars, some of whom also appeared in the book. It’s a long title with a fine logo by Ira Schnapp, who probably also did the cover lettering. Ira’s fondness for Art Deco lettering styles was a good fit for BEVERLY HILLS, and MISS is very much his script. The title ran from March/April 1949 to issue #9, July/Aug 1950. Probably not a big seller, but DC went ahead with many comics featuring Hollywood stars anyway, some with long runs. (They already had one, DALE EVANS COMICS, beginning in 1948.)

I’m not sure Ira lettered the cover of issue #4, it might have been done by the unknown letterer I’ve nicknamed Proto-Schnapp because I think Ira used his lettering as a model for his own. The top line does not look much like Ira’s work, but the bottom line does.

Issue #5 is another puzzler, the top line looks like Ira’s work more than the caption. I guess I will say Ira probably lettered the covers of issues 1, 4 and 5, no others.

Ira lettered a number of stories in issues 5 to 9 beginning with this one in issue #5.

This page from issue #6 is a better and busier example of his work with signs as well as plenty of dialogue.

Here’s a page Ira lettered in the final issue, #9. No one other than Proto-Schnapp could make those wavy balloon shapes work as well.

These stories are lettered by Ira:

#5 Nov/Dec 1949: Miss Beverly Hills (hereafter MBH) 7pp (1)

#6 Jan/Feb 1950: MBH 7pp (1), MBH 5pp (2), Janie 4pp, Beverly’s Designs on You 2pp, MBH 4pp (3)

#7 March/April 1950: MBH 7pp (1), MBH 7pp (2), Road to Stardom 3pp, Designs on You 2pp, Janie 3pp, MBH 5pp, MBH 7pp

#8 May/June 1950: MBH 10pp, MBH 5pp, Janie 3pp, Designs on You 2pp, MBH 4pp, MBH 6pp

#9 July/Aug 1950: Janie 5pp, MBH 4pp, MBH 5pp

That’s a total of 107 pages on this title. More in this series of articles and others that might interest you can be found on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

One thought on “Ira Schnapp in SCRIBBLY and MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD

  1. Eric Gimlin

    Ah, Scribbly. One of the greatest comics ever, in my opinion.

    I think you have the history a little bit off; though. As I understand it, Mayer stopped writing and drawing Scribbly in All-American because he was too busy as an editor. Then he returned to the character when he decided he was tired of being an editor, not because he ever had wanted to stop in the first place.

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