IRA SCHNAPP’S COMICS CAREER BY THE NUMBERS

Ira Schnapp in the DC offices, 1955, photo by his son Martin Schnapp.

I’ve been researching Ira Schnapp’s comics career for more than ten years, and I believe I’ve now compiled as complete a list of his work as a letterer and ad and logo designer as I can. In this long article I’m putting it all together in chronological order year by year to present a more complete picture of Ira’s entire body of comics work along with some biographical information to put it in context.

Israel (Ira) Schnapp was born in the small town of Sassow, Austria (now Sasiv, Ukraine) on October 10, 1894. His father emigrated to America in 1895 to find work and prepare for the rest of the family, and they joined him in 1900. There were eventually five brothers and three sisters, and with their parents they lived initially in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a Jewish immigrant community. Ira’s father was a grocer probably selling from a cart at first. Ira was the fourth child, and he did well in school. By high school he was taking art classes, and some of his work is in his high school yearbook. Somehow during that time he worked with a team of craftsmen creating the huge inscriptions on the James A. Farley Post Office in Manhattan, on Eighth Avenue between 31st and 33rd Street. Ira did not design the letters, his job was to transform the architect’s drawings of them on the building plans into much larger drawings that could be transferred to stone blocks for carving. However that happened, it set young Ira on a course to become a lettering specialist. After high school he worked at a company that made titles for silent films, and he gradually developed a freelance career as a letterer and sign maker for Manhattan businesses like movie theaters. He also probably designed pulp magazine logos and did cover lettering for them. In the late 1930s, Ira prepared a series of one-panel strips called “Art of the Ages” which he hoped to place with a newspaper syndicate for national distribution. but it wasn’t a success, and ran in only one newspaper as far as I know. Much more about Ira’s life, early work and family can be found in a series of articles on my blog beginning HERE.

Ira entered the comics business in 1940 when he was asked to revamp the Superman logo from versions by the character’s co-creater Joe Shuster. Ira knew Jack Liebowitz, the co-owner of National (DC) Comics, and was probably related to him. I think he was lettering logos and covers for the separate line of sleazy pulp magazines also owned by Liebowitz and his partner Harry Donenfeld beginning around 1934, and through that connection I believe he was given the Superman logo redesign. It was a great success, and gradually Ira picked up more and more work from DC until by 1945 he was doing so much that his other freelance work must have dwindled to little or none. Ira continued as DC’s busiest letterer from that point until he left the company in 1968. He was 45 years old in 1940 when his comics career began, and 73 when it ended, a span of 28 years. That seems like a long time, but many other comics creators started much earlier in their lives. For example, Ira’s younger lettering work mate Gaspar Saladino started at DC in 1949 when he was 22 and he continued full-time work for the company until 2002 when he was 75, a span of 53 years. Despite his late start, Ira was a hard worker, and he must have been a fast one too, as the list of his work below testifies. On the Comics Creation and Logo Links pages of my blog you’ll find detailed information on all the work I’ve listed here, refer to that for more details.

Each year entry is divided into work categories: Logos, Ads, Covers, Pages, and Newspaper Strips. I’ve listed every Logo individually. For Ads, I’ll give yearly totals, for Covers I’ve listed each one by number. For Pages I’m only showing a range of the issues worked on in each year in each title and a page total for each title. For Newspaper Strips I’ve given the strip numbers and totals. Again, for details and many images for any of these things, see the specific articles about them on my blog. I’ll be adding comments after each year entry, and at the end I’ll have career totals. Numbers in parentheses are the number of pages or items in each entry. Here we go.

This and all following images © DC Comics except as noted. SUPERMAN #6, Sept-Oct 1940

1940

2 Logos: Superman, Superman Inc.

1941

1 Logo: World’s Best Comics

1942: 

2 Logos: Superwoman, Superman-Tim

It makes sense that after his Superman logo redesign, which first appeared on SUPERMAN #6, above, and which the company was very happy with, the first other freelance work Ira would be given was for logos, often versions of his Superman one, at least until company lawyers decided that wasn’t a good idea because it might weaken their trademark. It’s also possible that Ira began lettering comics pages during these years, imitating the work of others before his own distinctive style emerged. If so, I haven’t found convincing evidence of it. Comics lettering in general in the early 1940s was a very mixed bag, some quite good, some barely readable, and little attention seems to have been paid to it. Often it was subcontracted by creators working in shops or studios: The Siegel and Shuster shop produced Superman stories, Bob Kane’s studio did Batman ones, and Simon and Kirby delivered stories featuring their characters like Boy Commandos and The Sandman. As National (DC) comics increasingly commissioned work directly from artists themselves, that’s where the job of letterer became part of their hiring and work process. Lettering was sometimes handled by staffers, but more often by freelancers who might also be the artists on the strips they lettered or simply comics creators who were good at lettering. Gradually the career of freelance letterer became a possibility.

ACTION COMICS #56, Jan 1943

1943

1 House Ad

3 Covers:  Action Comics 56, 58 (2), More Fun Comics 92 (1)

397 Pages: Action Comics 61-67 (84), Batman 16 (13), Leading Comics 6-9 (206), More Fun Comics 91 (11), Superman 24-25 (58), World’s Finest Comics 11-12 (25)

6 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 212-217 (6)

In this year, Ira’s freelance lettering work for DC began taking off. Look at the number of pages he did just for LEADING COMICS. Again, it’s quite possible there’s more Schnapp lettering in this year that I haven’t identified because it doesn’t look enough like his later work or is so similar to what he was imitating. Ira also began a very long run on Superman newspaper strips in this year, taking over from Joe Shuster’s brother Frank when he was drafted. On the cover above, I believe the caption is Ira’s first cover lettering. While the amount of lettering on covers was usually much less than on pages, Ira did it larger and more carefully, so it probably took as long as a page of story lettering on average. Murphy Anderson told me that, in the 1960s at least, Ira would work out each balloon and caption first on tracing paper before lettering it on art paper, which was then cut out and pasted onto the finished cover art in most cases. Over time, starting in the mid 1950s, cover text gradually increased until it was more work than a typical comics page.

WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #13, Spring 1944

1944

5 Logos: Superbaby, Supergirl, Aquaman, Johnny Everyman, Buzzy

5 House Ads

10 Covers:  Action Comics 69, 71, 75, 78 (4), Leading Comics 10, 12-13 (3), More Fun Comics 100 (1), Star Spangled Comics 39 (1), World’s Finest Comics 13 (1)

593 Pages: Action Comics 68-79 (144), Adventure Comics 94 (10), All Funny Comics 6 (4), Detective Comics 94 (12), Leading Comics 11-13 (80), Superman 26-31 (251), World’s Finest Comics 13-16 (92)

466 Daily Newspaper Strips: Batman 251-264, 277-331, 338-367 (99), Superman 1496 -1760, 1767-1868 (367)

70 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Batman 43-61 (19), Superman 218-252, 255-270 (51)

In 1944, Ira doubled his newspaper strip workload by taking over the Batman one as well, though it only lasted until 1946. It’s easy to forget about the strips, as they don’t show up in lists of comics work, but they were a substantial part of it for Ira, and probably a grind to get done on top of his other assignments. A rough estimate I like suggests that two daily strips equal about the work of one comics page, while a Sunday strip equals about the same work as two comics pages. Ira’s comics page count is rising, but still a long way from what he would be doing in a few years.

Early Schnapp House Ad from BATMAN #30, Aug 1945

1945

11 Logos: Superboy, Real Screen Funnies, Frankie and Fanny Flipper, Hugo Hornspred, Jumpin’ Juniper, King Oscar’s Court, Nero Fox, Pelican Pete, Spylot Bones, Real Screen Comics, Salty the Sailor

15 House Ads, 12 one-page stories for Kellogg’s Pep Cereal boxes

46 Covers:  Action Comics 80, 83, 85, 86, 88, 89 (6), All Funny Comics 7-9 (3), Batman 27-29, 32 (4), Boy Commandos 11-13 (3), Buzzy 2-5 (4), Detective Comics 102, 104-106 (4), Leading Comics 14-17 (4), More Fun Comics 101, 104-106 (4), Real Screen Funnies 1 (1), Real Screen Comics 4 (1), Star Spangled Comics 40, 42-49 (9), Superman 34, 36-37 (3)

1,703 Pages: Action Comics 80-91 (247), Adventure Comics 97-101 (129), All Funny Comics 7-9 (35), Batman 27-32 (91), Boy Commandos 11-13 (109), Detective Comics 95-106 (294), Leading Comics 15-17 (126), More Fun Comics 101-106 (142), Star Spangled Comics 40-49 (101), Superman 32-37 (237), World’s Finest Comics 17-20 (192)

614 Daily Newspaper Strips: Batman 368-680 (313), Superman 1869-2072, 2085-2181 (301)

100 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Batman 62-113 (52), Superman 271-304, 306-316, 318-320 (48)

By 1945, I think Ira’s other freelance work must have largely given way to the many things he was doing for DC. His logos increase from five the previous year to eleven, cover lettering increases from 10 to 46, his page lettering from 593 to 1,703, and he was still busy lettering two newspaper strips. House ads were not yet a big part of his workload, but growing. It seems clear that Ira had found a home where his skills were valued and appreciated, and he did lots for DC.

Schnapp logo and story lettering from ANIMAL ANTICS #1, March-April 1946

1946

10 Logos: Eager Beaver, Goofy Goose, Raccoon Kids, Presto Pete, Sheriff Corky, Skooky, The Tortoise and the Hare, Walrus Whopper, Animal Antics, Real Fact Comics

16 House Ads

90 Covers:  Action Comics 92, 93, 95, 97, 99-103 (9), Adventure Comics 103-111 (9), All Funny Comics 10-14 (5), Animal Antics 1-5 (5), Batman 34, 36, 38 (3), Boy Commandos 15-16, 18 (3), Buzzy 6-9 (4), Detective Comics 108-118 (11), Leading Comics 18-22 (5), More Fun Comics 107-117 (11), Real Fact Comics 1-5 (5), Real Screen Comics 6-9 (4), Star Spangled Comics 52-63 (12), Superman 39-40 (2), World’s Finest Comics 21, 23 (2)

2,781 Pages: Action Comics 92-103 (317), Adventure Comics 102-111 (259), All Funny Comics 10-14 (80), Animal Antics 1-5 (194), Batman 33-38 (158), Boy Commandos 14-18 (172), Buzzy 6-9 (90), Detective Comics 107-118 (337), Leading Comics 18-22 (205), More Fun Comics 107-117 (90), Real Fact Comics 1-5 (147), Real Screen Comics 4 (1), Star Spangled Comics 53-63 (213), Superman 38-43 (229), World’s Finest Comics 21-25 (289)

528 Daily Newspaper Strips: Batman 681-715, 752-913, 920-943 (221), Superman 2182-2414, 2421-2494 (307)

91 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Batman 114-153, 156 (41), Superman 324-362, 364-374 (50)

In 1946, Ira’s story page lettering took another large upward leap. That was made somewhat easier by work on humor titles, like the one above, which generally had less lettering and were easier than superhero stories. Ira was still doing plenty of those too, and of course the two strips, but the Batman one ended in the fall of this year. Ira often worked at home, but sometimes worked in the DC offices, where a bullpen with desks for freelancers was set up, a place many freelancers for the company spent some time. Charles Paris, the inker of the Batman strip recalled getting lettered strips from Ira both at DC and at Ira’s home, which was on West 110th Street in upper Manhattan, probably an easy subway or bus ride from DC’s offices at 480 Lexington Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets. Ira also had studio space on West 42nd street in 1942, close to the theaters he was doing signs for, and it’s possible he did comics work there initially too. I don’t know when he gave that space up.

Schnapp logo and cover lettering for GANG BUSTERS #1, Dec 1947-Jan 1948

1947

13 Logos: Crazy Like A Fox, Doodles Duck, Peter Porkchops, Puss n’ Pooch, Roly and Poly, Robin the Boy Wonder, Jimminy and the Magic Book, Pete the Pup, Tomahawk, Presto Pete, Custer Cat and Cheesy the Mouse, A Date With Judy, Gangbusters

28 House Ads, 1 Distributor Ad

Lettering for Vigilante movie serial promotional items

88 Covers: Action Comics 104, 106, 109-115 (9), A Date With Judy 1-2 (2), Adventure Comics 112-113, 121-122 (4), All Funny Comics 15-16, 19-20 (4), Animal Antics 6-11 (6), Batman 39-44 (6), Boy Commandos 19-20, 22-24 (5), Buzzy 13 (1), Detective Comics 119-122, 124-130 (11), Gang Busters 1 (1), Leading Comics 23-28 (6), More Fun Comics 118-123, 125-126 (8), Real Fact Comics 6-11 (6), Real Screen Comics 10-12, 14 (4), Star Spangled Comics 64-75 (12), Superman 44, 49 (2), World’s Finest Comics 28 (1)

3,339 Pages: Action Comics 104-115 (389), A Date With Judy 1-2 (69), Adventure Comics 112-123 (361), All-American Comics 88 (13), All Funny Comics 15-20 (60), Animal Antics 6-11 (215), Batman 39-44 (189), Boy Commandos 19-24 (124), Buzzy 11-16 (144), Detective Comics 119-130 (394), Gang Busters 1 (16), Leading Comics 23-28 (210), More Fun Comics 118-127 (161), Real Fact Comics 6-11 (209), Real Screen Comics 10-13 (3), Star Spangled Comics 64-75 (245), Superman 44-49 (208), World’s Finest Comics 26-31 (329)

313 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 2495-2714, 2721-2813 (313)

51 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 375-386, 388-426 (51)

Ira’s story lettering again takes a big jump up in this year. For one thing, he was no longer on the Batman newspaper strip, but that can’t be the only reason. I think it’s likely his work was popular with editors and they just kept offering him as much as he could handle. Ira had good reason to work hard, he was the sole financial supporter of himself, his wife Beatrice, and their children Theresa (Teddy) born in 1922 and Martin (Marty) born in 1930. Their apartment home was in a nice Upper West Side neighborhood close to other family members, and Ira might also have given financial support to siblings who needed it, but that’s a guess. Ira did put both his children through college. Ira’s work ethic was strong, and he must have put in long hours on his lettering for DC, but the company also provided him with a social life when he worked in the office, something that became more important over the years.

Schnapp house ad from ACTION COMICS #123, Aug 1948

1948

21 Logos: Mr. District Attorney, Cowboy Marshal, Rodeo Rick, The Wyoming Kid, Western Comics, Leave It To Binky, A Date With Judy, Captain Compass, Dale Evans Comics, Sierra Smith, The Nighthawk, Randolph, Chick n’ Gumbo, Goofy Goose, Foley of the Fighting 5th, Johnny Thunder, Minstrel Maverick, Overland Coach, All-American Western, Tommy Tomorrow, Merry the Girl of a Thousand Gimmicks

20 House Ads, Lettering for promotional items for two movie serials, Superman and Congo Bill

96 Covers: Action Comics 116-117, 119-122, 124-127 (10), A Date With Judy 3, 5-7 (4), Adventure Comics 125, 127-128, 131-135 (9), All Funny Comics 21-23 (3), Animal Antics 12-13 (2), Batman 45, 47-50 (5), Boy Commandos 25-29 (5), Buzzy 17-18, 21-22 (4), Comic Cavalcade 30 (1), Dale Evans Comics 1 (1), Detective Comics 131-142 (12), Gang Busters 2, 4, 7 (3), Leading Comics 29, 34 (2), Leave It To Binky 1 (1), Mr. District Attorney 1-6 (6), Real Fact Comics 12-17 (6), Real Screen Comics 16, 18, 20 (3), Sensation Comics 79-80 (2), Star Spangled Comics 76-87 (12), Superman 55-56 (2), Western Comics 1-2 (2), Wonder Woman 30 (1)

3,698 Pages: Action Comics 116-127 (385), A Date With Judy 3-8 (184), Adventure Comics 124-135 (381), All American Western 104 (1), All Funny Comics 21-23 (66), Animal Antics 12-17 (230), Batman 45-50 (180), Boy Commandos 25-29 (153), Buzzy 17-22 (166), Comic Cavalcade 30 (23), Detective Comics 131-142 (282), Funny Folks 16 (7), Gang Busters 2-6 (95), Leading Comics 29-34 (172), Mr. District Attorney 1-5 (168), Real Fact Comics 12-17 (146), Star Spangled Comics 76-87 (354), Superman 50-55 (208), Western Comics 1-6 (194), World’s Finest Comics 32-37 (303)

302 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 2814-3026, 3039-3127 (302)

50 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 427-464, 467-478 (50)

Ira’s story lettering reaches its peak in 1948. Dividing that work into days, it was about 10 pages a day for the entire year, and that doesn’t include all the other work listed. Covers may have taken Ira about the same time as story pages in general at this time, as they weren’t usually very wordy yet, but house ads definitely took a lot more time, and there’s no telling about logos. Ira was a very busy man! Going forward, story page work would decline somewhat in favor of more covers and house ads.

Schnapp logo and cover lettering for SUPERBOY #1, March-April 1949

1949

22 Logos: Streak the Wonder Dog, Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood, Superboy, Adventure Comics, Ozzie Owl, Romance Trail, Girls’ Love Stories, Jimmy Wakely, Secret Hearts, The Adventures of Alan Ladd, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Girls’ Love Stories Bullet, Lippy Leprechaun, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (interior), Superman Sunday Page, Pow Wow Smith, Plato Platypus, DC Bullet redesign, Peter Porkchops, J. Rufus Lion, Full Steam Foley, Hollywood Romances (unused)

15 House Ads, 4 Public Service Ads, Lettering for Batman and Robin movie serial promotional items

129 Covers: Action Comics 128-139 (12), A Date With Judy 10-14 (5), Adventure Comics 137-147 (11), The Adventures of Alan Ladd 1-2 (2), The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet 1-2 (2), All-American Western 111 (1), All-Star Comics 48-50 (3), Animal Antics 18, 20, 23 (3), Batman 51-56 (6), Boy Commandos 32-36 (5), Buzzy 23-24, 27-28 (4), Comic Cavalcade 31 (1), Detective Comics 143-154 (12), Funny Folks 18-19 (2), Funny Stuff 51 (1), Gang Busters 8-9, 11-12 (4), Girls’ Love Stories 3 (1), Girls’ Romances 1-2 (2), Jimmy Wakely 1 (1), Leading Comics 38-40 (3), Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood 1, 4-5 (3), Mr. District Attorney 7-12 (6), Mutt and Jeff 43 (1), Peter Porkchops 1 (1), Real Fact Comics 18-21 (4), Real Screen Comics 22-26 (5), Romance Trail 1-2 (2), Secret Hearts 1 (1), Sensation Comics 94 (1), Star Spangled Comics 88-93, 95-96, 98-99 (10), Superboy 1-5 (5), Superman 56-61 (6), World’s Finest Comics 40, 42-43 (3)

3,154 Pages: Action Comics 128-139 (213), A Date With Judy 9-14 (208), Adventure Comics 136-147 (280), The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet 1-2 (71), All-American Western 105-106 (17), Animal Antics 18-23 (198), Batman 51-56 (194), Boy Commandos 36 (10), Buzzy 23-28 (177), Comic Cavalcade 31-36 (122), Detective Comics 143-154 (201), Funny Folks 18-23 (86), Funny Stuff 44-51 (54), Gang Busters 9-12 (38), Jimmy Wakely 1-2 (4), Leading Comics 35-40 (193), Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood 5 (7), Mr. District Attorney 8-11 (39), Peter Porkchops 1 (37), Real Fact Comics 18-21 (54), Scribbly 8 (1), Star Spangled Comics 88-99 (291), Superboy 1-4 (31), Superman 56-61 (201), Western Comics 7-12 (182), World’s Finest Comics 38-43 (245)

313 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 3128-3440 (313)

52 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 479-530 (52)

Whether he realized it or not, I feel 1949 was the year when Ira’s work became the overall style for National (DC) Comics. Ira was now the go-to person for new series logos and most cover lettering, and his dominance in house ads was gradually increasing and would be complete in a year or two. I don’t know when Ira started working in the DC production department/bullpen every Monday to Friday, but he was there when Gaspar Saladino was hired in the fall of 1949, sitting beside his friend Raymond Perry, a fine painter and illustration artist who had become DC’s main cover colorist. I’m sure the two men with long art careers had a lot to talk about. At home, Marty Schnapp told me Ira was usually quiet, and the household was dominated by his mother. From what I’ve heard from those who knew him, Ira was much more talkative in the DC bullpen, where he enjoyed telling stories about his career, and I think made many work friends including Murphy Anderson and eventually Neal Adams. No one who knew Ira had a bad word to say about him, he was well-liked from all reports.

Schnapp logo and story lettering from THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #5, Oct-Nov 1950

1950

16 Logos: The Adventures of Bob Hope, Girls’ Romances, Girls’ Romances Bullet, Miss Melody Lane of Broadway, Impossible But True, Pow-Wow Smith, Feature Films, Captain China, Date Duds, Danger Trail, The Eagle and the Hawk, Strange Adventures, Astra Girl of the Future, Tales of the Arrow Maker, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Adventures of Chris KL-99

25 House Ads, 11 Public Service Ads, Lettering for Atom Man vs. Superman movie serial promotional items

148 Covers: Action Comics 140, 142-143, 145-151 (10), A Date With Judy 15-17, 20 (4), Adventure Comics 149-153, 156-158 (8), The Adventures of Alan Ladd 3-5, 7-8 (5), The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet 3-5 (3), All-American Western 112-117 (6), All-Star Comics 51-53, 55-56 (5), Batman 57-62 (6), Buzzy 30, 32-34 (4), Comic Cavalcade 41 (1), Danger Trail 1-3 (3), Detective Comics 155-166 (12), Feature Films 1, 3 (2), Funny Stuff 53, 55 (2), Gang Busters 14-15, 18-19 (4), Girls’ Love Stories 4-5 (2), Girls’ Romances 7-8 (2), Hollywood Funny Folks 28 (1), Jimmy Wakely 3, 8 (2), Leading Comics 42 (1), Leave It To Binky 14-17 (4), Movietown’s Animal Antics 24-29 (6), Mr. District Attorney 15-18 (4), Mutt and Jeff 44-49 (6), Peter Porkchops 2, 5-6 (3), Real Screen Comics 29-31, 33 (4), Scribbly 10 (1), Secret Hearts 4 (1), Sensation Comics 96-97, 99 (3), Star Spangled Comics 100-111 (12), Strange Adventures 3 (1), Superboy 6-9, 11 (5), Superman 62-67 (6), Tomahawk 1-2 (2), Western Comics 17 (1), Wonder Woman 40-44 (5), World’s Finest Comics 49 (1)

3,110 Pages: Action Comics 140-151 (134), A Date With Judy 15-20 (191), Adventure Comics 148-160 (98), The Adventures of Bob Hope 1-6 (183), The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet 3-5 (105), Batman 57-62 (191), Buzzy 29-34 (183), Comic Cavalcade 37-42 (189), Detective Comics 155-165 (136), Feature Films 2-4 (99), Funny Folks 24-26 (33), Funny Stuff 52-57 (116), Gang Busters 14 (4), Hollywood Funny Folks 27-29 (25), Leading Comics 41-44 (85), Leading Screen Comics 45-46 (25), Leave It To Binky 12-17 (118), Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood 6-9 (100), Miss Melody Lane of Broadway 1-3 (96), Movietown’s Animal Antics 24-29 (87), Mr. District Attorney 13-18 (8), Peter Porkchops 2-7 (179), Real Screen Comics 28-33 (122), Romance Trail 5 (8), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1 (42), Scribbly 9-13 (40), Star Spangled Comics 100-110 (72), Strange Adventures 2-3 (18), Superman 62-67 (189), Western Comics 13-15 (28), World’s Finest Comics 44-49 (206)

305 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 3441-3644, 3651-3752 (305)

39 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 531-532, 542-564, 569-583 (39)

As we enter the 1950s, DC’s line was expanding into more genres, giving Schnapp the opportunity to letter more kinds of covers and stories. His superhero work began to decline, and he did more humor, which now meant Hollywood humor titles like THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE and teen humor titles like BUZZY as well as funny animals books like FUNNY FOLKS. I suspect those kinds of stories appealed to Ira more than superheroes. Ira was now in his mid 50s and had not grown up with Superman like many who came after him, and besides, he was lettering the Superman newspaper strip, so maybe he wanted to work on other things elsewhere. Perhaps books featuring movie and TV stars or cartoony characters were more to his liking. He must have had some opportunity to choose which kinds of stories he wanted to letter at this point, as DC’s most prolific letterer. This was also the first full year for the monthly public service ads written by editor Jack Schiff that Ira lettered many of until they ended in 1967, and I think Ira liked doing those too.

Schnapp house ad and DC bullet from ADVENTURE COMICS #162, March 1951

1951

15 Logos: Big Town, Johnny Law, Danger Trail, Mystery Trail (for ashcan only), Johnny Peril, All-Star Western, The Roving Ranger, Don Caballero, Strong Bow, The Trigger Twins, Big Town (revised), Knights of the Galaxy, Mystery In Space, Captain Comet, House of Mystery

7 House Ads, 11 Public Service Ads

210 Covers: Action Comics 152-163 (12), A Date With Judy 21-25 (5), Adventure Comics 161-163, 165-171 (10), The Adventures of Bob Hope 8-12 (6), All-American Western 118-121, 123 (5), All-Star Comics 57 (1), All-Star Western 58-60, 62 (4), Batman 63-68 (6), Big Town 1-9, 11-12 (11), Buzzy 35, 37-38 (3), Comic Cavalcade 45, 47 (2), Dale Evans Comics 17-20 (4), Danger Trail 4-5 (2), Detective Comics 167-175, 177-178 (11), The Fox and the Crow 1 (1), Funny Stuff 59-62 (4), Gang Busters 20-23, 25 (5), Girls’ Love Stories 10-14 (5), Girls’ Romances 9-10, 12-14 (5), Hollywood Funny Folks 34-36, 39-41 (6), House of Mystery 1 (1), Jimmy Wakely 9-10, 12-13 (4), Leading Screen Comics 48 (1), Leave It To Binky 18, 22 (2), Movietown’s Animal Antics 30-35 (6), Mr. District Attorney 19-20, 23-24 (4), Mutt and Jeff 51-55 (5), Mystery In Space 1-3, 5 (4), Peter Porkchops 8-13 (6), Real Screen Comics 34-37, 41, 43-45 (8), Scribbly 14-15 (2), Secret Hearts 7 (1), Sensation Comics 102, 104-106 (4), Star Spangled Comics 112-120, 122-123 (11), Strange Adventures 4-12, 14-15 (11), Superboy 12-17 (6), Superman 68-71, 73 (5), Tomahawk 3-7 (5), Western Comics 19, 23-30 (9), Wonder Woman 45-50 (6), World’s Finest Comics 52 (1)

2,865 Pages: Action Comics 153-163 (64), A Date With Judy 21-26 (189), Adventure Comics 160-164 (20), The Adventures of Bob Hope 7-12 (195), All-American Western 123 (14), All-Star Western 62 (4), Batman 63-68 (167), Big Town 5-12 (145), Buzzy 35-40 (153), Comic Cavalcade 43-48 (123), Dale Evans Comics 19 (10), Danger Trail 5 (10), Detective Comics 168-178 (153), Flippity and Flop 1 (22), The Fox and the Crow 1 (27), Funny Stuff 58-63 (53), Gang Busters 21 (4), Girls’ Love Stories 10-14 (92), Girls’ Romances 7-12 (121), Hollywood Funny Folks 31-41 (112), Jimmy Wakely 9 (8), Leading Screen Comics 47-52 (56), Leave It To Binky 18-23 (45), Movietown’s Animal Antics 30-34 (38), Mystery In Space 1 (8), Peter Porkchops 8-13 (157), Real Screen Comics 34-45 (437), Scribbly 15 (11), Secret Hearts 7 (14), Star Spangled Comics 112-123 (120), Strange Adventures 4-15 (64), Superboy 13-16 (24), Superman 68-72 (61), Western Comics 19-28 (52), World’s Finest Comics 50-55 (92)

293 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 3771-4063 (293)

46 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 584, 587-588, 593-635 (46)

The house ad above is a good example of Schnapp setting the style for National (DC). I don’t know who wrote the words, but Ira’s skills as well as his enthusiasm come through perfectly in this ad he designed from scratch and completed himself. It also features his revised DC Bullet corner symbol. It’s unclear how Ira was paid, but Gaspar Saladino was paid as a freelancer through most of his career, even though he worked from 9 to 5 in the DC offices Monday through Friday in at least his first few years. In other words, he was paid by the page. Rates for logos, house ads and covers were probably considerably higher than story pages, they were when I started in 1977. That makes sense because they usually took longer and also because they were the public face and selling point for the company. Ira’s work on covers continued to rise, but mainly because the number of titles and issues gradually increased through the early 1950s, and he was doing most of the covers. A few books were monthly, others came out eight times a year, and many six times a year. Having Ira in the office every week day meant he was able to jump on a cover that came in late and was needed right away.

Schnapp logo and cover lettering for THE ADVENTURES OF REX THE WONDER DOG #1, Jan-Feb 1952

1952

14 Logos: The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog, Girls’ Love Stories, Here’s Howie, Melvin, Johnny Peril (revised), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, All-American Men of War, Our Army At War, The Phantom Stranger, The Mysterious Stranger (for ashcan only), Star-Spangled War Stories, Winnie the WAC, Coby, Johnny Thunder

26 House Ads, 11 Public Service Ads

237 Covers: Action Comics 164-175 (12), A Date With Judy 28-32 (5), Adventure Comics 172-175, 177-183 (11), The Adventures of Bob Hope 13-18 (6), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 2-3 (2), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 1-6 (6), All-American Men of War 127-128, 2 (3), All-American Western 126 (1), All-Star Western 63-68 (6), Batman 69-74 (6), Big Town 13-18 (6), Buzzy 42-46 (5), Comic Cavalcade 49-51, 53-54 (5), Dale Evans Comics 21-24 (4), Detective Comics 179-190 (12), The Fox and the Crow 2-4, 6 (4), Funny Stuff 64-68 (5), Gang Busters 26-31 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 15-20 (6), Girls’ Romances 15-20 (6), Here’s Howie 2-3, 5-6 (4), Hollywood Funny Folks 42, 44-46, 48-49 (6), House of Mystery 3-9 (7), Jimmy Wakely 15-16, 18 (3), Leading Screen Comics 54 (1), Leave It To Binky 24, 26, 28-29 (4), Mr. District Attorney 28, 30 (2), Mutt and Jeff 56-60 (5), Mystery In Space 6-11 (6), Our Army At War 1-5 (5), Peter Porkchops 14-17, 19 (5), The Phantom Stranger 1-3 (3), Real Screen Comics 47-50, 52, 54 (6), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 3 (1), Secret Hearts 8-13 (6), Sensation Comics 107-109 (3), Sensation Mystery 110-112 (3), Star Spangled Comics 124-127, 129-130 (6), Star Spangled War Stories 131-133, 3-4 (5), Strange Adventures 16-21, 23-27 (11), Superboy 18-23 (6), Superman 74-75, 77-79 (5), Tomahawk 9-14 (6), Western Comics 31-32, 34-36 (5), Wonder Woman 51-56 (6)

2,576 Pages: A Date With Judy 27-32 (149), Adventure Comics 172-181 (24), The Adventures of Bob Hope 13-18 (148), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 1-3 (92), All-American Men of War 2 (6), All-Star Western 63 (12), Batman 70-74 (78), Big Town 13-18 (29), Buzzy 41-46 (122), Comic Cavalcade 49-54 (172), Dale Evans Comics 21-23 (16), Detective Comics 179-190 (96), Flippity and Flop 2-7 (99), The Fox and the Crow 2-7 (58), Funny Stuff 65-69 (64), Gang Busters 26 (4), Girls’ Love Stories 15-20 (121), Girls’ Romances 13-18 (112), Here’s Howie 1-6 (141), Hollywood Funny Folks 42-50 (110), House of Mystery 2-9 (30), Jimmy Wakely 15 (8), Leading Screen Comics 53-58 (64), Leave It To Binky 24-29 (122), Movietown’s Animal Antics 36-41 (44), Mr. District Attorney 29 (1), Mystery In Space 6-11 (20), Our Army At War 4 (6), Peter Porkchops 14-19 (66), The Phantom Stranger 1-3 (20), Real Screen Comics 46-57 (235), Secret Hearts 8-13 (91), Star Spangled Comics 124-129 (14), Strange Adventures 23-25 (12), Superboy 23 (10), Superman 74-77 (48), Tomahawk 10-14 (22), Western Comics 32 (8), World’s Finest Comics 56-61 (102)

299 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 4081-4379 (299)

50 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 636, 639-687 (50)

Ira’s busiest genre for story lettering was still humor, but romance was beginning to gain on it, and as humor titles faltered in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the romance ones flourished, each with stories lettered by Schnapp. He was still doing superhero stories too, but not as many. The amount of covers gradually grew with DC’s increased line of titles, and the Superman newspaper strip continued to be a substantial part of Ira’s workload, but one that remained invisible to many comics fans who didn’t see it or who didn’t consider who was creating it. Ira’s younger competition, Gaspar Saladino, did some romance stories at first, but soon focused on war, science fiction, and western titles, areas Schnapp might have been less interested in.

Schnapp logo and story lettering from PETER PANDA #1, Aug-Sept 1953

1953

13 Logos: Detective Chimp, Rusty, Buzzy, Oh Brother!, G.I. Jane, Tips to Teens, Muggy-Doo, Wonder Woman, Datewise, Peter Panda, Stanley the Timid Scarecrow, Everything Happens to Harvey, Roy Raymond TV Detective

18 House Ads, 12 Public Service Ads

270 Covers: Action Comics 176-187 (12), A Date With Judy 33-38 (6), Adventure Comics 184-195 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 19-24 (6), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 4-9 (6), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 7-8, 10-12 (5), All-American Men of War 3-6, 8 (5), All-Star Western 69-74 (6), Batman 75-80 (6), Big Town 19-24 (6), Buzzy 47, 49, 51-52 (4), Comic Cavalcade 55-57, 59 (4), Detective Comics 191-202 (12), Everything Happens to Harvey 1-2 (2), Flippity and Flop 12-13 (2), The Fox and the Crow 8-13 (6), Funny Stuff 70, 72-73, 75 (4), Gang Busters 32-37 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 21-26 (6), Girls’ Romances 21-26 (6), Here’s Howie 7-12 (6), Hollywood Funny Folks 51, 53-55 (4), House of Mystery 10-21 (12), Leading Screen Comics 62-64 (3), Leave It To Binky 31-33, 35 (4), Movietown’s Animal Antics 42, 44 (2), Mr. District Attorney 31-36 (6), Mutt and Jeff 65-67 (3), Mystery In Space 12-17 (6), Our Army At War 6-17 (12), Peter Panda 1-3 (3), Peter Porkchops 20-21, 24-25 (4), The Phantom Stranger 4-6 (3), Real Screen Comics 58-69 (12), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4 (1), Secret Hearts 14-19 (6), Sensation Mystery 113-116 (4), Star Spangled War Stories 5-16 (12), Strange Adventures 28-39 (12), Superboy 24-29 (6), Superman 80-85 (6), Tomahawk 15-20 (6), Western Comics 37-42 (6), Wonder Woman 57-62 (6), World’s Finest Comics 62-64 (3)

2,601 Pages: Action Comics 176-186 (50), A Date With Judy 33-38 (141), Adventure Comics 188-195 (24), The Adventures of Bob Hope 19-24 (185), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 4-9 (188), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 7-11 (12), All-American Men of War 3 (4), Batman 75-78 (52), Buzzy 47-52 (98), Comic Cavalcade 55-60 (143), Detective Comics 191-202 (44), Everything Happens to Harvey 1-2 (50), Flippity and Flop 8-13 (98), The Fox and the Crow 8-13 (87), Funny Stuff 70-75 (69), Girls’ Love Stories 21-26 (107), Girls’ Romances 19-24 (123), Here’s Howie 7-12 (130), Hollywood Funny Folks 51-56 (63), House of Mystery 13-16 (24), Leading Screen Comics 59-64 (70), Leave It To Binky 30-35 (133), Movietown’s Animal Antics 42-47 (69), Mr. District Attorney 34 (20), Our Army At War 6-9 (24), Peter Panda 1-3 (72), Peter Porkchops 20-25 (62), The Phantom Stranger 4 (6), Real Screen Comics 58-69 (187), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4 (26), Secret Hearts 14-19 (78), Sensation Mystery 113-114 (14), Star Spangled War Stories 5-11 (14), Strange Adventures 28-38 (24), Superman 80 (10), Tomahawk 15-17 (14), Western Comics 37-42 (22), World’s Finest Comics 62-67 (64)

313 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 4380-4692 (313)

50 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 688-726, 729-739 (50)

The number of covers Ira was lettering increased again in 1953, while his story lettering remained about the same as the previous year, though work on superhero stories declined in favor of other genres. DC was coasting a bit with only a few new titles, including the one sampled above. While sales had declined on DC’s most well-known characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, they still had a steady following, and the company’s many other titles kept profits moving upward I would guess, even as anger was growing over the excesses of violence, gore and sex in comics from other publishers like EC and Lev Gleason. DC didn’t go there. Even their crime comics were mild by comparison.

Schnapp house ad from THE FOX AND THE CROW #14, Feb 1954

1954

13 Logos: The Farmer’s Daughter, Broadway Hollywood Blackouts, Dodo and the Frog, Hop Skip and Jump, Nutsy Squirrel, The Raccoon Kids, Superman and Batman in One Adventure Together, Congo Bill with Janu the Jungle Boy, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, Our Fighting Forces, Kitty Karr, G.I. Jane, Comics Code Seal

21 House Ads, 10 Public Service Ads

307 Covers:, Action Comics 188-199 (12), A Date With Judy 39-43 (5), Adventure Comics 196-207 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 25-30 (6), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 10-17 (8), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 13-18 (6), All-American Men of War 9-16 (8), All-Star Western 75-79 (5), Batman 81-87 (7), Big Town 25-30 (6), Buzzy 53-60 (8), Comic Cavalcade 61-63 (3), Congo Bill 1-3 (3), Detective Comics 203-213 (11), Dodo and the Frog 81 (1), Everything Happens to Harvey 3-7 (5), Flippity and Flop 15-16, 19 (3), The Fox and the Crow 14-18, 20-21 (7), Funny Stuff 76-79 (4), Gang Busters 38-42 (5), Girls’ Love Stories 27-32 (6), Girls’ Romances 27-29, 31-32 (5), Here’s Howie 13-18 (6), Hollywood Funny Folks 58-60 (3), Hopalong Cassidy 86, 89, 91-96 (8), House of Mystery 22-32 (11), Leading Screen Comics 65-67, 69-71 (6), Leave It To Binky 36-42 (7), Movietown’s Animal Antics 48-50 (3), Mr. District Attorney 37-42 (6), Mutt and Jeff 68-75 (8), Mystery In Space 24-29 (6), Our Army At War 18-29 (12), Our Fighting Forces 1-2 (2), Peter Panda 4-7, 9 (5), Peter Porkchops 26-27, 29-32 (6), The Raccoon Kids 52-53 (2), Real Screen Comics 70-74, 76-77, 80 (8), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 5 (1), Secret Hearts 20-24 (5), Star Spangled War Stories 17-27 (11), Strange Adventures 40-50 (11), Superboy 31-37 (7), Superman 86-93 (8), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 1-2 (2), Tomahawk 21-28 (8), Western Comics 43-48 (6), Wonder Woman 63-70 (8), World’s Finest Comics 69-73 (5)

2636 Pages: Action Comics 188 (12). A Date With Judy 39-44 (154), The Adventures of Bob Hope 26-30 (146), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 10-17 (225), All-American Men of War 14 (6), All-Star Western 79 (3), Buzzy 53-60 (144), Comic Cavalcade 61-63 (99), Dodo and the Frog 80-81 (15), Everything Happens to Harvey 3-7 (115), Flippity and Flop 14-19 (97), The Fox and the Crow 14-21 (152), Funny Stuff 76-79 (41), Girls’ Love Stories 27-32 (119), Girls’ Romances 25-30 (138), Here’s Howie 13-18 (135), Hollywood Funny Folks 57-60 (28), Leading Screen Comics 65-72 (121), Leave It To Binky 36-43 (121), Movietown’s Animal Antics 48-51 (66), Mr. District Attorney 41 (6), Nutsy Squirrel 61-62 (31), Our Army At War 29 (6), Peter Panda 4-9 (144), Peter Porkchops 26-33 (71). The Raccoon Kids 52-53 (26), Real Screen Comics 70-81 (243), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 5 (26), Secret Hearts 20-25 (116), Western Comics 46 (6), World’s Finest Comics 68-70 (24)

313 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 4693-5005 (313)

50 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 740-772, 775-791 (50)

I thought it might be interesting to see how many story pages Ira lettered in each genre at DC in 1954, so here’s a list: Superhero (36), Teen Humor (669), Hollywood Humor (371), War (12), Western (9), Funny Animals (1,160), Romance (373), Crime (6). Funny Animal stories made up 44% of Ira’s page lettering, and if you add the other humor categories of Teen Humor and Hollywood Humor, it increases to about 84%. Romance titles make up about another 14% with all other genres filling in the remaining 2%. Over the next decade humor titles would decline, but romance ones would increase in a somewhat similar amount, and so would Ira’s work in each. Of course, he was lettering most of the covers for all genres, but it’s not too surprising that his story lettering has been long overlooked and undercounted. It wasn’t where most comics fans were looking. And that’s not even considering the newspaper strip lettering.

Schnapp logo and cover lettering for FALLING IN LOVE #1, Sept-Oct 1955

1955

13 Logos: My Greatest Adventure, The Golden Gladiator, The Silent Knight, The Viking Prince, The Brave and the Bold, Falling In Love, Buffalo Bill, Kit Carson, Davy Crockett, Frontier Heroes, Frontier Fighters, The Legends of Daniel Boone, John Jones Manhunter From Mars

9 House Ads, 9 Public Service Ads

318 Covers: Action Comics 200-211 (12), A Date With Judy 45-48, 50 (5), Adventure Comics 208-213, 215-219 (11), The Adventures of Bob Hope 31-36 (6), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 18-21, 23-25 (7), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 19-21, 23-24 (5), All-American Men of War 17-28 (12), All-Star Western 81, 83-86 (5), Batman 89-96 (8), Big Town 31-36 (6), The Brave and the Bold 2 (1), Buzzy 61-68 (8), Congo Bill 4-7 (4), Detective Comics 215-226 (12), Dodo and the Frog 82-87 (6), Falling In Love 1-2 (2), Flippity and Flop 23 (1), The Fox and the Crow 24-26, 28-29 (5), Frontier Fighters 1-2 (2), Gang Busters 44-49 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 33-35, 37-38 (6), Girls’ Romances 33-38 (6), Hopalong Cassidy 97-102, 104-108 (11), House of Mystery 34-45 (12), Leading Screen Comics 73-77 (5), Leave It To Binky 45, 47-51 (6), The Legends of Daniel Boone 2 (1), Mr. District Attorney 43-48 (6), Mutt and Jeff 76, 78-79, 82-83 (5), My Greatest Adventure 1-6 (6), Mystery In Space 24-29 (6), Our Army At War 30-41 (12), Our Fighting Forces 3-8 (6), Nutsy Squirrel 63-65, 67-68 (5), Peter Panda 10-15 (6), Peter Porkchops 34-36, 38-41 (7), The Raccoon Kids 54-55, 59 (3), Real Screen Comics 82, 85-87, 89, 91-93 (8), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 6 (1), Secret Hearts 26-31 (6), Star Spangled War Stories 29-34, 36-38, 40 (10), Strange Adventures 52-57, 59-62 (10), Superboy 38-45 (8), Superman 94-101 (8), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 3-9 (7), Tomahawk 29-36 (8), Western Comics 49-54 (6), Wonder Woman 71-74, 76-78 (7), World’s Finest Comics 74-79 (6)

2,482 Pages: Action Comics 211 (6), A Date With Judy 45-50 (104), Adventure Comics 208 (6), The Adventures of Bob Hope 31-36 (144), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 18-25 (200), All-American Men of War 27 (6), All-Star Western 83-85 (18), Buzzy 61-68 (63), Dodo and the Frog 82-87 (79), Falling In Love 1-2 (44), Flippity and Flop 20-25 (118), The Fox and the Crow 22-29 (129), Girls’ Love Stories 33-38 (143), Girls’ Romances 31-36 (108), House of Mystery 38-45 (12), Leading Screen Comics 73-77 (102), Leave It To Binky 44-51 (146), Mystery In Space 24-29 (30), Nutsy Squirrel 63-68 (85), Our Army At War 31-40 (44), Our Fighting Forces 7 (6), Peter Panda 10-15 (148), Peter Porkchops 34-41 (94), The Raccoon Kids 54-59 (98), Real Screen Comics 82-93 (283), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 6 (26), Secret Hearts 26-31 (156), Star Spangled War Stories 31 (6), Strange Adventures 54-63 (18), Superboy 45 (8), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 9 (8), Western Comics 50-54 (44)

305 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 5006-5096, 5104-5317 (305)

48 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 792-804, 809-843 (48)

1955 was the first year that the Comics Code Seal, which I believe was designed by Schnapp, appeared on DC covers. DC had little trouble adhering to the dictates of this industry self-censorship body. The main difference was that their “mystery” titles and other anthologies moved from traditional horror icons like ghosts and werewolves to invading aliens and weird monsters. Critics have said the Code prevented the development of comics for adult readers for decades, but if you count underground comics, it was only about ten or twelve years. Certainly at DC it kept their line oriented toward children, but it was anyway. While Ira worked almost exclusively for DC, his code seal was on comics from many companies.

Schnapp story lettering from JACKIE GLEASON AND THE HONEYMOONERS #1, June-July 1955

1956

14 Logos: Davy Crockett, Tales of the Unexpected, Showcase, Fire Fighters, The Three Mouseketeers, Sugar and Spike, Kings of the Wild, Robin Hood, Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners, The Frogmen, Fenwick Babbitt, The Flash, House of Secrets, Manhunters

8 House Ads, 8 Public Service Ads, 2 Paid Ads

336 Covers: Action Comics 212-223 (12), A Date With Judy 51-56 (6), Adventure Comics 220-231 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 37-42 (6), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 26-33 (8), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 25-27, 29-30 (5), All-American Men of War 29-40 (12), All-Star Western 87-92 (6), Batman 97-104 (8), Big Town 37-39, 41-42 (5), The Brave and the Bold 4-9 (6), Buzzy 69-74 (6), Detective Comics 227-238 (12), Dodo and the Frog 88-90 (3), Falling In Love 3-8 (6), Flippity and Flop 27 (1), The Fox and the Crow 31-36 (6), Frontier Fighters 3-8 (6), Gang Busters 50-55 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 39-44 (6), Girls’ Romances 40-42, 44 (4), Hopalong Cassidy 109-120 (12), House of Mystery 47-57 (11), House of Secrets 1 (1), Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners 1-4 (4), Leave It To Binky 52-54, 56-57 (5), The Legends of Daniel Boone 3-8 (6), Mr. District Attorney 50-51, 53-54 (4), Mutt and Jeff 84-87, 89-91 (7), My Greatest Adventure 8-9, 11-12 (4), Mystery In Space 30-35 (6), Our Army At War 42-53 (12), Our Fighting Forces 9-16 (8), Nutsy Squirrel 69-71 (3), Peter Panda 16-21 (6), Peter Porkchops 42, 44-47 (5), The Raccoon Kids 60, 62 (2), Real Screen Comics 94-95, 97-102, 105 (9), Secret Hearts 32-37 (6), Showcase 1-2, 4-5 (4), Star Spangled War Stories 42-52 (11), Strange Adventures 64-69, 71-75 (11), Sugar and Spike 1-5 (5), Superboy 47-53 (7), Superman 103-105, 107-109 (6), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 10-17 (8), Tales of the Unexpected 1-8 (8), The Three Mouseketeers 4 (1), Tomahawk 38-40, 42-44 (6), Western Comics 56-57, 59 (3), Wonder Woman 80-86 (7), World’s Finest Comics 80-85 (6)

2,412 Pages: Action Comics 213-221 (36), A Date With Judy 51-56 (126), The Adventures of Bob Hope 37-42 (134), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 26-33 (182), All-Star Western 87-91 (28), Batman 97-99 (16), Buzzy 70-74 (37), Detective Comics 229-238 (24), Dodo and the Frog 88-90 (62), Falling In Love 3-8 (149), Flippity and Flop 26-31 (99), The Fox and the Crow 30-37 (116), Frontier Fighters 7 (8), Gang Busters 53 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 39-44 (172), Girls’ Romances 37-42 (141), House of Mystery 47 (6), Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners 1-4 (44), Leave It To Binky 52-57 (99), Nutsy Squirrel 69-71 (48), Peter Panda 16-21 (110), Peter Porkchops 42-47 (64), The Raccoon Kids 60-62 (32), Real Screen Comics 94-105 (295), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 7 (28), Secret Hearts 32-37 (148), Showcase 1 (1), Star Spangled War Stories 44 (6), Strange Adventures 64 (6), Sugar and Spike 1-5 (61), Superboy 47 (8), The Three Mouseketeers 1-5 (93), Tomahawk 37-43 (16), Western Comics 55-59 (11)

314 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 5318-5631 (314)

49 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 844-854, 857-882, 885-896 (49)

In 1956, Ira’s cover lettering topped 300 covers, and would stay above that mark for many years, almost one cover per day on average. While other letterers like Gaspar Saladino filled in for him occasionally, Ira was doing most of DC’s covers, and doing them with enthusiasm and appealing variety. The editors were taking advantage of his skills by writing more cover copy (balloons and captions), which of course took more time. Ira was also doing plenty of logos and ads, including a few paid ads for the first time this year. At home, both his children had graduated from college and moved on to their own homes and lives. Teddy found some acting work, including on the “Howdy Doody Show,” but could not make a career of it, and took a job teaching English to Spanish students. She lived in Greenwich Village for decades and never married. Marty graduated in 1951 and through an uncle began working in department stores, something he did the rest of his life. He married in 1961. With just his wife Beatrice and perhaps a hired maid at home, Ira probably preferred working at the DC offices where he had friends and fellow artists for company and conversation.

Schnapp house ad and Romance Group symbol from SECRET HEARTS #39, April/May 1957

1957

7 Logos: Robin Hood Tales, Sgt. Bilko, Reggie Van Gleason the III, Phil Silvers starring as Sgt. Bilko, Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane, Romance Group Bullet, The Adventures of Jerry Lewis

8 House Ads, 11 Public Service Ads

385 Covers: Action Comics 224-235 (12), A Date With Judy 57-60, 62 (5), Adventure Comics 232-243 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 43-48 (6), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 34-40 (7), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 31-36 (6), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 41 (1), All-American Men of War 41-52 (12), All-Star Western 93-98 (6), Batman 105-112 (8), Big Town 43-48 (6), Blackhawk 109-119 (11), The Brave and the Bold 10-15 (6), Buzzy 75-77 (3), Detective Comics 239-250 (12), Dodo and the Frog 91-92 (2), Falling In Love 9-15 (7), Flippity and Flop 33, 35-37 (4), The Fox and the Crow 38-45 (8), Gang Busters 56-61 (6), G.I. Combat 45-55 (11), Girls’ Love Stories 45-51 (6), Girls’ Romances 45-51 (7), Heart Throbs 47-51 (5), Hopalong Cassidy 121-126 (6), House of Mystery 58-69 (12), House of Secrets 2-7 (6), Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners 5-10 (6), Leave It To Binky 59 (1), Mr. District Attorney 55-60 (6), Mutt and Jeff 92-99 (8), My Greatest Adventure 13-18 (6), Mystery In Space 36-41 (6), Nutsy Squirrel 72 (1), Our Army At War 54-65 (12), Our Fighting Forces 17-28 (12), Peter Panda 22-27 (6), Peter Porkchops 48-53 (6), The Raccoon Kids 64 (1), Real Screen Comics 108-117 (10), Robin Hood Tales 7-12 (6), Secret Hearts 39-43 (5), Sergeant Bilko 1-4 (4). Showcase 7-11 (5). Star Spangled War Stories 53-64 (12). Strange Adventures 77, 79-87 (11). Sugar and Spike 6-11 (6). Superboy 55-61 (7). Superman 110-117 (8). Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 18-25 (8). Tales of the Unexpected 10-20 (11). The Three Mouseketeers 12 (1). Tomahawk 45-52 (8). Western Comics 61-65 (5). Wonder Woman 87-94 (8). World’s Finest Comics 86-91 (6)

2,467 Pages: Action Comics 225-227 (12), A Date With Judy 57-62 (115), Adventure Comics 235 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 44-48 (91), The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 34-40 (114), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 41 (24), All-Star Western 93-94 (18), Batman 105 (6), Blackhawk 109 (8), Buzzy 75 (6), Detective Comics 239-241 (18), Dodo and the Frog 91-92 (34), Falling In Love 9-15 (190), Flippity and Flop 32-36 (90), The Fox and the Crow 38-45 (100), Girls’ Love Stories 45-51 (174), Girls’ Romances 43-48 (151), Heart Throbs 47-51 (125), House of Secrets 3 (6), Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners 5-10 (91), Leave It To Binky 58-59 (44), Mystery In Space 39 (6), Nutsy Squirrel 72 (18), Peter Panda 22-26 (64), Peter Porkchops 48-53 (66), The Raccoon Kids 63-64 (44), Real Screen Comics 106-117 (291), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 8 (28), Secret Hearts 38-43 (145), Sergeant Bilko 1-4 (128), Star Spangled War Stories 53 (6), Strange Adventures 85-86 (12), Sugar and Spike 6-11 (97), The Three Mouseketeers 6-12 (121), Western Comics 62 (12)

300 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 5632-5840, 5853-5945 (300)

52 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 897-948 (52)

In 1957, DC took over several titles from Quality, who was getting out of the comics business, including G.I. COMBAT, BLACKHAWK and HEART THROBS This meant more cover lettering work for Ira, and his work in that area hit the highest point in his career with 385 covers. DC was just getting started with a superhero revival in SHOWCASE, but that would lead to more logo work for Schnapp and more new titles in the next few years. Some of Ira’s most attractive house ads were done for the romance titles, as in the example above, but they only appeared in other romance titles, so many DC readers never saw them. DC kept the romance line separate, and even had Ira design a special Romance Group corner symbol for them.

Schnapp Logos and cover lettering, SHOWCASE #17, Nov-Dec 1958

1958

11 Logos: Tomahawk, Challengers of the Unknown, The New Adventures of Charlie Chan, Flippity and Flop, Sgt. BIlko’s Pvt. Doberman, Adventures In Space, Space Ranger, World’s Finest Comics, Girls’ Romances, Adventures On Other Worlds, Adventures On Other Worlds (revised)

11 House Ads, 8 Public Service Ads, 1 Paid Ad

1 Letters Page Header

350 Covers: Action Comics 236-247 (12), A Date With Judy 63-68 (6), Adventure Comics 245-253 (9), The Adventures of Bob Hope 49-53 (5), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 42-49 (8), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 37, 39-41 (4), All-American Men of War 53-64 (12), All-Star Western 99-101, 104 (4), Batman 113-120 (8), Big Town 49-50 (2), Blackhawk 120-130 (11), The Brave and the Bold 16-21 (6), Challengers of the Unknown 1-4 (4), Detective Comics 251-261 (11), Falling In Love 16-23 (8), Flippity and Flop 39 (1), The Fox and the Crow 47-49, 51-52 (5), Gang Busters 62-66 (5), G.I. Combat 56-66 (11), Girls’ Love Stories 52-59 (8), Girls’ Romances 52-56, 58-59 (7), Heart Throbs 52-56 (5), Hopalong Cassidy 127-132 (6), House of Mystery 70, 72-81 (11), House of Secrets 9-14 (6), Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners 11-12 (2), Mr. District Attorney 61-66 (6), Mutt and Jeff 100-103 (4), My Greatest Adventure 19-25 (7), Mystery In Space 42-48 (7), The New Adventures of Charlie Chan 1-4 (4), Our Army At War 66, 68-77 (11), Our Fighting Forces  29, 31-40 (11), Peter Panda 28, 30-31 (3), Peter Porkchops 54-55, 57 (3), Real Screen Comics 118-119, 121-122 (4), Robin Hood Tales 13-14 (2), Secret Hearts 44-51 (8), Sergeant Bilko 6-9 (4), Sgt. Bilko’s Pvt. Doberman 1-3 (3), Showcase 12-17 (6), Star Spangled War Stories 65-73, 75-76 (11), Strange Adventures 89-94, 96-98 (9), Sugar and Spike 13-14, 16-19 (6), Superboy 62-68 (7), Superman 118-125 (8), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 1-5 (5), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 27-32 (6), Tales of the Unexpected 21-29, 31 (10), The Three Mouseketeers 14, 16-17 (3), Tomahawk 53, 55-59 (6), Western Comics 67-70, 72 (5), Wonder Woman 95-102 (8), World’s Finest Comics 92-97 (6)

2,412 Pages: Action Comics 242-245 (19), A Date With Judy 63-68 (123), Adventure Comics 245 (6), The Adventures of Bob Hope 49-54 (142), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 42-49 (192), Batman 118 (16), Blackhawk 128 (8), Buzzy 77 (25), Detective Comics 251-260 (12), Falling In Love 17-23 (107), Flippity and Flop 38-43 (116), The Fox and the Crow 46-53 (121), Gang Busters 64-65 (12), Girls’ Love Stories 52-59 (136), Girls’ Romances 49-56 (119), Heart Throbs 52-57 (110), House of Mystery 75-81 (14), House of Secrets 13 (6), Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners 11-12 (27), Leave It To Binky 60 (32), Mr. District Attorney 65 (6), My Greatest Adventure 22-24 (14), Peter Panda 28-31 (74), Peter Porkchops 54-59 (93), Real Screen Comics 118-125 (200), Secret Hearts 44-51 (161), Sergeant Bilko 5-10 (152), Sgt. Bilko’s Pvt. Doberman 1-4 (80), Showcase 15 (2), Sugar and Spike 14-20 (105), Tales of the Unexpected 25-28 (18), The Three Mouseketeers 13-20 (120), Tomahawk 59 (8), Western Comics 69 (6), World’s Finest Comics 94-98 (30)

310 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 5946-5960, 5962-6032, 6034-6257 (310)

45 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 949-980, 988-1000 (45)

Letters pages, where fans could write to the comic with comments or questions and get answers from the editor, were growing in popularity, especially on superhero books, and in this year Schnapp did his first letter-column header for SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN, lettering the words Pen Pals. A minor thing, but of historic interest. Letters pages could replace the two-page text stories required for second-class postage rates, and soon they often did except on anthology titles where few letters came in. Ira was plugging away at all his freelance work, and it’s hard to know how he did it all.

Schnapp story lettering from THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #53, July-Aug 1959

1959

16 Logos: Congorilla, Sugar and Spike, The Flash, Adam Strange, The Brave and the Bold, The Viking Prince, Heart Throbs, The Flash (interior), Rip Hunter Time Master, The Fox and the Crow, TV Screen Cartoons, Johnny Thunder, Suicide Squad, Green Lantern, Pat Boone, Sgt. Bilko

38 House Ads, 1 Paid Ad, 10 Public Service Ads

335 Covers: Action Comics 248-259 (12), A Date With Judy 69-74 (6), Adventure Comics 256-267 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 55-60 (6), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 50-55 (6), The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog 44-46 (3), All-American Men of War 65-76 (12), All-Star Western 105-110 (6), Batman 121-128 (8), Blackhawk 132-143 (12), The Brave and the Bold 23-24, 26-27 (4), Challengers of the Unknown 6-11 (6), Detective Comics 263-274 (12), Falling In Love 24-31 (8), The Flash 105-110 (6), The Fox and the Crow 54, 58 (2), G.I. Combat 68, 70-74 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 61-67 (7), Girls’ Romances 60-67 (8), Heart Throbs 58-63 (6), Hopalong Cassidy 133-135 (3), House of Mystery 84-93 (10), House of Secrets 17-27 (11), My Greatest Adventure 27-38 (12), Mystery In Space 49-56 (8), The New Adventures of Charlie Chan 6 (1), Our Army At War 79-89 (11), Our Fighting Forces 41-52 (12), Secret Hearts 52-59 (8), Sergeant Bilko 13-14, 16 (3), Sgt. Bilko’s Pvt. Doberman 7-8, 10 (3), Showcase 18-23 (6), Star Spangled War Stories 77-88 (12), Strange Adventures 100-111 (12), Sugar and Spike 22, 24-26 (4), Superboy 70-77 (8), Superman 126-133 (8), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 6-13 (8), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 34-41 (8), Tales of the Unexpected 34-44 (11), The Three Mouseketeers 22 (1), Tomahawk 61-65 (5), Western Comics 73-78 (6), Wonder Woman 103-110 (8), World’s Finest Comics 99-106 (8)

2,438 Pages: Action Comics 248-256 (91), A Date With Judy 69-73 (124), Adventure Comics 257-266 (84), The Adventures of Bob Hope 56-60 (115), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 50-55 (109), Batman 121-122 (16), Detective Comics 263-269 (36), Fallling In Love 24-31 (176), Flippity and Flop 45-46 (32), The Fox and the Crow 54-59 (92), Girls’ Love Stories 60-67 (184), Girls’ Romances 57-64 (171), Heart Throbs 58-63 (136), House of Mystery 83-84 (15), House of Secrets 17-26 (51), My Greatest Adventure 37 (8), Peter Porkchops 60-61 (39), Real Screen Comics 126-128 (78), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 10 (28), Secret Hearts 52-59 (177), Sergeant Bilko 11-16 (138), Sgt. Bilko’s Pvt. Doberman 5-10 (150), Showcase 20 (2), Sugar and Spike 21-26 (132), Superboy 71-77 (25), Superman 128 (9), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 8-11 (42), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 36-41 (35), Tales of the Unexpected 33 (8), The Three Mouseketeers 21-24 (54), TV Screen Cartoons 129-131 (81)

307 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 6258-6564 (307)

48 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 1001-1042, 1047-1052 (48)

The superhero revival engineered by editor Julius Schwartz proved very popular, and DC responded with more tryouts in SHOWCASE and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, and soon more new titles. Ira’s work on those meant more new logos and more house ads, which took a large leap in volume in this year and didn’t let up for the rest of his career. DC had come to value Schnapp’s sales ability in those house ads and on cover lettering and logos, readers seemed to love what he was doing, and his own enthusiasm often comes through despite hokey dialogue, captions and ad copy. Gaspar Saladino was lettering most of the Schwartz superhero stories, while Ira continued to dominate the humor and romance genres. Editors Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff had their own regular letterers, but Ira was always willing to pitch in where needed.

Schnapp logo and cover lettering for THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #28, Feb-March 1960

1960

10 Logos: Justice League of America, Justice League of America (interior), Kid Flash, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Maynard, The Atomic Knights, Green Lantern (interior), Sea Devils, Cave Carson Adventures Inside Earth, Giant Superman Annual

41 House Ads, 9 Public Service Ads

326 Covers: Action Comics 260-271 (12), A Date With Judy 75-79 (5), Adventure Comics 268-279 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 61-66 (6), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 56-61 (6), All-American Men of War 77-82 (12), All-Star Western 111-116 (6), Batman 129-136 (8), Blackhawk 144-155 (12), The Brave and the Bold 28-33 (6), Challengers of the Unknown 12-17 (6), Detective Comics 275-286 (12), Falling In Love 32-39 (8), The Flash 111-117 (7), G.I. Combat 84 (1), Girls’ Love Stories 69-75 (7), Girls’ Romances 68-75 (8), Green Lantern 1-3 (3), Heart Throbs 64-69 (6), House of Mystery 94-105 (12), House of Secrets 29-39 (11), Justice League of America 1-2 (2), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 1-4 (4), My Greatest Adventure 39-50 (12), Mystery In Space 57-64 (8), Our Army At War 90-101 (12), Our Fighting Forces 54-58 (6), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 11 (1), Secret Hearts 60-67 (8), Sergeant Bilko 17-18 (2), Sgt. Bilko’s Pvt. Doberman 11 (1), Showcase 24-29 (6), Star Spangled War Stories 89-94 (6), Strange Adventures 112-123 (12), Sugar and Spike 27-32 (6), Superboy 79-85 (7), Superman 134-141 (8), Superman Annual 1-2 (2), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 14-21 (8), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 42-49 (8), Tales of the Unexpected 45-56 (12), Tomahawk 66-71 (6), TV Screen Cartoons 134 (1), Western Comics 79-84 (6), Wonder Woman 111-118 (8), World’s Finest Comics 107-114 (8)

2,321 Pages: A Date With Judy 75-79 (131), The Adventures of Bob Hope 61-66 (145), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 56-61 (162), The Brave and the Bold 31 (2), Detective Comics 280-285 (13), Falling In Love 32-39 (235), Flippity and Flop 47 (12), The Fox and the Crow 60-65 (113), Girls’ Love Stories 68-75 (211), Girls’ Romances 65-72 (234), Heart Throbs 64-69 (168), House of Mystery 100-104 (34), House of Secrets 34-37 (17), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 1-4 (106), My Greatest Adventure 44-47 (33), Peter Porkchops 62 (12), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 11 (28), Secret Hearts 60-67 (224), Sergeant Bilko 17-18 (52), Sgt. Bilko’s Pvt. Doberman 11 (26), Sugar and Spike 27-32 (157), Superman 136 (9), Superman Annual 2 (1), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 17-19 (17), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 46-47 (27), The Three Mouseketeers 25-26 (27), Tomahawk 67 (8), TV Screen Cartoons 132-137 (117)

314 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 6565-6878 (314)

52 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 1053-1096, 1099-1106 (52) possible numbering error

The debut of the Justice League of America in 1960 is perhaps the peak achievement of Julius Schwartz’ Silver Age superhero revival, and it features one of Ira Schnapp’s finest logos, in my opinion. Almost all of the ten logos he designed in this year were gems, as were many of the house ads. Schnapp turned 66 in 1960, but his lettering and design skills were still strong. Around this time he and his wife Beatrice started going to Miami for six to eight weeks in the winter, staying at a hotel with other family members, and probably having a great time. I suspect Ira took work with him, and perhaps some was also mailed to him, but gaps in his regular assignments do start showing up more often now, and other letterers filled in for him where needed. Ira and his siblings and their families were always close, and in Florida they were able to return to family gatherings that had been broken up due to moves by some to areas away from New York, including Florida.

Schnapp house ad from ACTION COMICS #282, Nov 1961

1961

6 Logos: Supermen of America, Super-Chief, Hawkman, The Atom, Giant Batman Annual, Secret Origins

36 House Ads, 12 Public Service Ads

1 Letters Page Header

324 Covers: Action Comics 272-283 (12), Adventure Comics 280-291 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 67-72 (6), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 62-67 (6), All-American Men of War 83-88 (6), All-Star Western 117-119 (3), Batman 137-144 (8), Batman Annual 1-2 (2), Blackhawk 156-167 (12), The Brave and the Bold 34-39 (6), Challengers of the Unknown 18-23 (6), Detective Comics 287-298 (12), Falling In Love 40-43, 45-47 (7), The Flash 118-125 (8), The Fox and the Crow 66 (1), G.I. Combat 86, 90 (2), Girls’ Love Stories 76-83 (8), Girls’ Romances 76-83 (8), Green Lantern 4-9 (6), Heart Throbs 70-75 (6), House of Mystery 106-117 (12), House of Secrets 40-51 (12), Justice League of America 3-8 (6), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 6-10 (5), My Greatest Adventure 51-56, 58-62 (11), Mystery In Space 65-72 (8), Our Army At War 102-113 (12), Our Fighting Forces 59-64 (6), Rip Hunter…Time Master 1-5 (5), Sea Devils 1-2 (2), Secret Hearts 68-75 (8), Secret Origins 1 (1), Showcase 30-35 (6), Star Spangled War Stories 95-100 (6), Strange Adventures 124-135 (12), Sugar and Spike 33-38 (6), Superboy 86-93 (8), Superman 142-149 (8), Superman Annual 3-4 (2), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 22-25, 27-29 (7), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 50-57 (8), Tales of the Unexpected 57-68 (12), Tomahawk 72-77 (6), TV Screen Cartoons 138 (1), Western Comics 85 (1), Wonder Woman 119-126 (8), World’s Finest Comics 115-122 (8)

2,178 Pages: Action Comics 283 (13), Adventure Comics 290-291 (22), The Adventures of Bob Hope 67-72 (159), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 62-67 (161), Batman 140 (17), Batman Annual 2 (1), Detective Comics 291 (6), Falling In Love 40-47 (232), The Fox and the Crow 66-71 (150), Girls’ Love Stories 76-83 (218), Girls’ Romances 73-80 (240), Heart Throbs 70-75 (155), House of Mystery 108-115 (36), House of Secrets 41-50 (50), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 5-10 (159), My Greatest Adventure 57-62 (34), Mystery In Space 68-72 (26), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 12 (28), Secret Hearts 68-75 (216), Strange Adventures 132-134 (16), Sugar and Spike 33-38 (155), Superman 145 (9), Superman Annual 3-4 (4), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 25 (9), Tales of the Unexpected 62-66 (16), Tomahawk 76 (9), TV Screen Cartoons 138 (24), World’s Finest Comics 116 (13)

306 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 6879-7184 (306)

51 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 1107-1148, 1151-1159 (51)

As Schnapp spent more time and energy on his fine house ads and logos, his work on story pages began to slowly decrease, though he was still lettering nearly all the DC covers. Ira was getting older, and perhaps not always able to work long hours, so something had to give, and his abilities as a story letterer were probably considered less important to the company. Ira must have enjoyed his design work, and there was still much to admire in it.

Schnapp logo and cover lettering, AQUAMAN #1, Jan-Feb 1962

1962

7 Logos: Aquaman, Metal Men, Comicpac, Mark Merlin, Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers, Strange Sports Stories, Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes

56 House Ads, 8 Public Service Ads

3 Letters Page Headers

324 Covers: Action Comics 284-295 (12), Adventure Comics 292-303 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 73-78 (6), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 68-73 (6), All-American Men of War 89, 94 (2), Aquaman 1-6 (6), The Atom 1-4 (4), Batman 145-152 (8), Batman Annual 3-4 (2), Blackhawk 168-179 (12), The Brave and the Bold 41-45 (5), Challengers of the Unknown 24-29 (6), Detective Comics 299-310 (12), Falling In Love 48-55 (8), The Flash 126-133 (8), G.I. Combat 97 (1), Girls’ Love Stories 84-91 (8), Girls’ Romances 81-88 (8), Green Lantern 10-17 (8), Heart Throbs 76-81 (6), House of Mystery 118-129 (12), House of Secrets 52-57 (6), Justice League of America 9-16 (8), Lois Lane Annual 1 (1), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 11-16 (6), My Greatest Adventure 63-74 (12), Mystery In Space 73-80 (8), Our Army At War 102-113 (12), Our Fighting Forces 65-72 (8), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Annual 13 (1), Rip Hunter…Time Master 6-11 (6), Sea Devils 3-8 (6), Secret Hearts 76-84 (9), Showcase 36-38, 40-41 (5), Star Spangled War Stories 101-106 (6), Strange Adventures 136-147 (12), Sugar and Spike 39-44 (6), Superboy 94-101 (8), Superman 150, 152-157 (7), Superman Annual 5-6 (2), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 30, 32-37 (7), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 58-65 (8), Tales of the Unexpected 69-74 (6), Tomahawk 78-83 (6), Wonder Woman 127-134 (8), World’s Finest Comics 123-130 (8)

2,031 Pages: The Adventures of Bob Hope 73-78 (158), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 69-73 (135), Batman 147-151 (34), Detective Comics 303-310 (51), Falling In Love 48-55 (228), The Fox and the Crow 72-77 (139), Girls’ Love Stories 84-91 (201), Girls’ Romances 81-88 (216), Heart Throbs 76-81 (148), House of Mystery 119-129 (34), House of Secrets 52 (8), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 11-16 (161), My Greatest Adventure 63-67 (26), Secret Hearts 76-84 (245), Strange Adventures 136-139 (16), Sugar and Spike 39-44 (153), Superboy 100 (1), Tales of the Unexpected 71 (8), Tomahawk 78 (17), World’s Finest Comics 124-130 (52)

274 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 7185-7232, 7245-7376, 7397-7490 (274)

49 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 1160-1171, 1173-1193, 1196-1211 (49)

By 1962, house ads were being produced in ever greater numbers, 56 in this year, more than one per week. Aquaman, around since the early 1940s, now got his own series probably due to his inclusion in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, and The Atom had a revamped new version. But at a time when they perhaps should have been innovating, DC kept looking back to past glories. Their Annuals are the best example of this, all reprints except for the covers with Ira’s fine lettering. Mort Weisinger’s Superman-related titles kept recycling the same ideas over and over and even Julius Schwartz was trying to revive 1940s heroes. Elsewhere in Manhattan, Marvel Comics was beginning to attract fans in ever larger numbers.

Schnapp house ad from ADVENTURE COMICS #310, July 1963

1963

5 Logos: Doctor No, Young Romance, The Green Arrow, The Manhunter From Mars, Aquaman (revised)

39 House Ads, 6 Public Service Ads, 1 Paid Ad

1 Letters Page Header

294 Covers: Action Comics 296-307 (12), Adventure Comics 304-307, 309-315 (11), The Adventures of Bob Hope 79-81, 83-84 (5), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 74-75, 78-79 (4), All-American Men of War 96-100 (5), Aquaman 7-12 (6), The Atom 5-6, 8-10 (5), Batman 153-155, 158-160 (6), Batman Annual 6 (1), Blackhawk 180-184, 186, 188-191 (10), The Brave and the Bold 46-51 (6), Challengers of the Unknown 30-31, 34-35 (4), Detective Comics 311-322 (12), Falling in Love 56, 58, 60, 62-63 (5), The Flash 134-136, 139-141 (6), G.I. Combat 98 (1), Girls’ Love Stories 92-94, 96-99 (7), Girls’ Romances 89-97 (8), Green Lantern 18-20, 22-25 (7), Heart Throbs 82-87 (6), House of Mystery 130-134, 136-139 (9), House of Secrets 58-63 (6), Justice League of America 17-24 (8), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 18, 20-22 (4), Metal Men 1-2, 4-5 (4), My Greatest Adventure 75-79, 82-84 (8), Mystery In Space 81-83, 86-88 (6), Our Army At War 126-137 (12), Our Fighting Forces 73-80 (8), Rip Hunter…Time Master 12-17 (6), Sea Devils 9-14 (6), Secret Hearts 85-87, 89-92 (7), Showcase 42-44, 46-47 (5), Star Spangled War Stories 107-112 (6), Strange Adventures 148-151, 155-159 (9), Sugar and Spike 45-50 (6), Superboy 103-104, 106-109 (6), Superman 158-160, 162-165 (7), Superman Annual 7-8 (2), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 38-40, 42-45 (7), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 67-68, 71-73 (5), Tales of the Unexpected 75-80 (6), Tomahawk 84-89 (6), Wonder Woman 135-139, 141-142 (7), World’s Finest Comics 131-134, 136-138 (7), Young Love 39-40 (2), Young Romance 126-127 (2)

1,767 Pages: The Adventures of Bob Hope 79-84 (149), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 74-79 (134), Falling In Love 56-63 (187), The Fox and the Crow 78-83 (129), Girls’ Love Stories 92-99 (164), Girls’ Romances 89-97 (196), Heart Throbs 82-87 (165), House of Secrets 59 (10), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 17-22 (133), Mystery In Space 86 (10), Secret Hearts 85-92 (194), Strange Adventures 154 (8), Sugar and Spike 45-50 (156), Superboy 103 (5), Young Love 39-40 (48), Young Romance 125-127 (79)

258 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 7515-7556, 7571-7712, 7737-7810 (258)

42 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 1212-1213, 1218-1222, 1225-1248, 1252-1262 (42)

By 1963, the DC line was down to just four humor titles (featuring Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Fox and Crow, and Sugar and Spike), but they added two romance titles (YOUNG LOVE and YOUNG ROMANCE), acquisitions from Prize who, again, got out of the comics business. Schnapp lettered stories for all of those, but for the first time his story page total dropped below 2,000. He was still doing lots of covers and house ads, but you can see Ira beginning to slow down a bit in this year. Romance and humor were still his main categories for story lettering. At home, around this time, his wife Beatrice suffered a stroke and she and Ira began hiring a series of maids that were able to provide in-home care for her as well as do the housework. Extra home tasks for Ira may also have affected his ability to work at home when he wasn’t working at DC.

Schnapp logo and cover lettering, HAWKMAN #1, April-May 1964

1964

28 Logos: The Adventures of Bob Hope, Adventure Comics featuring Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, 3 Battle Stars, The Doom Patrol, P.T. Boat Skipper Capt. Storm, I—Spy, Detective Comics, The Elongated Man, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Blackhawk, J’onn J’onzz Manhunter From Mars, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Robin, 80-Page Giant, Metal Men, Young Romance, The Flash, The Manhunter From Mars, Our Fighting Forces, Secret Hearts, The Doom Patrol (revised), Falling In Love, G.I. Joe, Green Lantern, Heart Throbs, Metamorpho, Sgt. Rock’s Prize Battle Tales

41 House Ads, 7 Public Service Ads, 3 Paid Ads

7 Letters Page Headers

325 Covers: 80 Page Giant Magazine 1-5 (5), Action Comics 309-319 (11), Adventure Comics 317-321, 323-327 (10), The Adventures of Bob Hope 85-90 (6), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 80-82, 84-85 (5), All-American Men of War 101-103, 105-106 (5), Aquaman 13-18 (6), The Atom 11-13, 15-16 (5), Batman 161-168 (8), Blackhawk 192, 194-197, 199-203 (10), The Brave and the Bold 52-57 (6), Capt. Storm 1, 3-4 (3), Challengers of the Unknown 37-38, 40-41 (4), Detective Comics 323-328, 330-334 (11), The Doom Patrol 86-92 (7), Falling In Love 64-71 (8), The Flash 143-145, 147-149 (6), The Fox and the Crow 86 (1), G.I. Combat 104-109 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 100-107 (8), Girls’ Romances 99-101, 103-105 (6), Green Lantern 26-29, 31-33 (7), Hawkman 1-5 (5), Heart Throbs 88-89, 91-93 (5), House of Mystery 140-143, 145-147 (7), House of Secrets 64-69 (6), Justice League of America 26-32 (7), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 24-26 (3), Metal Men 6-11 (6), My Greatest Adventure 85 (1), Mystery In Space 90-96 (7), Our Army At War 138-149 (12), Our Fighting Forces 81-84, 86-88 (7), Rip Hunter…Time Master 18-23 (6), Sea Devils 15-20 (6), Secret Hearts 94-96, 98-100 (6), Showcase 49-50, 52-53 (4), Sgt. Rock’s Prize Battle Tales 1 (1), Star Spangled War Stories 113-118 (6), Strange Adventures 160-171 (12), Sugar and Spike 51-56 (6), Superboy 110-113, 115-117 (7), Superboy Annual 1 (1), Superman 166-173 (8), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 46-49, 51-53 (7), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 75-77, 79-81 (6), Tales of the Unexpected 81-86 (6), Tomahawk 90-95 (6), Wonder Woman 143-146, 148-150 (7), World’s Finest Comics 139-146 (8), Young Love 41-46 (6), Young Romance 128-133 (6)

1,425 Pages: Adventure Comics 316 (2), The Adventures of Bob Hope 85-88 (126), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 80-83 (85), Falling In Love 64-71 (154), The Fox and the Crow 84-89 (130), Girls’ Love Stories 100-107 (130), Girls’ Romances 98-105 (129), Heart Throbs 88-93 (124), House of Mystery 147 (8), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 23-24 (44), Secret Hearts 93-100 (135), Sgt. Rock’s Prize Battle Tales 1 (2), Strange Adventures 171 (9), Sugar and Spike 51-56 (144), Young Love 41-46 (96), Young Romance 128-133 (107)

276 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 7811-7862, 7877-8018, 8043-8124 (276)

45 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 1263-1273, 1278-1303, 1307-1314 (45)

In 1964, DC was feeling pressure from the very popular new line of superhero comics from Marvel’s Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, among others. Like Ira, all the DC editors were now old men, having grown so on the job. They were set in their ways, and did not know or understand the kids they were trying to sell comics to. Sales were declining across the line, and one easy fix was to slap a new logo on an existing title in hopes it would draw new readers. I don’t think that ever succeeded, but it made more logo work for Ira, and he did 28 in this year. Ira was still lettering nearly all the covers, but his page lettering dropped below 1,500 for the first time. The newspaper strip continued, but he was taking more breaks from it.

Schnapp logo and cover lettering, METAMORPHO #2, Sept-Oct 1965

1965

17 Logos: Secret Hearts, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder, Doctor Fate, Hourman, The Adventures of Bob Hope, The Teen Titans, Tomahawk, Starman, Black Canary, The Brat Finks, Lt. Steve Savage Balloon Buster, Eclipso, Prince Ra-Man, Wonder Woman, The Doom Patrol, Ultra the Multi-Alien, Wonder Woman (revised)

52 House Ads, 7 Public Service Ads

322 Covers: 80 Page Giant Magazine 6-15 (10), Action Comics 320-331 (12), Adventure Comics 330-333, 335-338 (9), The Adventures of Bob Hope 92-93, 95-96 (4), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 86-88, 90-91 (5), All-American Men of War 107-112 (6), Aquaman 19-24 (6), The Atom 17-19, 21-22 (5), Batman 170-172, 174-177 (7), Blackhawk 204, 206-209, 211-215 (10), The Brave and the Bold 58-63 (6), Capt. Storm 5-10 (6), Challengers of the Unknown 43-44, 46-47 (4), Detective Comics 335-340, 342-346 (11), The Doom Patrol 94-100 (7), Falling In Love 72, 74-75, 77-79 (6), The Flash 150-157 (8), The Fox and the Crow 91, 93-95 (4), G.I. Combat 110-115 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 108-113 (6), Girls’ Romances 106-113 (8), Green Lantern 34-37, 39-41 (7), Hawkman 7-11 (5), Heart Throbs 94-99 (6), House of Mystery 148-155 (8), House of Secrets 70-75 (6), Justice League of America 34-36, 38-41 (7), Metal Men 12-17 (6), Metamorpho 1-3 (3), Mystery In Space 98-100, 102-104 (6), Our Army At War 150-156. 158-161 (11), Our Fighting Forces 89-96 (8), Rip Hunter…Time Master 24-29 (6), Sea Devils 21-23, 25-26 (5), Secret Hearts 101-108 (8), Star Spangled War Stories 119-124 (6), Strange Adventures 172-177, 179-183 (11), Sugar and Spike 58-59, 61-62 (4), Superboy 118-121, 123-125 (7), Superman 174-177, 180-181 (6), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 54-57, 59-61 (7), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 82-85, 87-89 (7), Tales of the Unexpected 88-89, 91-92 (4), Tomahawk 96-101 (6), Wonder Woman 151-154, 156-158 (7), World’s Finest Comics 147-154 (8), Young Love 47-49, 51-52 (5), Young Romance 134-139 (6)

870 Pages: 80 Page Giant Magazine 7-14 (4), Falling In Love 72-79 (75), The Fox and the Crow 90-95 (82), Girls’ Love Stories 108-115 (100), Girls’ Romances 106-112 (76), Heart Throbs 94-99 (70), Metal Men 15 (24), Secret Hearts 101-107 (106), Showcase 54 (3), Sugar and Spike 57-62 (142), Wonder Woman 156 (12), Young Love 47-52 (87), Young Romance 134-139 (89)

247 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 8125-8162, 8199-8312, 8337-8431 (247)

42 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 1315-1326, 1333-1353, 1358-1366 (42)

As downward sales trends continued, DC editors were getting desperate to replicate some of the successes of Marvel. They tried anti-heroes like Metamorpho, Eclipso and The Doom Patrol, but didn’t really believe in them, and promoted them poorly. Ira did his best on covers, logos and house ads, but he turned 71 in this year, and his skills were beginning to falter. The Metamorpho logo above is an example of that, I find it unappealing. The idea that Ira’s work was looking old-fashioned began to surface, but he was still lettering most of the covers. Ira’s story page lettering took a considerable drop in this year, under 1,000 pages for the first time since 1944, though he continued on the Superman newspaper strip. Changes were coming, and not good ones.

Schnapp house ad from Action Comics #333, Feb 1966

1966

16 Logos: The Spectre, 6 Battle Stars, Direct Currents, Justice League of America, Girls’ Love Stories, The Inferior Five, The Inferior Five (interior), 3 Girls Their Lives…Their Loves, Swing With Scooter, Young Love, Challengers of the Unknown, Plastic Man, The Doom Patrol, Sylvester, Secret Hearts, Animal Man

113 House Ads, 3 Public Service Ads, 1 Paid Ad

8 Letters Page Headers

324 Covers: Action Comics 332-344 (12), Adventure Comics 340-351 (12), The Adventures of Bob Hope 97-101 (5), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 93-96 (5), All-American Men of War 113-117 (5), Aquaman 26-29 (4), The Atom 23-27 (5), Batman 178-181, 184-188 (9), Blackhawk 217-227 (11), The Brave and the Bold 64-69 (6), Capt. Storm 11-15 (5), Challengers of the Unknown 48-52 (5), Detective Comics 347-352, 354-356, 358 (10), The Doom Patrol 101-108 (8), Falling In Love 80-86 (7), The Flash 158-162, 164-166 (8), The Fox and the Crow 96-101 (6), G.I. Combat 116-121 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 117-122 (6), Girls’ Romances 115-119, 121 (6), Green Lantern 42-49 (8), Hawkman 12-17 (6), Heart Throbs 100-105 (6), House of Mystery 156-159, 161-163 (7), House of Secrets 76-80 (5), Justice League of America 42-47, 50 (7), Metal Men 18-23 (6), Metamorpho 4-5, 8 (3), Mystery In Space 105-110 (6), Our Army At War 162-169, 171-172, 174 (11), Our Fighting Forces 97-103 (7), Plastic Man 1 (1), Sea Devils 27-29, 31 (4), Secret Hearts 110-112, 114-116 (6), Showcase 60-62, 64 (4), Star Spangled War Stories 125-130 (6), Strange Adventures 185-189, 191-193, 195 (9), Sugar and Spike 63-68 (6), Superboy 126-130, 132-134 (8), Superman 183-187, 189-190 (7), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 62-65, 67-70 (8), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 90-93, 96-98 (7), Swing With Scooter 1, 3-4 (3), Tales of the Unexpected 93-98 (6), Teen Titans 1-3, 5 (4), Tomahawk 102-107 (6), Wonder Woman 159-166 (8), World’s Finest Comics 155-161, 163 (8), Young Love 54-57 (4), Young Romance 140-145 (6)

826 Pages:, The Adventures of Bob Hope 97 (1), Falling In Love 81-87 (93), The Fox and the Crow 96-99 (14), Girls’ Love Stories 117-123 (50), Girls’ Romances 114-121 (65), Heart Throbs 100-105 (96), Secret Hearts 109-116 (115), Showcase 62 (24), Sugar and Spike 63-68 (139), Swing With Scooter 1-4 (85), Young Love 53-58 (79), Young Romance 142-145 (65)

55 Daily Newspaper Strips: Superman 8432-8480, 8511-8516 (55)

15 Sunday Newspaper Strips: Superman 1367-1380, 1386 (15)

In 1966, DC was struggling to turn the ship, and they launched a new advertising campaign and visual top banner featuring “Go-Go Checks,” a checkerboard pattern drawn by Ira. I don’t know whose idea it was, it could have been Ira’s, but even at age 15 I knew it was a lame idea, and it pushed me away from DC toward Marvel, as happened with many kids. In trying to be hip, DC’s elderly editors proved they were anything but. Cover captions and balloons multiplied and became annoying in a failed attempt to emulate the ones Stan Lee was doing at Marvel, though still usually lettered by Schnapp. New titles like SWING WITH SCOOTER emphasized how out of touch DC was with current teen interests. The Superman newspaper strip ended, a regular assignment for Ira since 1943. The Batman TV show brought new interest and sales to the character, but also included “camp” humor that made fun of the comic book aspects, and DC tried to put some of that humor into their comics, alienating more readers. Ira was doing lots of new logos, and the most house ads of his career, 113 by my count, but Gaspar Saladino’s star was rising, and he did some fine ones too.

Schnapp public service ad from ACTION COMICS #346, Feb 1967

1967

20 Logos: B’Wana Beast, Falling In Love, Girls’ Love Stories, Cynthia, Girls’ Romances, The Inferior Five, Lt. Hunter’s Hellcats, Kicky Kenny, The Maniaks, Tomahawk, Cookie, Star-Spangled War Stories, Strange Adventures, Bomba the Jungle Boy, Binky, Strange Adventures (revised), Deadman, Stanley and his Monster, Teen Beat, Tales of the Unexpected

71 House Ads, 2 Public Service Ads

4 Letters Page Headers

300 Covers: Action Comics 346-357 (12), Adventure Comics 358-362 (5), The Adventures of Bob Hope 103-108 (6), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 98-100, 102-103 (5), Aquaman 31-33 (3), The Atom 29-34 (6), Batman 190-192, 194-196 (6), Blackhawk 228-233, 235-238 (10), Bomba The Jungle Boy 1-2 (2), The Brave and the Bold 70-71, 73-75 (5), Capt. Storm 17-18 (2), Challengers of the Unknown 55-56, 58-59 (4), Detective Comics 359-363, 366-369 (9), The Doom Patrol 109-111, 113-116 (7), Fallling In Love 88, 90-91, 93-95 (6), The Flash 168-175 (8), The Fox and the Crow 102-107 (6), G.I. Combat 122-127 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 124-127, 129-131 (7), Girls’ Romances 122-125, 127-129 (7), Green Lantern 50-53, 55-57 (7), Hawkman 18-23 (6), Heart Throbs 106-107, 109-111 (5), House of Mystery 164-167, 169-171 (7), The Inferior Five 1-2, 4-5 (4), Justice League of America 51-53, 55-58 (7), Metal Men 24-28 (5), Metamorpho 11-12, 14-15 (4), Our Army At War 175-181, 183-187 (12), Our Fighting Forces 105-107, 109-110 (5), Plastic Man 2-4, 6 (4), Sea Devils 33-35 (3), Secret Hearts 117-119, 122-124 (6), Showcase 66-71 (6), The Spectre 1 (1), Star Spangled War Stories 131-136 (6), Strange Adventures 196-201, 203-206 (10), Sugar and Spike 69-74 (6), Superboy 136-137, 139, 141-143 (6), Superman 192-197, 199-201 (9), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 71-74, 76-79 (8), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 100-102, 104-107 (7), Swing With Scooter 5-6, 8-10 (5), Tales of the Unexpected 99-104 (6), Teen Titans 7-9, 11-12 (5), Tomahawk 108-113 (6), Wonder Woman 167-170, 172-173 (6), World’s Finest Comics 164-166, 168-171 (7), Young Love 59-61, 63-64 (5), Young Romance 146-148, 151 (4)

709 Pages: Batman 197 (23), Falling In Love 88-95 (39), The Fox and the Crow 102 (6), Girls’ Love Stories 125-131 (92), Girls’ Romances 122-129 (64), Heart Throbs 106-111 (55), The Inferior Five 2-5 (70), Metamorpho 15 (23), Secret Hearts 118-123 (40), Showcase 69-71 (47), Strange Adventures 205 (17), Sugar and Spike 69-74 (108), Swing With Scooter 5-8 (50), Young Love 59-64 (45), Young Romance 148-151 (30)

In 1967, long-time DC editor Jack Schiff retired, ending his monthly public service ad series that had been a regular assignment for Ira since 1949. One of the last and best is above, and it shows Schnapp still had impressive lettering skills. In 1965, DC hired E. Nelson Bridwell to be Mort Weisinger’s editorial assistant. Nelson was the first comics fan to join the editorial staff, and he was a walking encyclopedia of DC history. He soon befriended Ira, and must have enjoyed his stories about DC’s early years. Nelson was given the chance to create and write some new humor titles, and in one, THE INFERIOR FIVE, Nelson gave Ira his first and only lettering credits on two issues. It must have seemed very strange to Ira to be lettering his own name in a comic. In late 1966, Flash artist Carmine Infantino became the DC cover editor and soon art director. One of the changes he made in 1967 was to give more of the logos, house ads and cover lettering to Gaspar Saladino, taking much of that work away from Ira. Carmine felt the company image needed a fresh look, and Gaspar rose to the challenge with energetic, exciting work. By the end of the year, Gaspar’s lettering in those areas greatly outnumbered what Ira was doing. Many in Ira’s position would have taken the hint and retired, but he loved coming to work at DC. He enjoyed the social interactions and friendships he had there. Neal Adams, DC’s extremely talented new artist, became one of Ira’s friends in his last years at the company, and often asked for Ira on covers.

Schnapp logos and cover lettering, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #105, March-April 1968

1968

4 Logos: Top Gun, Challengers of the Unknown, Secret Six, Stanley and his Monster

20 House Ads, 1 Paid Ad

57 Covers: Action Comics 359-360 (2), Adventure Comics 365-366 (2), The Adventures of Jerry Lewis 105 (1), The Atom 35 (1), Batman 199-200 (2), Bomba the Jungle Boy 3-4 (2), The Brave and the Bold 76-77 (2), Challengers of the Unknown 60-61 (2), Detective Comics 373 (1), The Doom Patrol 117 (1), Falling In Love 97-98 (2), The Flash 177 (1), The Fox and the Crow 108 (1), G.I. Combat 128 (1), Girls’ Love Stories 133-134 (2), Girls’ Romances 130 (1), Green Lantern 58-59 (2), Hawkman 24 (1), Heart Throbs 112 (1), House of Mystery 172 (1), Justice League of America 61-62 (2), Metal Men 31 (1), Our Army At War 189 (1), Our Fighting Forces 111 (1), Plastic Man 9 (1), Secret Hearts 127 (1), Showcase 72 (1), The Spectre 2-3 (2), Star Spangled War Stories 137-138 (2), Strange Adventures 210 (1), Sugar and Spike 75-76 (2), Superboy 144-145 (2), Superman 205 (1), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 80 (1), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 108 (1), Swing With Scooter 11-12 (2), Teen Titans 13 (1), Tomahawk 114 (1), The Unexpected 105-106 (2), Wonder Woman 175 (1), World’s Finest Comics 175 (1)

182 Pages: Blackhawk 239 (23), Falling In Love 97 (15), Girls’ Love Stories 132 (11), Girls’ Romances 130 (11), The Inferior Five 6 (23), Justice League of America 61-62 (46), Sugar and Spike 75-76 (50), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane 86 (1), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 113 (2)

1969 (inventory stories lettered earlier)

21 Pages: Girls’ Love Stories 142 (4), Leave It To Binky 67-68 (17)

Carmine Infantino kept Ira on for a while doing less important tasks, but some time in 1968 he was let go. As Neal Adams put it, it meant Ira was being sent home to die. Gaspar Saladino has described Ira as “Mister DC,” and said it was sad that when he left, it was as though he’d never been there at all. Ira Schnapp’s immense body of work, and his decades-long role of style-setter for the company was never acknowledged in print by DC. THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #105, above, poignantly combined Ira’s very first DC work, the Superman logo revamp, with his much later Jerry Lewis logo and one of his last cover lettering assignments. Quite a bit of Ira’s lettering appeared in 1968, and a few stories in 1969, showing how prolific he was even at the end.

Beatrice, Ira and Teddy Schnapp at an unknown event, January 1969, photo courtesy of Marty Schnapp, not copyright DC Comics.

Marty Schnapp remembers his father dying suddenly of a heart attack on July 24th, 1969. “I was watching TV at work, and it was the day they came back from the moon,” Marty said, referring to the Apollo 11 mission. Ira died at St. Luke’s Hospital on 113th Street, New York. Marty was driven to the hospital from his job in New Jersey, but Ira had already passed by the time he got there. A brief obituary with no mention of Ira’s career appeared in The New York Times on July 27th. He was 74. Other than perhaps those he had worked with, no one in comics knew about the passing of the man who had done so much for the company and its readers. I greatly regret I never had a chance to meet Ira, there are so many questions I wish I had been able to ask him.

So, to sum up, here are some totals for Ira’s comics work, and of course we know very little about what he did before that.

Total Logos: 334

Total Ads: 910 comics ads and work for five movie serial promotional items

Total Letters Page Headers: 24

Total Covers: 5,954

Total Pages: 53,994

Total Daily Newspaper Strips: 7,325

Total Sunday Newspaper Strips: 1,198

To get a rough count of total pages, let’s add covers and then add newspaper strips following this formula: two daily strips equal one comics page and one Sunday strip equals two comics pages. That brings Ira’s page count to about 66,000, and of course that doesn’t include ads or logos, which were probably always more work than pages or covers.

While I don’t think this puts Ira Schnapp’s complete comics lettering totals above others who were active for much longer like Gaspar Saladino and Ben Oda, for the 28 years of his career it’s an impressive amount. More than the quantity, you have to consider the quality. Ira’s story lettering was professional but often unremarkable, while his logos, cover lettering and house ads were generally memorable, inventive, and excellent on all counts. He deserves to be better known, and that’s one reason I’ve done all this work to pull his records out of obscurity and present them on my blog in detail. Hopefully they will make their way into permanency at the Grand Comics Database over time, and Ira’s career will gain the recognition it never had in his lifetime. I think he and his work deserve that. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Ira’s life and career as much as I’ve enjoyed researching and writing about it, and that research would not be nearly as complete without the help of my friend and research partner Alex Jay, so thanks to him as well.

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