IRA SCHNAPP’S COMICS LOGOS: 1962-1963

All images © DC Comics. From AQUAMAN #1, Jan-Feb 1962

This will be a shorter post than usual, as Ira did not design many new logos in these two years, perhaps because many then-current titles were in successful runs and featured his logos already. Aquaman’s new series logo by Schnapp builds on the previous one last used in his SHOWCASE appearances. the letter shapes are about the same, but the first A is larger, and the logo has an arc which to me suggests the bouyancy of being underwater. Also it leaves more room for the DC Bullet and Comics Code seal. The tagline about Aqualad is more like cover lettering than a logo, but it was repeated on a half-dozen following issues.

From SHOWCASE #37, March-April 1962

The next successful tryout in SHOWCASE was Metal Men, who went on to a popular series of their own. Schnapp’s logo is deceptively simple, but the bevels around each letter are well thought out, and the rivets on each M are just enough of a visual tie to the characters’ nature to make this logo memorable. While Ira did not always make the sharper corners on letters like this pointed enough for my taste, he did here.

This photostat of the original logo from the DC files makes one detail more obvious: the white connectors in the black bevels. They are subtle and hidden by color on the covers, but help make the bevels work better. I’m not sure why he didn’t use them on the inner corners of the A and each E.

From BLACKHAWK #175, Aug 1962

Not exactly a comics logo, but close, Comicpacs were bundles of three DC comics in a sealed plastic bag with this logo on the top cardboard hangar. The savings in price was a massive one penny, but the win for DC was probably impulse buys from adults for their kids, adults who might not have bought comics otherwise. They were sold in supermarkets for a few years perhaps to use up unsold copies, I’m not sure. Schnapp was asked to imitate his Superman logo for the style, which may not have been a wise move legally, as it could weaken the trademark, but since the product did not last long it probably didn’t matter, and it might have caught the eye of Superman fans.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #300, Sept 1962

This Schnapp logo was designed for the series of regular appearances by the Legion of Super Heroes in ADVENTURE COMICS from issue #300 on.

From HOUSE OF SECRETS #56, Sept-Oct 1962

In HOUSE OF SECRETS, this long-running feature finally gained a full-size feature logo from Schnapp to replace the small one in a circle he had done earlier. I like the extended strokes of M’s and N. The title is a mouthful, but good design makes it work.

The original logo from the DC files is the same, but a few white paint corrections are barely visible.

From SHOWCASE #41, Nov-Dec 1962

Tommy Tomorrow had been around a long time and finally had a series tryout in SHOWCASE. I remember liking it and was disappointed that he never got his own series. Once again the name is too long, but Ira makes it work by emphasizing TOMORROW and using three styles that work well together. I like the way TOMMY crosses in front of TOMORROW, and the subtle drop shadows help it read well.

The original logo from the DC files confirms that the Lee Elias character head was added after Ira’s logo was completed, but note that the small SHOWCASE logo had been pasted in place and Schnapp lettered PRESENTS under it. This is another very large original that had to be folded to fit into the file drawer, you can see the fold through the W of TOMORROW.

From THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #45, Dec 1962-Jan 1963

Several series at DC were favorites of the editor but not the readers, and I think it was true for this one from Julius Schwartz. It had a hefty series tryout in BRAVE AND BOLD, but did not receive a series until 1973, ten years later, and then lasted only six issues. Nothing wrong with Ira’s logo, which uses a flag-wave arc and shows Art Deco influences. Perhaps not enough DC readers were sports fans, or would rather read about superheroes. As I recall, some at DC used to tease Julie about it by calling it Strange Schwartz Stories.

From SHOWCASE #43, March-April 1963

This oddity, a comics version of the first James Bond film, had been prepared for Gilberton’s CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED series, and was published by them in England, but they thought there would be no market for it in the U.S., so sold it to DC. No one then had any idea how successful Bond would become. As on the Charlie Chan comic, Ira went with a typical faux-Chinese style popular at the time, but now frowned on. As a logo I think it’s intriguing and works well.

From YOUNG ROMANCE #125, Aug-Sept 1963

In 1963, Crestwood/Prize got out of the comics business and sold their two successful romance titles to DC, who continued them with the same numbering. This one got a new logo by Ira Schnapp which is similar to the previous Prize one but makes the letters more regular. YOUNG LOVE, the other title, kept the Prize logo probably by Joe Simon or Simon with Ben Oda, for some time. These titles originally by Simon and Kirby had started the romance comics genre, and with their existing three titles gave DC five in all. By now the Romance Group corner symbol had been replaced with the usual DC one, but the company still kept their romance line separate in most ways, never advertising them in the rest of their comics for instance.

From THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #50, Oct-Nov 1963

With issue #50, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD changed game plans again, becoming mostly a team-up title where any two DC characters could be paired in the same story. The first two have logos by Schnapp, above, and he did many new logos, or variations on existing logos, for the series. I like both of these. Green Arrow in particular had never had a logo I liked, and this one is pretty good. I count this as two logos.

From THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #51, Dec 1963-Jan 1964

The next issue paired these characters, and Ira had to create a new condensed version of his recent Aquaman logo that would fit next to Hawkman, which could be used unchanged. I would have been annoyed by this, but perhaps he was not.

To sum up, I found just 12 new logos by Ira Schnapp in comics with 1962-1963 cover dates, but the following year would have a lot more. Other articles in this series are on the LOGO LINKS page of my blog.

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