IRA SCHNAPP’S COMICS LOGOS: 1967-1968

All images © DC Comics. From FALLING IN LOVE #88, Jan 1967

1967 was the last full year Ira Schnapp was at DC, though work for books with those cover dates was probably done from early Fall 1966 through early fall 1967. It was perhaps Ira’s busiest year at the company. I believe Schnapp was sent home in the late spring or early summer of 1968, but his workload for books with 1968 cover dates is much less as the majority of logos and cover lettering shifted to Gaspar Saladino. I will include all that I found here. The romance logo above is probably Ira’s most unusual design shape in a trapezoid with no alignment to the sides of the image. LOVE is in large serif letters with the L very large, and a drop shadow. The rest in upper and lower case. I like this, but think it might have been hard to fit into the cover art.

From SHOWCASE #66, Jan-Feb 1967

I dislike this logo by Ira nearly as much as his Animal Man one for some of the same reasons. The animal-marking patterns look awful, and what’s with that strange exclamation point? The white outlines seem to have been added by the separator, as you can see remains of the original black outlines, and the center triangle of the A in BEAST was missed. The subtitle is typeset. In all, this logo is a mess, and I’m glad the character didn’t gain his own series. It was an awful, racist story too.

From GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES #124, Jan 1967

Continuing with oddly shaped romance logos, this one is in a kind of slightly flattened egg. I don’t like it as much as the one above, but it’s more interesting than the previous logo on this title.

The original logo from the DC files is just the same with few white paint corrections I can see, and some of Ira’s pencil lines, so he must have been happy with it. Perhaps the geometric shapes were suggested by the editor. The previous logo had been used on just six issues, and rapid logo changes like that suggest poor sales and editors grasping at straws.

From SWING WITH SCOOTER #5, Feb-March 1967

Another feature logo for one of Scooter’s cast. I like this except for GINCHY, which seems wrong if it’s meant to be a compliment.

From GIRLS’ ROMANCES #123, March 1967

Another new romance logo in a geometric shape, this one is in a level oval, and for a change uses upper and lower case script for the first word. The previous logo had been unchanged for a long time, but I don’t know that this is really an improvement except that it kind of matches the other new romance ones.

From INFERIOR FIVE #1, March-April 1967

Inside Inferior Five’s new series, the stories had this revised logo. It’s similar to the story logo from the SHOWCASE issues, but is all new lettering.

From OUR FIGHTING FORCES #106, March-April 1967

This new feature and logo in OUR FIGHTING FORCES is one I like a lot, and I think it shows the influence of Gaspar Saladino, who lettered the bulk of DC’s war stories and who often used roughened organic letters like these. If true, it shows Ira was not too old to learn, but perhaps it was too late for him to change very much at this point.

From SWING WITH SCOOTER #6, April-May 1967

Another cast feature logo from SWING WITH SCOOTER, I like this one, but again the texture in TIGER makes it hard to read.

From SHOWCASE #68, May-June 1967

Another humor tryout written by E. Nelson Bridwell, this time about a pop music group. Ira’s logo cleverly uses music note shapes (though not such good ones) and a music staff in the background, and the character art by Mike Sekowsky and Mike Esposito add a lot to the appeal. This three-issue tryout did not lead to a series, even with a surprising co-star in the last one, Woody Allen.

The original logo from the DC files is very large, and folded through the first A to fit in the file drawer. It has lots of white paint corrections, but it’s interesting to see that the figures and lettering are all on the same paper.

From TOMAHAWK #110, May-June 1967

This long-running series about a frontier fighter may have been slipping in sales, and they tried to remake it as a sort of war comic with this new logo by Schnapp. The notched letters and telescoping work fine, as does the subtitle, but the character head doesn’t seem to add much this time. He looks worried.

A photostat of the original logo from the DC files shows the head was added later. This is the same exact logo, but it looks different with the bottom box not level.

From SWING WITH SCOOTER #7, June-July 1967

Another cast feature logo from SWING WITH SCOOTER, very appealing.

From STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES #123, June-July 1967

A new logo for this venerable war series goes all in on the WAR part. Great energy in those three giant letters.

The original from the DC files shows that only WAR was new, the rest was pasted on and has fallen off as the glue weakened over the years. I’m not sure what was below the A that’s covered with correction paint.

From STRANGE ADVENTURES #202, July 1967

STRANGE ADVENTURES gained this new Schnapp logo with issue #202, replacing his original version that had lasted just over 200 issues. I can see changing things up, but I’m not sure this is really an improvement. Not terrible, and definitely strange, though.

The original from the DC files is the same, and I see very few white paint corrections.

From BOMBA THE JUNGLE BOY #1, Sept-Oct 1967

This series skipped the tryout and went right to its own title, a rare thing at the time. It was based on a group of old films that were then running on TV in syndication. I like this, and I think Ira is again showing the influence of Saladino in the large letters. The background art is probably by series artist Leo Summers. The brown color in the bottom section is so dark you can barely see THE.

From SHOWCASE #70, Sept-Oct 1967

This was a tryout to bring back Binky in reprints, and it did lead to a new series. I’m not positive Schnapp did this logo, but it doesn’t look like Saladino, so he’s the likely choice.

From STRANGE ADVENTURES #204, Sept 1967

Someone was not satisfied with the previous new logo, and this one replaced it two issues later. Perhaps both were done at the same time. I think this one is definitely worse than the other version, these letters look misshapen rather than scary. ADVENTURES is the same, and should have been reversed white on this dark color.

The original logo from the DC files show ADVENTURES is indeed a pasted-on copy from the other one, and it includes the top line cover lettering which is not part of the logo. Still don’t like it.

From STRANGE ADVENTURES #205, Oct 1967

Ira did much better with this scary logo for the new character Deadman in STRANGE ADVENTURES. The pointed drips at the bottom don’t quite seem to match the character, but they look good, and the character face by Carmine Infantino is creepy. This logo also appeared small on the cover near the bottom, like cover lettering.

A photostat of the original from the DC files. Just the same and a bit more creepy without the red color.

From THE FOX AND THE CROW #106, Oct-Nov 1967

On it’s last legs, THE FOX AND THE CROW tried this new funny/scary feature, and those who bought it liked it. Ira’s logo is predictable but effective.

From TEEN BEAT #1, Nov-Dec 1967

This was DC’s attempt to enter the teen magazine market. Ira’s logo is going for psychedelic and I think works pretty well.

From TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED #104, Dec 1967-Jan 1968

this new logo for a long-running mystery title is quite unexpected! The triangular broken-angled main word is different, with the notched letters and open telescoping adding lots of depth. There are even notches on the telescoping. One of Schnapp’s best in his final year.

The original logo from the DC files shows the TALES used was a second version pasted over the first, and OF THE has fallen off showing part of the previous version. Not much other second guessing, Ira’s odd merge of the X and P was okay as drawn.

From SHOWCASE #72, Jan-Feb 1968

Ira’s final SHOWCASE logo is another one I like. The roughened letters seem appropriate for the subject, and the target in the O is well done. I doubt Schnapp did the gun art.

The original from the DC files shows little or no corrections, and I like it better without the gun in front of the U and N.

From CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN #60, Feb-March 1968

A new version of this logo puts the emphasis on CHALLENGERS rather than UNKNOWN, which I think is a good idea. The telescoping is deeper this time, but the letter shapes are about the same.

From TEEN BEAM #1, Jan-Feb 1968

DC had failed to find out there was another magazine called Teen Beat coming out at the same time as theirs, and it must have had the trademark, so DC changed the T to an M for the second and final issue. I won’t count this as a new logo, including it for completeness.

From SECRET SIX #1, April-May 1968

The final new series logo from Schnapp was this one, though the cover of the first issue was also the first page of the story, and this small logo is overpowered by Gaspar Saladino’s feature logo below it. This one appeared larger on the remaining issues, some without the brick pattern. I like that idea, as if the logo is painted on a brick wall with the circle representing a spotlight, though it isn’t really colored that way.

I think this is Ira’s original logo from the DC files, but someone else has added THE NEW. The first series lasted only seven issues, so perhaps a new series was planned with this title, but it didn’t happen. I really like what Ira did with the brick wall going through everything and the added texture inside the letters. Subtle and cool. Much of it didn’t show up in the printed version.

From SWING WITH SCOOTER #11, Feb-March 1968
From SWING WITH SCOOTER #12, April-May 1968

Two more character logos and headers from the Scooter cast, perhaps done earlier.

From STANLEY AND HIS MONSTER #109, April-May 1968

The feature Stanley and his Monster was successful enough in THE FOX AND THE CROW to take over that book for four issues before being cancelled. The first of those, #109, has this logo, the last cover logo by Ira Schnapp to see print. The top line is very ornate circus-style lettering, while the bottom is typical late-Schnapp scary lettering. It’s an odd combination, but the mismatch kind of works for a feature that combines humor and monsters. I thought for a long time that STANLEY was done with type. Then I found this:

The original logo from the DC files has nothing pasted onto it, it all seems to be drawn by Ira. It’s possible that the STANLEY letters were dry-transfer Letraset ones that could be put onto art paper by pressing them from a plastic sheet with a burnisher. I don’t recall seeing this font from Letraset, but that does seem more likely than that Ira drew and inked it from scratch. I could be wrong, and as it’s been years since I saw the actual logo, I can’t say which is true. If it is all Ira’s work, it’s a fine final effort.

To sum up, I found 26 new logos by Ira Schnapp in these two final years of his time at DC, bringing this series to a close. I’m sure I missed some, and perhaps I misidentified some too, and if new information turns up I’ll include it, but for now that’s what I know about Ira’s logo designs. In all, from 1940 to 1968, I’ve identified 331 logos, an impressive total, especially on top of all of Ira’s other fine lettering work.

More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the LOGO LINKS page of my blog.

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