Sunday, March 3, 2013


I absolutely love this heartwarming Win Mortimer cover for Superboy
#18 [February-March 1952].  This kind of cover was somewhat typical
for the era, at least from the more “respectable” comics companies.
I wouldn’t want such gentleness to be all there was in the comics
of today, but it sure would be nice to have it be part of the mix.

There are three Superboy stories in this 44-page issue. “Lana Lang,
Hollywood Star” runs 9.66 pages.  The Grand Comics Database makes
a tentative identification of Edmond Hamilton as the writer, but is
certain about the art: Curt Swan on the pencils and John Fischetti
on the inks.  The GCD synopsis says: Lana is offered a Hollywood
movie role based on stunts Superboy secretly helped her do. 
story was rehashed in Adventure Comics #312 [September 1963].

“Superboy's Big Brother!” (9.66 pages) is penciled by John Sikela
with tentative identifications of Alvin Schwartz as the writer and
Ed Dobrotka as the inker. The synopsis: The Kents adopt another boy
who is slightly older than Clark.

Sikela also penciled “The Men Who Doubted Superboy!” (9.66 pages)
and the GCD tentatively identifies Dobrotka as the inker.  There’s
no guess on the writer. The synopsis: A scientific committee comes
to Smallville to investigate rumors of a Superboy.

On the inside front cover is the Buzzy public service advertisement
(“Be Yourself -- Your Best Self!”) I mentioned when discussing Star
Spangled Comics
#125 [February 1952] last month.  However, the
GCD listing for that issue credits the art was credited to Mortimer and
here it’s credited to Bob Oksner.  Hey, GCD, pick a side!

Also in the issue:

Superboy’s Workshop: “Atomic Cloud Chamber” (2 pages);

“For Club and Country” (2-page text article);

and three Henry Boltinoff gags: Jerry Jitterbug (0.66 pages) Casey
the Cop (0.66 pages) and Private Pete (1 page).

Keep watching the bloggy thing for more vintage comic-book covers
from my December 1951 birth month.  As always, I love to learn more
about such comics and will trade for good condition copies of them.
E-mail me if you’re interested.


Remember that old Lobo springboard I posted on Friday.  I went back
into the file and found a cover suggestion for the issue as well as
a second letter to the editor who received the pitch.

Here’s the cover concept:

Lobo is dressed as the Statue of Justice (robes, blindfold, holding
out the scales of justice in his right hand).  The balance pans of
the scales are filled with various and obviously battered lawyers.
These lawyers should be wearing three-piece suits.  There should be
a good mix of alien races here with lawyers lying on the pans, off
the pans, falling from the pans and so forth.  Lobo is lifting up
his blindfold with his left hand to that he can peek under it and
admire his handiwork.  He has a huge and typically Lobo-like smile
on his face.

Lobo is shouting out (in a big burst) the title of this comic book:

Sometime after I made the pitch, the editor called me back with a
friendly rejection, though he wasn’t adverse to my taking a second
shot at the idea.  The call came when I was busy with my kids, but
I thanked him for the quick response and told him I would send him
a follow-up note soon.

Here’s what I sent him:

The LOBO springboard is and was just that...a starting point.  If
you like the idea in this rough form, Bob Ingersoll and I will be
happy to fine-tune it until you find it acceptable.

I see your point about Lobo never being on the defense.  It’s
something we can easily fix.  Let’s say this:

Lobo is hired by some mysterious alien to wipe out the Slugg firm.
That gets him to the planet of the lawyers.

When he’s seemingly wiped out the whole firm, Lobo finds out that
his employer is a junior partner of the firm.  Junior figured that
he could take over the firm this way.

However, since the contract was to wipe out the entire Slugg firm,
Lobo kills his employer as well.  Thereby illustrating that Lobo is
a man of his word.

Don’t you just love these moral endings?

The revision didn’t float the editor’s boat, so that’s where this
story ended.  But the editor was good about getting back to me and
that counts for a lot in my book.  I don’t think he’s still working
in comics these days, but, if he were, I wouldn’t hesitate to work
with him.  He seemed like a good egg.

I found one more lawyer-related submission in my old files.  Look
for that one tomorrow.

© 2013 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. Superboy’s Workshop: “Atomic Cloud Chamber”

    !!! That sounds more like Luthor's workshop.

    John Sikela is one of my favorite Superman and Superboy artists.

    I liked the Lobo pitch, as I just mentioned on that post, and I like the cover concept. You am a truly full-service idea man. If I were publishing comics, you and Jerry Ordway would be working anytime you wanted.