Stan, Jack, and Steve - The 1960's (1961) The Castaway Strikes Back
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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

Tales of Suspense #16 - Statement of Publication... why wouldn't we want to see more of Metallo? Just because his 148,929 was the lowest of the Kirby books? I thought the character and his lament were kinda interesting... I guess the 'editor' didn't...

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ON NEWSSTANDS JANUARY 1961

In January, Steve Ditko also did a 5 page story for Strange Tales #83. 

per GCD: "The last two panels were added by a different artist, possibly Sol Brodsky, likely due to a Comics Code problem. The ending is altered so that the demon/devil is a normal man in disguise."

Penciled and inked by Steve Ditko. Writer unknown. NOT written by Stan Lee. 

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ON NEWSSTANDS FEBRUARY 1961

For February, Marvel would release 9 titles to the newsstand (Wait, not 8???)

Stan Lee would write only 3 of the titles for the month. It was a month like this that had to worry Stan the most. Is Jack Kirby taking over Marvel Comics? He's writing 4 issues of Marvel's best selling MONTHLY titles, and Stan is writing 3 books, reduced to 5 to 6 issues a year. Goodman has even decided to cancel one of his beloved Western titles (Two Gun Kid) to give Kirby ANOTHER Monster title starting in March! 

 

Millie the Model #102 - with Stan Goldberg art.

Gunsmoke Western #64 - One story with Jack Keller, one with Paul Reinman, and one with Jack Kirby. 

Kid Colt Outlaw #98 - Two stories with Jack Keller (19 pages) and one 5 pager with Paul Reinman.

 

The other 4 were:

Tales to Astonish #19 

Tales of Suspense #17 

Journey Into Mystery #68

Strange Tales #84

Love Romances #93

Teen-Age Romance #81 

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ON NEWSSTANDS FEBRUARY 1961

The Romance Comics for Marvel weren't selling, as the genre was somewhat softening (hmmm... except at DC of course... might have to take a look at what was going on over there - spearheaded by a former and future Marvel great...). It doesn't help that MR. Giordano, who had been running the two titles at Marvel for the last year (with Vince Colletta) decides to abandon ship and go back to Charlton full time as editor (/writer/artist). There's plenty of reasons he may have left Marvel at this time, but there seems to be no discussion of this event in any interviews or speculative gossip that I've ever seen. In fact, I can't even find any MENTION of the year he spent working at Marvel.

That left long time editor/artist/inker Vince Colletta to handle it. If you've ever wondered why Stan always loved Vince, here's a good example. Stuck with no one to do the book, Vince of course takes control and puts together the two comics for the month. Here he saves on a full cover by swiping an old one. The two main characters are reprinted from the cover of Love Romances #79 (Jan. 1959) originally drawn by Matt Baker (he's no longer alive, so he's not going to ask to be repaid). The small figure in the rear is new, by Jack Kirby (all of it inked by Vince Colletta) and most likely done as a favor.

Voila! Free cover for the month. 

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ON NEWSSTANDS FEBRUARY 1961

Jack Kirby also does the cover for Kid Colt Outlaw #98 (inked by D. Ayers) and the whole world gets to see the sales numbers for the book, a disappointing 144,746. Martin Goodman loves westerns though, and Kid Colt is one of Marvel's longest running titles, but it still gets reduced to 6 copies for the year. Sadly in the overall numbers it still finished as Marvel's 6th best selling book for 1960... Yikes!

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On 11/20/2022 at 11:44 AM, Prince Namor said:

ON NEWSSTANDS FEBRUARY 1961

 It doesn't help that MR. Giordano, who had been running the two titles at Marvel for the last year (with Vince Colletta) decides to abandon ship and go back to Charlton full time as editor (/writer/artist). There's plenty of reasons he may have left Marvel at this time, but there seems to be no discussion of this event in any interviews or speculative gossip that I've ever seen. In fact, I can't even find any MENTION of the year he spent working at Marvel.

I have Michael Eury's book "Dick Giordano Changing Comics, One Day at a Time" from 2003, and Giordano's 1960 work at Marvel isn't mentioned, nor is it listed in the book's checklist appendix.  That checklist was pulled from the GCD as it existed at the time, and looking at a couple of the current GCD entries, it appears that previous indexers had attributed Giordano's pencils to Vince Colletta (understandably, given Colletta's heavy-handed inking).

There is this however on Page 28 which explains why the Marvel work wasn't intended to be mentioned.  This is in the context of the Giordanos buying a home in 1959 and the birth of their second daughter in 1960.

The creative lengths comic book people went to in order to maximize their family's income during this timeframe is a regular sub-text of these threads! (thumbsu

Quote

Under the radar of Charlton's management, in the early to mid-1960s Giordano brokered freelance assignments from other publishers.  He illustrated several unpublished monster stories for Stan Lee at Atlas Comics, before the company became Marvel Comics, and the Catholic comic book Treasure Chest...

 

Edited by Zonker
Richarded it up
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On 11/20/2022 at 2:11 PM, Zonker said:

I have Michael Eury's book "Dick Giordano Changing Comics, One Day at a Time" from 2003, and Giordano's 1960 work at Marvel isn't mentioned, nor is it listed in the book's checklist appendix.  That checklist was pulled from the GCD as it existed at the time, and looking at a couple of the current GCD entries, it appears that previous indexers had attributed Giordano's pencils to Vince Colletta (understandably, given Colletta's heavy-handed inking).

There is this however on Page 28 which explains why the Marvel work wasn't intended to be mentioned.  This is in the context of the Giordanos buying a home in 1959 and the birth of their second daughter in 1960.

The creative lengths comic book people went to in order to maximize their family's income during this timeframe is a regular sub-text of these threads! (thumbsu

 

Wow! Thank you!

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ANATOMY OF A STORY - Part One

So did Stan Lee give Jack Kirby stories to use?

Yes. For the Westerns, he most definitely did. Jack most likely wasn't that thrilled to do these 5 page western stories and went along with it for the extra pay. You can tell where HE would try and do something different with it (ghosts, monsters, living totems) and where Stan would throw him a brief synopsis. 

But where did Stan get his stories from?

It's a convoluted mess trying to track it down and... maybe after I retire I'll create a data base and see if I can track some of these story ideas down from where they originated. Sometimes, they just fall into my lap, but THIS one, I'm not even sure if it goes back further...

It starts in Annie Oakley #6 (Aug 1955), we have a story about a sheriff who is a stickler for the letter of the law, who eventually proves to the town that his way of doing things, warrants the best results. No writer is listed or signed for the story. This was at a time when Hank Chapman was writing most of the work done in the Atlas Westerns. The artwork is by Jack Katz.

The name of the story is 'The Man with the Badge'.

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ANATOMY OF A STORY - Part Two

6 months later in Frontier Western #1 (Feb 1956), Stan is credited with the story 'The Badge of the Deputy' (art by Paul Reinman). In it, two outlaws plan to have one pose as a the newly hired deputy to double cross the sheriff while robbing the bank. The deputized outlaw has a change of heart when he sees the bravery of the sheriff. 

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ANATOMY OF A STORY - Part Three

2 months later in Frontier Western's next issue (#2, Apr 1956), Stan is credited with the story 'Man with a Star' (art by George Tuska). In it, like Annie Oakley's #6 story 'Man with a Badge', we have a story about a newly elected sheriff who is a stickler for the letter of the law, who eventually proves to the town that his way of doing things, warrants the best results.

It looks like Stan lifted this story from that issue. 

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