Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tales of Suspense, Covering Previous Territory

By the time TALES OF SUSPENSE was an entrenched title at Martin Goodman's publishing outfit, the art team assembled for the book was also well established. Stan Lee was always searching for artists who could produce the work in a timely manner and who also had a certain style that would appeal to the fans. In Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck he had managed to assemble such a reliable team. I think Lee was always looking for someone like Joe Maneely who had died in such a horrible manner some years earlier. Maneely could draw anything and do it well and on time. He was the glue that held the books together and Stan Lee had him exclusively for a time. Just before Maneely's untimely death he was getting ready to head out for greener pastures, wider exposure, and richer pay checks. His death had been a major blow, especially to Stan Lee who had come to depend on him.

Well, it didn't take him too long to land several more artists to fill that creative void. Jack Kirby in particular was a workhorse unlike any other the comics industry had seen. I've read that in one year he produced well over 1,200 pages of penciled pages. This is a phenomenal pace, especially when you understand that he was also writing most of the stuff that was credited to a certain someone else. Most of the monster and sci-fi comics that Goodman was publishing were held up by the three guys editor-in-chief Lee came to depend upon: the already mentioned Kirby, Ditko, and Heck.

Often joining in to add to that triumvirate was Joe Sinnott and Dick Ayers and a host of other artists who later filtered into the Marvel offices as the small company grew into a publishing juggernaut. But in those early days it was mainly Kirby, Ditko, and Heck.

I already had a copy of this issue (#5), so I'll sell off the lesser of the two books.

This was another book I kept trying to nab on Ebay but always failed to get. There's something about the cover that I really like. It's not the monster--Kirby created some really striking monsters and this isn't one of them. I think it's just the construction of the scene that appeals to me.

I've never run across this book before, so it's going to be fun to see what's inside. I'll post interiors of some of these books after I've read them and gone through the tales.

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