Friday, March 12, 2010
The man who came to stay
Ralph Mayo was a very talented artist who worked for various comic book companies in the 1940s and '50s. According to Al Williamson in the book Hidden Lands, Mayo had lost his apartment when comic book work was hard to get in the 1950s. Williamson took him in to his home, where Mayo slept on a cot. Mayo helped Al by collaborating with him on several jobs for Stan Lee, including Jann of the Jungle. Mayo got on his feet, got a room, and then one day didn't show up at Williamson's studio. Mayo, a young man in his mid-forties, had died in his sleep.
Williamson said Mayo was from the UK, had sailed from England to the States in 1940, and when he put in his papers for citizenship something went amiss. He said to hell with it and just never left the U.S.
Most recently I showed Mayo's work on a Johnny Quick story from DC.
This story, "The Phantom of Marco's Villa," is a short supernatural story from St. John's Authentic Police Cases #5, 1948. You can see Mayo's skill at drawing women, which came in handy for his stint on jungle girl comics like Jann.