The Beast From Fifty Million, Trillion, etc…
Here's a funny story from Atlas' Crazy #2, 1954. The artwork is by Joe Maneely, a great cartoonist who seemed to work almost exclusively for Atlas before his accidental death. Maneely was reputedly one of the fastest artists in the business, able to draw six or seven pages a day. Considering how fast he was nothing in this strip looks rushed.
On a personal note:
The news is that Steve Gerber died. I corresponded with Steve during the ditto'd fanzine days of the early '60s. We were both about 15 at the time. Steve did what I always wanted to do, make a living as a writer. I wouldn't have wanted to go through the ugliness of his fight with Marvel Comics over Howard the Duck, but I admired him for sticking up for his principles. I also enjoyed those first few issues of Howard, which seemed fresh to me at the time.
Maneely really was the master of detail, and you definitely got more bang for your buck per page from him as each panel is literally bursting with fantastic art. Usually this line approach looks cluttered by some artists, but his work still manages to produce a clean read, with clear silhouette and a nice balance between realistic and cartoony. In essense, his style is just 100% FUN.
Thanks for the news about Steve Gerber too.
Sorry to hear of Gerber's death, pap. Those early Howard the Duck's are reputed to have a narrative approach and an odd existentialist flavor which was a real formal developent to the medium.
Dig the Maneely.
Thanks for posting this Maneely art. These pages were right up there in quality with the Kurtzman/Elder MAD comics work, densely illustrated and clear in storytelling.
I always wonder how different the early '60s Marvel universe would have looked had Joe been around to contribute to it? Especially since Maneely seems to have been Stan Lee's go-to guy in the years preceeding the Marvel Age of Comics.
Great blog, Pappy. Keep on keepin' on.
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