Sunday, February 13, 2011

Number 895

By Jack Cole?

Sometimes the Grand Comics Database drives me nutty with their attributions, especially when they stick those @!##!! question marks in after an artist's name. They did that with this Plastic Man story from the 1948 Plastic Man #11. Jack Cole Question Mark. When I look at this story I see Jack Cole's artwork...or do I?

Most of it looks like Cole to me, but when the GCD has doubts it gives me doubt.

Arrrrgh. It's not signed by Cole. Maybe Cole did some of it and another artist did some of it. It's an awfully entertaining story in the Jack Cole mode, anyway.


Frank M. Young said...

The art is either John Spranger or Bart Tumey, as is typical of "Plastic Man" in this period. It's too bad that Jack Cole's workload was so heavy that he couldn't draw PM consistently in the 1944-48 period...

Pappy said...

Thanks, Frank. There are panels that look very much like Cole, but not consistently throughout the story, not like I'd expect from him, had he drawn this story.

Some of the guys who took over for him did an excellent job with his style, but there's really only one Jack Cole.

borky said...

Good instincts, there, Pappy.

To be honest, for some reason I've always really hated Plastic Man - can't give you a rational reason why - but I'd've sworn this was the work of Jack Cole.

It's got all his fussy little details - almost like fingerprints - such as the great attention paid to executing Plas's hair.

Also, like Ogden Whitney distinctly preferred discrete, soft and curved lines to infinitely recessing hard and straight ones, clearly having a deep fondness for bulbous almost spherical volumes, (did he drink his hooch out of those ball-shaped bottles southern Europeans seem to prefer, or was it a mother's breast thing?), Jack Cole seemed to have a great fondness for drawing in loving sinuous detail snake-like almost overly extended tubings, or great skeins of uncoiling rope-like extensions, almost infinitely looping off into the distance.

If Cole probably wasn't involved in this piece in any way, as Frank seems to think, then the artist definitely idolised Cole - the simulation is too lovingly close in detail to the real thing to be merely the work of someone just doing a job.

Karswell said...

I have to agree, but it's still primo Plastic Man... nice post Paps!!!