Sunday, October 02, 2011
The Lady and the Beetle
Comic book publisher Victor Fox had a reputation for being a sharpy in business. Fox went with trends like crime, jungle and love and despite the woeful company management Fox Features made their comics interesting--and sleazy--to attract readers. They went out of business, anyway. Being a sharpy has a way of coming back on a businessman.
Phantom Lady was an established character with Quality Comics, created by the Eisner-Iger studio. To make a long story short--because the Phantom Lady's history with different publishers needs a genealogy chart to make sense--Phantom Lady was published by Fox when Jerry Iger's shop was producing comics for them, including eight issues of Phantom Lady, just before the demise of Fox Features publications. The numbering began with #13, so these two stories are from the first issue.
Matt Baker signed the artwork on the Phantom Lady story, but the Blue Beetle strip is signed Otis. I see occasional flashes of Baker in the Blue Beetle artwork--a couple of faces and some poses here and there--but it looks to me as if more than one, and maybe more than two artists worked over the strip. Since the inking looks consistent I'm guessing one artist inked the whole mess to give it some sort of cohesiveness.
The proportions were changed on the Phantom Lady strip. It was originally shorter, so artwork was added to the tops of the panels. Why was it drawn that way originally? I dunno.
From Phantom Lady #13, 1947: