Sunday, October 02, 2011

Number 1027

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:


Chuck Wells said...

And they just keep updating characters like this, when there appears to be absolutely nothing wrong with them in the first place.

Darci said...

Would you mind expanding on your comment? Are you describing the way that Phantom Lady went from a yellow suit to blue halter and shorts when she transferred from Quality to Fox?

AB said...

In the Phantom Lady story, page 4, panel 2, she refers to "the war effort" in the present tense. The logo is different. Page 2 doesn't make sense, suggesting that page 1 was cut out and a different splash page drawn. Baker's art is recognizable but far more crude than his 1947 style. She drives a "Batmobile" style car. This story must date from 1945. Iger must have planned to publish it then but something prevented it.