Paul Gattuso, who did the artwork I stole borrowed for this blog’s masthead, was a journeyman comic book artist whose work in the forties looks bizarre to me. Gattuso gained some infamy by being included in Dr. Wertham’s anti-comics book, Seduction Of the Innocent with this incredible panel:
Gattuso’s stories for Harry “A” Chesler’s comics mainly starred the Black Dwarf (again, see the masthead above) and Echo. A few years later, in some sort of business arrangement I’ve never understood, Chesler declared bankruptcy and his comic line disappeared, and Archer St. John began his comic book line using material from Chesler. Gattuso’s Black Dwarf and Echo became the Blue Monk and Ventrilo. Those are the stories I’m showing today from the St. John title, Western Bandit Trails #1 (1949). The Blue Monk story, “Beggar King’s Last Bonanza” is signed with initials PG and DD, which is Gattuso and writer Dana Dutch.
Black Dwarf was a 5’4” former pro-football player named Shorty Wilson. Blue Monk was a former football player, Stubby Watson, whose name is hardly an improvement.