Friday, August 7, 2009

Unexpected #115

Unexpected #115 (On Sale: August 7, 1969) has a cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "Diary of a Madman" by Carl Wessler and Ed Robbins. Some sources indicate that this was the last story Ed Robbins drew for DC, others say he drew some war stories in 1970 and 1971, but I haven't tracked those down yet. Robbins' last comic book work appears to be for Western in Grimm's Ghost Stories in 1975-76. Born in 1919 Ed Robbins died in 1982.

He was one of those guys who worked everywhere, but rarely made a name for himself. He worked at the Beck and Costanza Studio between 1942 and 1953, the Iger Studio in 53-54 and the Simon and Kirby Studio in 1955.

For Archie he drew Roy, the Super Boy, the Scarlet Avenger, The Shield, Steel Sterling and Zamboni, the Miracle Man. At Centaur he drew Craig Carter and the Masked Marvel. At Charlton he crime and war stories. At DC he drew Gang Busters in the 50s and horror, romance and war stories in the 1960s. At Dell he drew horror stories in the early 60s and at Feature Comics he drew romance stories during the late 50s. At Fawcett he drew romance comics for years along with Captain Marvel, the Marvel Family and Mary Marvel. In the 40s and 50s he work for Atlas/Marvel on the Black Avenger, the Human Torch, the Thunderer and assorted horror and war stories. He did one story for Warren in 1970.

If Ed Robbins ever made a name for himself though, it was during his two-years stint on the Mike Hammer newspaper strip in the 1950s, where his hard-boiled gutsy graphic style was years ahead of the British strips of the 60s, such as Jim Holdaway on Modesty Blaise and Yaroslav Horak on James Bond (I used to follow both of these strips in the wonderful Menomonee Falls Gazette in the 1970s).

Next we have "Abracadabra -- You're Dead" by Dave Wood, Curt Swan and Jack Abel. We end with "The Day Nobody Died" by Dave Wood, Werner Roth and Frank Giacoia. This story was reprinted in Unexpected #161.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.

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