Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fightin' Marines. No. 32 (Oct., 1959)--Three Molnos, one Glanzman

Fightin' Marines, No.32 (Oct., 1959)--a cool and memorable issue with a great cover.  The Grand Comics Database suggests Maurice Whitman, and I agree--i'ts probably him.  Splendid job--a job that says, "Buy this comic!":


The first story, "Run Rabbit, Run!" is classic Sam Glanzman.  The second screams Bill Molno, and, sure enough, GCD credits it to Molno, with Sal Trapani on inks.  I'll have to disagree.  These faces are Molno-Mastroserio:

So are the stiff, but highly efficient, action panels.  Note the Molno-style panels within the panel on the second scan:



The next story, "Assault Team!" gets no GCD credit, but I feel confident giving it to Molno, with Vince Alascia on inks.  Notice, in particular, the Bill-Vince faces in the splash panel:


These next two panels, from the story's second and last page, clinch it for me: The first shows a classic Bill-Vince depiction of jagged steel (Bill and Vince's torpedo-damaged hulls look about the same), and the second features standard Molno-Alascia background figures.


The looser Bill-Vince inks of the early 1960s had yet to arrive.

The last tale, "The Unseen!" (note the ! in all of this issue's titles) is the most interesting, art-wise, because of the combination--namely, Bill on pencils, and Tony Tallarico on inks.  Yes, Tony Tallarico.  (UPDATE: After studying more examples, I'm leaning toward Vince Colletta.)  Check the faces:

And notice the Molno-style explosion (simple and efficient, with a minimum of background detail), followed by the Molno-style insert panel:

"Rat-Ta-Tat!"?  Imagine being mown down by a lousy "Rat-Ta-Tat!"  Or maybe that's all the writer and/or artists thought the enemy deserved?  This is Fightin' Marines, after all.  I suppose it's better than perishing with a "Voooosh!"  (I'll have to verify that spelling.)

Again, I'd rate myself 80 percent sure on the Molno-Tallarico credit.  At the very least, we're seeing Molno layouts, which is very possible, given the period.  By the way, I'm basing my Tallarico i.d. in part on the following 1959 issue of Space Adventures: Comic Books Plus.  Note the artwork of the two stories ("The Long Wait" & "Captive from Space") tentatively credited to Tallarico.  That's our man.  (The same artist also drew "Prison Ship in Space" in the No. 24, Oct., 1960 issue of Unusual Tales.)

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE BELOW: Vince Colletta seems like a better candidate for the inks in "The Unseen!"  Here's a page (borrowed from The Charlton Comics Reading Library) from Space Adventures, No. 33 (March, 1960) featuring Molno-Colletta art.  It doesn't precisely match the Fightin' Marines art, but then we're talking nearly a year's difference, plus a different genre.  So, maybe:

Compare it to these faces from "The Unseen!":

UPDATE: Here's our mystery artist, be he Tony Tallarico or someone else (Vince Colletta?), in Battlefield Action, No. 17 (Dec., 1957).  No credit(s) at GCD.  Scanned from my copy:


The final story of the issue, Teddy Roosevelt and His Rough Riders, is also without a GCD credit, but it's majorly Molno (on pencils and inks).



  1. Lee, It was yours truly who suggested Maurice Whitman for the cover. I agree with you on all the art ID's with the exception of "Assault Team". Molno pencils is probably correct, but I don't see either Colletta or Tallarico on inks. I'm not certain who the inker is, but its a nice, clean line that reminds me more of Ray Osrin, but I'd just put a question mark on the GCD entry because it's just a guess. BTW, I'm currently indexing Hot Rods and Racing Cars on the GCD, helped my many new isssues put up on Comic Book Plus. Some nice Molno art within those pages.

  2. An observation: The Has-Beens features lettering by Ben Oda, a prolific comic book (and strip) letterer, which means this story may be inventory from a defunct comic company. If so, the "mystery artist" may not be one of the usual Charlton suspects.

    I've updated the Charlton Molno credits on Fightin' Marines and Battlefield Action and credited you and your blog (with a link) on the GCD notes section.

  3. Thanks! And a link, too. Cool! Interesting info on the lettering for "The Has-Beens." I've located a few other war entries by the same artist or artists, and I'll have to see if the lettering is the same. That might clinch the case for the stories being non-Charltons.

    Oh, and I'm crediting Vince Alascia for "Assault Team." It has the Bill-Vince look. Thoughts? As for "The Unseen!," I took one glance at the art and figured the inker was the guy who did those oval-shaped heads at Space War, Mysteries of U. Worlds, etc. Except, of course, that there were likely several guys doing long, egg-shaped noggins. Still, I think I've found a possible match with the "Unseen" art in "Remembered Moment!" from the July, 1959 "Unusual Tales." Curious to get your feedback.

  4. Hi Lee, My error. "Assault Team" is definitely Alascia inks. In my earlier post I meant to write "I agree with you on all your art id's with the exception of "The Unseen", so the Ray Osrin inker speculation was for The Unseen, although, again, I'm just not certain.