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Author Topic: 'Dandy' Dan De in "BINGO to GO-GO!"  (Read 170 times)

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DeCarlo Rules

Re: 'Dandy' Dan De in "BINGO to GO-GO!"
« on: May 17, 2018, 07:29:41 AM »
Curious. In the second comic, DeCarlo drew this for another comic book publisher in 1966? He was making his mark in ACP then, yet they let him do some freelancing?

Despite what some people may think, Dan DeCarlo was never a regular "employee" in the usual sense. He began with ACP in 1951, with the 4-page story "No Picnic" in Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica #4 -- which is the same year that the Bingo story posted above was published in Standard Comics' Kathy #8; meanwhile, DDC was also working for Stan Lee at Atlas/Marvel, and drawing The Yardbirds for Ziff-Davis' G.I. Joe.

The point to be made here is that Dan DeCarlo was never under any sort of contract with any publisher; not with Atlas/Marvel, and not with Archie Comic Publications, either. He started, and remained for the duration of his career, a freelance contractor, paid by the page.

Tippy Teen (and its spinoff title, Go-Go and Animal) were published by Tower Comics (perhaps more famously remembered by comic fans for publishing T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, and its spinoff titles Dynamo, NoMan, and U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. Agent). Tower Comics' owner was Harry Shorten. If that name sounds familiar, it's because Shorten was, from the early 1940s until the early 1960s, an editor for MLJ (and later Archie Comic Publications). In fact, Shorten had been the editor of PEP Comics #22, which introduced Archie. Shorten had a variety of side publishing projects, one of which was a syndicated comic panel (in collaboration with Super Duck artist Al Fagaly) entitled There Oughta Be A Law! (which, to put it bluntly, was a lesser imitation of the more well-known syndicated comic They'll Do It Every Time by Jimmy Hatlo).

In an effort to promote his own comic strip, Shorten (who had some direct connections with printers) on several occasions self-published collections of There Oughta Be A Law!. The last couple of these appeared under the Tower Books imprint, and at this point Shorten published some other paperbacks, so now he was officially a publisher. As a side note, Shorten was involved as a middleman in helping ACP gain the license to publish a Shadow comic book -- Archie's version went the superhero route, while at the same time, Tower Books' paperback line published writer Dennis Lynds' update of the 1930s Street & Smith pulp hero to the then-popular superspy genre, inspired by James Bond and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

In 1965, noticing the rise in popularity of superhero comics, Shorten decided to start his own comic book publishing company, Tower Comics, and contracted with Wallace Wood to oversee those superhero titles as a "packager" of editoral/story/artwork. Not wanting to overlook the genre with which he had the most experience as an editor, he persuaded ACP's Samm Schwartz to oversee and package the stories and art for Tippy Teen. Because the format of all the Tower comic books was 25c for 68 pages of all-new material, the first issue of Tippy's comic also included contributions from Harry Lucey and Dan DeCarlo, in addition to the bulk of pages by Schwartz.

As a result of Schwartz' decision to go with Shorten's new company (one could hardly blame him, since he was probably offered a much better page rate by Shorten for packaging the entire contents of the Tower teen humor titles), ACP cut off all Schwartz' freelance assignments. It's not known if Schwartz simply declared that he was leaving ACP, or whether (it's been rumored) he was caught working on Shorten's material in the ACP offices, or whether he was given some sort of ultimatum -- but regardless of the fact that ACP regulars Lucey and DeCarlo also contributed (and perhaps they were threatened by ACP in some way, which would account for the relatively few pages they contributed to Tippy and Go-Go), Samm Schwartz was the only ACP regular to suffer a total loss of freelance assignments at ACP. After Tower Comics folded, Schwartz migrated to DC Comics to work on A Date With Debbi and Debbi's Dates, and didn't return to ACP until the early 1970s, after DC had cancelled those titles, along with Swing With Scooter, Leave It to Binky and Binky's Buddies -- abandoning the teen humor genre entirely.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 02:09:55 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

 


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