Saturday, November 14, 2015

Poe 1955, Pt. 1

(Continued from Poe 1954, Pt. 5)


Charlton Comics was an unusual publisher, in that they had their entire staff, including their own printing presses & distribution, all under one roof.  Comics was always a sideline for them, more something to keep the presses running than to make real money at.  Rates were always low, but many liked working there as they tended to have more freedom and zero interference with what they did.

JACK KIRBY was possibly the single most creative person to ever work in the comics industry in America.  A professional since 1937, he did it all-- concept, design, writing, pencils, inks, and even colors (though he usually did that "for fun" in his spare time).

Things only took a wrong turn when Kirby & his business partner, Joe Simon, decided to start THEIR OWN company-- Mainline-- which, tragically, fell victim to the early-50's WITCH-HUNT spurred on by crackpot psychiatrist Frederic Wetham's ham-fisted "expose" book, "Seduction Of The Innocent", which tried to blame all juvenile delinquency on... COMIC-BOOKS.

That's the "official" story, anyway.  It's quite possible the real truth is, their distribution was DELIBEARATELY sabotaged by "the big boys" who DON'T like "competition", and prefer the freedom to dump garbage onto the market without having to worry about producing real quality material.

For a brief period, some of the remaining Mainline material wound up being published by Charlton.  This included a VERY off-beat book...  WIN A PRIZE.  The series only lasted 2 issues, but all the way in the back of the 1st one was the last thing I would have expected... a POE adaptation.


     This was the 6th time the story had been adapted to comics, following...
Charlton's YELLOWJACKET COMICS #6 (Dec'45),
EC's THE HAUNT OF FEAR #15 [1] (May-Jun'50), 
Gilberton's CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED #84 (Jun'51),
EC's SHOCK SUSPENSTORIES #8 (Apr-May'53), and
EC's THE HAUNT OF FEAR #20 (Jul-Aug'53),
     ...the last one less than 2 years earlier.

At just 4 pages, it's the shortest version to date.

While I have no doubt Jack Kirby wrote the story and did page layouts (as well as full art on the cover and splash page), the remainder of the story was apparently done Jerry Robinson, one of the most important BATMAN artists ever!

Cover by JACK KIRBY   (Charlton  /  February 1955)
"TELLTALE HEART"  /  Version 6
Adaptation & Layouts by JACK KIRBY  /  Art by JERRY ROBINSON  /  Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Public Domain

Scan of WIN A PRIZE #1 from the Heritage Auctions site.
Scans of WIN A PRIZE #1 interiors from the Comic Book Plus site.
     Special thanks to "Movielover".

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

Special thanks to Mike Cannon, Jr. for pointing me to this story!
Special thanks to Tim Bateman for identifying the artist!

For more:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.

Read about Charlton Comics at Wikipedia.
Read about Jack Kirby at this very blog!
Visit the Jack "King" Kirby's Kracklin' Krusaders Facebook group!
Visit the Jack Kirby Fan Underground Facebook group!
Read my reviews of Jack Kirby's work at my own Kirby Land Facebook group!

Read about INNER SANCTUM MYSTERY at Wikipedia.
Read about Boris Karloff at Wikipedia.
Read about THE WEIRD CIRCLE at Wikipedia.
Read about James Mason at Wikipedia.
Read about Basil Rathbone at Wikipedia.
Read about Vincent Price at Wikipedia.
Read about THE CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER at Wikipedia.
Read about Fred Gwynne at Wikipedia.

Read about THE TELL TALE HEART at Wikipedia.
Read the complete short story at the Xroad.Virginia.Edu site.

Hear the Boris Karloff INNER SANCTUM MYSTERY episode!
Hear the WEIRD CIRCLE radio episode!
See the James Mason cartoon short!
Hear the Basil Rathbone recording!
See the Vincent Price performance!
Hear the Fred Gwynne CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER episode!

Read the Rudy Palais TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Johnny Craig TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Jim Lavery TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the George Evans TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Graham Ingels TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!

Read the Jack Kirby / Jerry Robinson TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Reed Crandall TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Nico Rosso TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Gino Dauro TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!   (coming soon!)
Read the Tom Palmer TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!

Read the Ricardo Villamonte TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Mike Ploog TELL-TALE HEART parody!
Read the Alberto Breccia TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Guido Del Carpio Rivera TELL-TALE HEART illustrated story!
     (coming soon)

Read the Don McGregor / Yong Montano TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the Vilmar Rodrigues TELL-TALE HEART illustrated story!
Read the Pablo Marcos TELL-TALE HEART illustrated story!   (coming soon!)
Read the Jesus Blasco TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

(Continued in Poe 1955, Pt. 2)

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