Maurice Bramley, Part III
Thanks to Peter I now have an almost entire run of Planet Of The Apes, entire runs of Amazing Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, X-Men and Fantastic Four plus the second issues of both Daredevil and Thor amongst others. I'll post the relevant scans as soon as I, well, scan the suckers and index their information. Peter has also provided some vital information that I'll incorporate (with his permission) and update as I go. Slowly that picture is becoming complete.
On to the Bramleys. I also managed to pick up a host of Bramleys - another Phantom Commando (I want the run of that now) and a host of westerns. Most of the westerns aren't Horwitz productions, but the generally inferior Page Publications books. Those books were printed on the cheapest of the cheapest newsprint available and are damn hard to track down in decent condition. Still, I'll point out at the end why people should own them. No great information about the stuff just yet, but that's because I've not had the time to index them just yet.
Anyway, onto the scans!
THE PHANTOM COMMANDO #7
Date: 1962 - I'm thinking around October/November. It's a fairly effective cover and Bramley has done well here. Bramley also writes and draws the inside stories and the lettering that he used (I presume that he did his own lettering) makes further story spotting easy as pie.
STRANGE TALES #2
Date: 1963 - I thinking around April/May.
This book lifts it's stories directly from Tales of Suspense #38 (USA), published February 1963 with the addition of a one page Bramley 'story'. Here's where the swiping accusation comes into play. If you look closely at the splash page, as drawn by Jack Davis, you'll see that Bramley followed that image very closely indeed. However Bramley has made enough alterations to begin to own the image and has softened the Davis original to suit his own style.
To be honest I'm not entirely convinced this is a Bramley but it is still a lovely comic. The lead off story is from the Timely/Atlas comic, Marines in Battle #25, published in 1958. The rest is all over the place but is all classic Timely/Atlas material and well worth having. Another title on my list of books I need to track down.
KID COLT OUTLAW #93
Date: 1971, probably June. This is a reprint of an earlier Horwitz book, as published by Page Publications. As with most of these books there's one page of Bramley on the inside. Sadly these books suffered from poor reproduction and just poor printing in general. The cover, while showing flashes of it's original beauty, is ruined by crap colouring.
KID COLT OUTLAW #95
Date: 1972, probably February. Another reprint. This cover has a classic 'hidden' Bramley signature (it's in the rock on the lower left) and amazingly enough the colours are fairly clear, which is good as it showcases some great Bramley artwork.
MAVERICK MARSHAL #31
Date: 1971/72. No idea of the month.
Again, an effective cover ruined by poor colouring and cropping (you can see about a third of Bramley's 'hidden' signature). Somehow I doubt they had charcoal grey cowboys back in the day. Maverick Marshal was a short lived Charlton title, dating from the late '50s, early '60s.
THE FAST GUN #48
Date: 1971, probably July.
This book reprints a number of Timely/Atlas westerns, Gunsmoke Western, Western Kid...and the artists - Don Heck, Joe Sinnott - all in all a good book to have. Another classic 'hidden' Bramley signature and again, the colours let this book down. I'd love to see what a good colourist could do with these covers.
TWO GUN KID #40
Date: 1971, probably April.
Good ole Two Gun Kid. Another great Bramley cover, yet again ruined by crappy colours. I know, I know, it's a stuck record, but... Gotta love the panel inside in which someone exclaims, "Well I'll be jiggered!" I remember my mother once clipped my ears for repeating that so it can't be good.
TWO GUN KID #43
Date: 1971, probably July.
Promise, but sadly the Page Publications books just didn't have the printing quality of the earlier Horwitz books. The one thing they do have going for them is that they're still a relatively cheap way to pick up books that might otherwise cost you far more. All of those books, with the exception of the Horwitz books, cost me just over AUD$5.00 on eBay the other week. They are out there. The quality is fairly ordinary, but hey - go and find a copy of the originals in as good condition and you won't be getting much change from $500.