Western & Adventure Monster #2: Stanley Pitt, Moira Bertram and the Aussie EC Connection
This is certainly a book of contrasts. Published by Calvert Publishing in the 1960s, the comic features a great cover by none other than Stanley Pitt, which I suspect has been reused from an old Calvert western pulp magazine as it looks very much like some of the pulps that I have in my own collection and pulps I've seen for sale.
Calvert was better known for it's later output of pulp novels but they dabble with comic books, most notably with Virgil Reilly's Captain Silver Flash and Monty Wedd's classic Captain Justice along with titles such as Trig Matson and K.O. Comics. The use of the signed Pitt cover isn't the only Australian artistic connection though as the comic also features two stories featuring art by Moira Bertram, best known for her work on her own creation, Red Finnegan and Flameman. The first story in this comic, which you can see the splash for here, is a five page western and was clearly lifted from a previous publication. How do we know this? Easy, the splash is the first page in this comic and sports a page number starting with 18.
The rear cover has the second Bertram contribution, a one page pin-up with the various decorations that are awarded to US servicemen. What has struck me as surprising is that despite the heavy Australian content in this title, with Bertram and Pitt, there's no reference to the title in any of the research material and books I have here on hand. However I am sure that someone out there has more information and perhaps other issues.
The EC material is clearly the icing on the cake. The comic features three EC reprints and after reading them it's clear that they've been edited somewhat, as the panels scanned here show. The first story appears to have escaped untouched, with classic Jack Davis art and sound effects, the second story, Outpost, appears to have suffered the most under the censors blade, and I'd be interested to see scans of the original story to compare it to what was published here. The last EC story, Yellow, also appears to have escaped the censor but, again, without seeing the original stories it's difficult to know for sure.
Isn't it amazing what you can buy for a dollar these days? I guess the question is just how much EC material was reprinted in Australian publications? As it stands this is a nice addition to my collection, along with the other books I picked up at the same trash & treasure sale.
WESTERN & ADVENTURE MONSTER #2
Publishing Date: unknown, circa early 1960s
Cover: Stanley Pitt
Warpath by Moria Bertram - 5pgs (Original appearance unknown)
Frontier Scout by unknown - 5pgs (Young Heroes #35, ACG, March 1955)
Signal Corps by Harvey Kurtzman & Jack Davis - 8pgs (Two-Fisted Tales #33, EC, May-June 1953)
Outpost by Harvey Kurtzman, John Severin & Will Elder - 7pgs (Two-Fisted Tales #34, EC, July-August 1953)
Valley Of The Taboo by Paul S. Newman & Paul Norris - 14pgs (Jungle Jim #9, Dell, July - November 1956)
Roger Of Sherwood Forest by Ogden Whitney - 6pgs (Young Heroes #35, ACG, March 1955)
Yellow! by George Evans - 7pgs (Two-Fisted Tales #41, EC, February-March 1955)
Beetle Baily [Correspondence Course] by Mort Walker - 1pg (Four Color #622, Dell, April 1955)
Frontier Scout by unknown - 7pgs (Young Heroes #36, ACG, April-May 1955)
Beetle Baily: Patents Pending by Mort Walker - 7pgs (Four Color #622, Dell, April 1955)
Prince Athel by unknown - 7pgs (Young Heroes #37, ACG, June-July 1955)
High American Decorations by Moria Bertram - 1pg (Original unknown)