As John’s 1965 résumé mentions, he wrote scripts for comic books in the late ’40s and early ’50s. One of the editors he worked with was Jerry Siegel, one of the creators of Superman — as John recalled, this was a thrill for him, since he’d been a Superman fan as a boy.
Much comic book work of the time was strictly buyouts without bylines, so John’s work is hard to trace. However, his own file of published material included this copy of Cinderella Love #10, published in 1950 by Ziff-Davis, and edited by Siegel.
Elly Graham falls hard for Clay Rickard, a carefree and unsuccessful artist. But then she finds out that he has a rich family and a fiancée, and flees, eyes streaming. By the fifth page, they’ve reconciled; his paintings are selling; and she accepts his marriage proposal as she melts into his arms. John, of course, lived in Greenwich Village, and loved the neighborhood and its history.
Here’s the rest of it, as well as a short story John wrote for the same comic, “Love’s Confession,” with his marginal comments. (more…)
Here for you to ponder is John’s résumé, from 1965. At this time, he was working mostly in television, and had only dabbled a bit in ufology. All that was about to change!
And there are a couple of mysteries here. I’ve found no trace of the two novels; although John had mentioned them to me a couple of times. Were they working titles for Three Women and Town Tease? “Midtower Books,” too, might have been a provisional name for Midwood Books (a division of Tower), which published those two; at any rate, I can find no info on it. Nor have I a clue to what happened to Snooperscope or World of the Living Dead.
Maybe some of you pop culture mavens out there can clear all this up…
ADDENDUM: Further rummaging through John’s papers has confirmed that Bed of Nails was indeed the original title for Three Women.
The script for “Snooper Scope” has also turned up. It seems to have been a cartoon about a detective, Snooper Scope, and his three assistants, Billy, Pokey, and Flutter, who prevent the evil Disc Spicable from stealing all the water in the world. It was written for Copri Films (not Copril), a company that specialized in dubbing and distributing Japanese animation; so I suspect John wrote his script for that purpose. I swapped a few e-mails about it with animation historian Jerry Beck, who never heard of it. It looks as if Snooper and his pals may not have made it to production or distribution.