Bob Powell

Bob Powell ( Stanley Robert Pawlowski;[1] October 2, 1916[2] – December 1967)[2] was an American comic book artist known for his work during the 1930–1940s Golden Age of comic books, including on the features "Sheena, Queen of the Jungle" and "Mr. Mystic". He received a belated credit in 1999 for co-writing the debut of the popular feature "Blackhawk". Powell also did the pencil art for the bubble gum trading card series Mars Attacks. He officially changed his name to S. Robert Powell in 1943.

Bob Powell
BornStanley Robert Pawlowski
October 2, 1916
Buffalo, New York
DiedDecember 1967 (aged 51)
Huntington, New York
NationalityAmerican
Area(s)Artist

Biography

Early life and career

Born in Buffalo, New York, Bob Powell in the 1930s moved to Manhattan, New York City, where he studied art at Pratt Institute. Like many comics artists of the time, he found work at Eisner & Iger, one of the most prominent "packagers" who supplied complete comic books to publishers testing the waters of the emerging medium. Powell's first published comic-book art is tentatively identified as the uncredited three-page story "A Letter of Introduction", featuring the famed ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy, in Fiction House's Jumbo Comics #2 (Oct. 1938). Another of his earliest works, under the pseudonym Arthur Dean, was penciling the adventure feature "Dr. Fung" in Fox Feature Syndicate's Wonder Comics #1 (May 1939) and subsequently.[3]

Powell also did early work for Fox's Wonderworld Comics and Mystery Men Comics; Fiction House's Planet Comics, where his strips included "Gale Allen and the Women's Space Battalion"; Harvey Comics' Speed Comics, for which he wrote and drew the feature "Ted Parrish", (pencilling at least once under the pseudonym Bob Stanley); Timely Comics' one-shot Tough Kid Squad Comics; Quality Comics' Crack Comics (where he pencilled as Terence McAully), Hit Comics (as Stanley Charlot), Military Comics (where he signed his pencils for the "Loops and Banks" aviation strip as Bud Ernest), Smash Comics (as Powell Roberts), and Feature Comics.[3] Other pseudonyms included Rex Smith and W. Morgan Thomas,[3] as well as Buck Stanley, S. T. Anley, and Major Ralston.[4]

Sheena and superheroes

ManInBlack4
Man in Black #4 (March 1958). Cover art by Powell.

As part of the Eisner & Iger studio, Powell drew many of the earliest adventures of the jungle-queen Sheena in Jumbo Comics.[3] Later, after Will Eisner split off to form his own studio in an arrangement with Quality publisher Everett M. "Busy" Arnold — bringing Powell, Nick Cardy, Chuck Cuidera, Lou Fine and others with him — Powell pitched in to co-write the premiere of "Blackhawk," created by Eisner and Cuidera, in Military Comics #1 (Aug. 1941). Powell remained uncredited until Eisner and Cuidera, in a 1999 panel, discussed his contribution.[5]

Eisner in 2005 recalled his studio as "a friendly shop, and I guess I was the same age as the youngest guys there. We all got along. The only ones who ever got into a hassle were George Tuska and Bob Powell. Powell was kind of a wiseguy and made remarks about other people in the shop. One day, George had enough of it, got up, and punched out Bob Powell".[6] Eisner on another occasion said his partnership with Everett M. "Busy" Arnold created tensions when Arnold wanted to hire Powell separately:

...Arnold had his own line of books, and we were sometimes competitors. He offered Bob Powell an increase on what I was paying him for working on "The Spirit Section", and Bob came to me and said, "I can make more with your partners." I called up Arnold and said, "You want a lawsuit?" Arnold apologized but Powell got very angry, and he said, "You ruined my career! You cut me off." I said, "Well, you want to quit me, and go down the street and work for someone else...well, all right. But you're not going to work for my partner while I'm around." Anyway, we settled it. When I went into the service ... I got a letter from Bob Powell that said, "Well, now that you're in the Army, you might get killed. I want to tell you that I forgive you."[5]

Artist Nick Cardy, a colleague at the Eisner studio, said Powell "came in later when I was doing [the 'Spirit Section' feature] 'Lady Luck'. He was sitting behind me. He would help a kid around the block — tell a newcomer to take it easy and that sort of thing".[7]

Powell became particularly known for his "good girl art" in Magazine Enterprises' Cave Girl, and in Fiction House's Jungle Comics, where he worked on early Sheena stories and later on the zebra-bikini'd jungle adventuress Camilla.[3]

In the realm of superhero comics, Powell co-created the patriotic character personifying the Spirit of '76, in Harvey's Pocket Comics #1 (Aug. 1941). It would become a long-running feature in Harvey's Green Hornet Comics. Powell also penciled a Golden Age Captain America story, "The Sorcerer's Sinister Secret", in Timely's All Winners Comics #4 (Spring 1942), and pencilled a chapter of the historic All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946).[3] He drew the backup feature "Mr. Mystic" in Eisner's "The Spirit Section", a 16-page comic-book insert for Sunday newspapers, from the feature's inception in 1940 until Powell entered the U.S. Air Force for his World War II military service in 1943,[8] the same year he officially changed his name to S. Robert Powell.[4]

As comics historian and critic Tom Heintjes wrote,

After The Spirit, perhaps the best drawn feature in the section was Powell's 'Mr. Mystic'. Eisner created Mr. Mystic by retooling his Yarko the Great, which had been syndicated overseas. After running through Eisner's scripts, Powell wrote and drew the feature until he was drafted a couple of years later. (A very good artist, Powell was a journeyman writer who tried but never managed to sell Eisner on some Spirit scripts, a situation that rankled Powell for some time.) 'Mr. Mystic' was cut from the Sunday section's lineup in 1944, by which time Fred Guardineer was handling its production.[9]

Post-war Powell

CaveGirl1
Cave Girl #1 (1988), AC Comics' reprint of Magazine Enterprises' Cave Girl #11 (1954). Cover art by Powell.

Following his discharge, Powell formed his own studio and drew for numerous comic-book publishers. His work in the 1950s included features and covers for Street and Smith's Shadow Comics; Magazine Enterprises' Bobby Benson's B-Bar-B Riders, based on the children's television series, and all four issues of that publisher's Strong Man; and, for Harvey Comics, many war, romance, and horror stories, as well as work for the comics Man in Black, Adventures in 3-D and True 3-D.[3]

Howard Nostrand, who joined as one of Powell's assistants in 1948, recalled working alongside fellow assistants "George Siefringer, who [drew] backgrounds [and] Martin Epp, who inked, lettered and helped George on backgrounds. I started out inking and then got into doing backgrounds ... and then penciling."[10] Features on which they worked during this period included "Red Hawk" in Magazine Enterprises' Straight Arrow; and, for Fawcett Comics, work in Hot Rod Comics, an adaptation of the film The Red Badge of Courage, and "a couple of Westerns" including the movie-spinoff feature "Lash LaRue".[10]

In 1961, Powell became art director for the satirical magazine Sick, working there until his death. On a freelance basis, he worked on Topps' 1962 Mars Attacks trading cards, doing the final pencil art based on early pencils roughs by Wally Wood; Norman Saunders then did the final painted art. Powell had previously worked with Saunders and others on Topps' 1961 Civil War News series of cards.[11]

As well, during the 1960s period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books, Powell drew a handful of stories featuring the superheroes Daredevil, Giant-Man, the Hulk and the Human Torch for Marvel Comics.[3]

As commentator and columnist Fred Hembeck described Powell's brief tenure at Marvel,

Powell bowed with what was then only the latest — but not last — Giant-Man revamp in Tales to Astonish #65 (March 1965), and was in charge of the exceedingly disappointing meeting between the Human Torch, the Thing, and the Beatles (Strange Tales #130, also March 1965). In all, the former Eisner associate would pencil the final five [Giant-Man] plots (working over [Jack] Kirby's layouts on the last four), also pencil the last five Torch/Thing duo deals ... did layouts for Wally Wood's last three Daredevil issues ... and would wind up his days at Marvel pencilling two Hulk stories (Tales To Astonish #73 and #74, November and December 1965, both over Kirby breakdowns — one inked by himself, and the second by Mike Esposito).[12]

In comic strips, Powell drew writer Bessie Little's short-lived Teena-a-Go-Go (1966)[13][14] and the similarly short-lived Bat Masterson strip (1959-1960).[13]

Sources differ on the date of Powell's death. The Social Security Death Index confirms his birth date as October 2, 1916, but gives his death date only as December 1967.[2] A standard reference source, the Lambiek Comiclopedia, gives a birth date (October 6, 1916) at odds with the U.S. government record, and a death date of October 1, 1967.[4]

References

  1. ^ Bails, Jerry; Hames Ware. "Powell, Bob". Who's Who of American Comic Books 1928-1999. Retrieved September 11, 2013.

    While Ro, Ronin (2004). Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and the American Comic Book Revolution. Bloomsbury USA. p. 4. ISBN 1-58234-345-4. gives Stanislav Pavlowsky, and Schumacher, Michael (2010). Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics. Bloomsbury USA. p. 42. ISBN 978-1608190133. gives Stanislav Pavlowsky, Bails and Ware note: "family name corrected by his son, Seth R. Powell July 2006."
  2. ^ a b c Robert Powell at the Social Security Death Index via GenealogyBank.com. Retrieved on September 23, 2012. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Note: Bob Powell at the Lambiek Comiclopedia erroneously gives death date as Oct. 1, 1967.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Bob Powell at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ a b c Bob Powell at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b Evanier, Mark (September 8, 2000). "Blackhawk, Part 2". (transcript, Part 2, of 1999 Comic-Con International panel with Chuck Cuidera and Will Eisner), P.O.V. Online. Archived from the original on January 16, 2011.
  6. ^ "Will Eisner Interview". Alter Ego (48). May 2005. p. 21.
  7. ^ "Spotlight on Nick Cardy: The 1998 San Diego ComiCon Panel Transcript". Comic Book Artist (5). Summer 1999. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Mr. Mystic at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived October 25, 2011.
  9. ^ Heintjes, Tom (November 1992). "The Spirit: Writing the Rules". The Spirit: The Origin Years (4). Kitchen Sink Press via AdventureStrips.com. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008.
  10. ^ a b Nostrand, Howard (Summer 1974). "Nostrand by Nostrand". Graphic Story Magazine (16). p. 18.
  11. ^ "Topps Card Checklist". NormanSaunders.com. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  12. ^ Hembeck, Fred (April 26, 2005). "Episode 7: Case of the Missing Marvelite". The Fred Hembeck Show (column), IGN.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  13. ^ a b Leiffer, Paul; Ware, Hames, eds. "Bob Powell". (entry) The Comic Strip Project, "Who's Who of Comic Strip Producers". Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2012.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Holtz, Allan (November 14, 2007). "Obscurity of the Day: Teena A Go Go". Stripper's Guide. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.

External links

1955 Chicago White Sox season

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1957 Chicago White Sox season

The 1957 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 57th season in the major leagues, and its 58th season overall. They finished with a record 90–64, good enough for second place in the American League, 8 games behind the first-place New York Yankees.

All-Winners Squad

The All-Winners Squad is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The company's first such team, it first appeared in All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946), published by Marvel predecessor Timely Comics during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books.

While the comic-book title has no hyphen, Marvel, on its website version of the company's The Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe: Teams 2005, spells the team name "All-Winners Squad" with a hyphen, as do independent sources.

All Select Comics

All Select Comics is an American comic book series published by Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics, during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books. An omnibus series with several different superhero and other features each issue, it primarily starred Captain America and the original Human Torch, two of Timely's most popular characters, as well as fellow Timely star the Sub-Mariner in several.

Black Cat (Harvey Comics)

The Black Cat is a comic book adventure heroine published by Harvey Comics from 1941 to 1951. Harvey also published reprints of the character in both the mid-1950s and the early 1960s. The character's creation is claimed by the Harvey family to have originated with publisher Alfred Harvey, but there is no corroborating evidence for this. The Black Cat debuted in Pocket Comics #1 (August 1941), an experimental digest-sized comic book published by Harvey and was illustrated by artist Al Gabriele.

Blackhawk (DC Comics)

Blackhawk is the eponymous fictional character of the long-running comic book series Blackhawk first published by Quality Comics and later by DC Comics. Primarily created by Chuck Cuidera with input from both Bob Powell and Will Eisner, the Blackhawk characters first appeared in Military Comics #1 (August 1941).

Led by a mysterious man known as Blackhawk, the Blackhawks (or more formally, the Blackhawk Squadron) are a small team of World War II-era ace pilots of varied nationalities, each typically known under a single name, either their given name or their surname. Though the membership roster has undergone changes over the years, the team has been portrayed most consistently as having seven core members.

In their most well-known incarnation, the Blackhawks operate from a hidden base known only as Blackhawk Island, fly Grumman XF5F Skyrocket planes, and shout their battle cry of "Hawk-a-a-a!" as they descend from the skies to fight tyranny and oppression. Clad in matching blue and black uniforms (with Blackhawk himself boasting a hawk insignia on his chest), early stories pitted the team against the Axis powers, but they would also come to battle recurring foes such as King Condor and Killer Shark, as well as encounter an array of gorgeous and deadly femme fatales. They also frequently squared off against fantastical war machines ranging from amphibious "shark planes" and flying tanks, to the aptly named War Wheel, a gigantic rolling behemoth adorned with spikes and machine guns.

At the height of his popularity in the early 1940s, Blackhawk titles routinely outsold every other comic book but Superman. Blackhawk also shares the unique distinction of being just one of four comic book characters to be published continuously in his own title from the 1940s through the 1960s (the others being Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). The comic series has spawned a film serial, a radio series, a novel and a future Steven Spielberg-produced feature film. A grounded version of Blackhawk named Ted Gaynor appeared in the first season of Arrow played by Ben Browder.

Cave Girl (comics)

Cave Girl is a fictional jungle girl heroine who appeared in comic books published by Magazine Enterprises from 1952 to 1955, created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Bob Powell. The character's adventures are an example of artist Powell's good girl art.

Chamber of Chills

Chamber of Chills is the name of two anthology horror comic books, one published by Harvey Publications in the early 1950s, the other by Marvel Comics in the 1970s.

Harvey Thriller

Harvey Thriller was a comic book imprint used by Harvey Comics for their brief foray into publishing super heroes and other non-'kiddie' comics in the mid-1960s. Overseen by Joe Simon, all the titles featured work by many well-known creators, including Jack Kirby, Bob Powell, Wally Wood, Otto Binder, and the earliest known work by Jim Steranko.

Jumbo Comics

Jumbo Comics was an adventure anthology comic book published by Fiction House from 1938–1953. Jumbo Comics was Fiction House's first comics title; beforehand the publisher had specialized in pulp magazines. The lead feature for Jumbo Comics' entire run was Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

Notable creators who worked on Jumbo Comics included Jack Kirby (working under a variety of pseudonyms), Bob Kane, Matt Baker, Mort Meskin, Lou Fine, Bob Powell, Mort Leav, Art Saaf, Dick Briefer, Lily Renée, and Ruth Roche. Jerry Iger was Jumbo Comics' art director for its entire run.

Leroy Powell

Robert Leroy Powell (October 17, 1933 – April 26, 2014), identified by his middle name on baseball cards but who preferred to be known as Bob Powell, was an American professional baseball player. He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 190 pounds (86 kg).

The graduate of Michigan State University signed a $36,000 "bonus baby" contract with the Chicago White Sox in 1955. An outfielder when he signed, Powell was kept on the ChiSox' Major League roster for 1955, 1956 and part of 1957 under the Bonus Rule of the time. He appeared in only two Major League Baseball games as a pinch runner — both times against the Kansas City Athletics. On September 16, 1955, he ran for slow-footed White Sox pinch hitter Ron Northey, who had singled, and was erased on a force play at second base on the first pitch to the next hitter, Minnie Miñoso. On April 20, 1957, he ran for another pinch hitter, Walt Dropo, advanced to second base on a hit by Luis Aparicio and then scored his only MLB run on a single by Nellie Fox. Both Aparicio and Fox are now in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

After seeing Powell throw batting practice for his teammates, 1955–1956 White Sox manager Marty Marion converted him into a pitcher. Powell spent the latter half of the 1956 season serving in the U.S. military, then returned to the White Sox roster for the start of 1957, when he made his final MLB appearance. Chicago was able to send him to the minor leagues later in 1957, but Powell struggled as a pitcher in the Class A Western League — although he batted over .300 in 1957 — and left baseball after the 1958 season.

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M. F. Enterprises

M. F. Enterprises was a 1966–67 comic book publisher owned by artist and 1970s pulp-magazine entrepreneur Myron Fass, whose holdings also included the black-and-white horror comics magazine imprint, Eerie Publications.

M.F.'s best-known character was Captain Marvel (no relation to the Fawcett Comics, DC Comics or Marvel Comics superheroes of that name), a crimefighting alien android who could detach his head, limbs and hands and send them flying off in all directions whenever he shouted "Split!" and reattach them when he shouted "Xam!".

M. F. Enterprises also published Henry Brewster, a teen-humor comic created by artist Bob Powell, which lasted seven issues and followed the adventures and misadventures of the red-headed All-American teenager and his friends: the big, squeaky-voiced jock Animal; brainy, bespectacled Weenie; and the beautiful Debbie and Melody. Their teacher was a former secret agent named Mr. Secrett, who was always happy to lend a handy gadget when needed.Although the M. F. Enterprises brand stopped publishing comics in 1967, publisher Myron Fass continued with his Eerie Publications line of black-and-white mostly horror comic magazines until 1981.

Magazine Enterprises

Not to be confused with the same-name Scottish company that published science fiction magazines from at least 1946 to 1960.Magazine Enterprises was an American comic book company lasting from 1943 to 1958, which published primarily Western, humor, crime, adventure, and children's comics, with virtually no superheroes. It was founded by Vin Sullivan, an editor at Columbia Comics and before that the editor at National Allied Publications, the future DC Comics.

Magazine Enterprises' characters include the jungle goddess Cave Girl, drawn by Bob Powell, and Ghost Rider, a horror fiction-themed Western avenger created by writer Ray Krank and artist Dick Ayers in 1949; after the trademark lapsed, Ayers and others adapted it as Marvel Comics' non-horror but otherwise near-identical Western character Ghost Rider in 1967.

Mr. Mystic

Mr. Mystic is a comics series featuring a magician crime-fighter, created by Will Eisner and initially drawn by Bob Powell. The strip featured in four-page backup feature a Sunday-newspaper comic-book insert, known colloquially as "The Spirit Section". It first appeared in 1940, distributed by the Register and Tribune Syndicate.

Quality Comics

Quality Comics was an American comic book publishing company which operated from 1937 to 1956 and was a creative, influential force in what historians and fans call the Golden Age of Comic Books.

Notable, long-running titles published by Quality include Blackhawk, Feature Comics, G.I. Combat, Heart Throbs, Military Comics, Modern Comics, Plastic Man, Police Comics, Smash Comics, and The Spirit. While most of their titles were published by a company named Comic Magazines, from 1940 onwards all publications bore a logo that included the word "Quality". Notable creators associated with the company included Jack Cole, Reed Crandall, Will Eisner, Lou Fine, Gill Fox, Paul Gustavson, Bob Powell, and Wally Wood.

Robert E. Powell

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Robert Powell (herpetologist)

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Spirit of '76 (Harvey Comics)

The Spirit of '76 is a fictional comic book character from Harvey Comics.

The first comics character by this name is a patriotic superhero Gary Blakely, created by writer Gary Blakey and artist Bob Powell in Harvey's Pocket Comics #1 (August 1941). Early stories are attributed to "Major Ralston," the name of Blakely's ancestors. The personification of American folklore's Spirit of '76, the character would become a long-running feature in Harvey's Green Hornet Comics.

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