Thursday, June 19, 2008

Episode #20: Jerry Siegel's Other Artists

Thanks go to the following web sites for being valuable resources for this episode:

Jerry Siegel co-created a number of other super hero characters that were published by DC Comics. I guess because of the demand his partner Joe Shuster was under to produce Superman art, Jerry used other artists to draw the first stories of these characters. In episode #3, I discussed these characters and artists. For this episode I will feature the artists themselves and review their careers and the publishing history of the characters they helped create.
The characters and aritistic co-creators were:
The Spectre: Bernard Bailey
Star Spangled Kid: Hal Sherman
Red, White and Blue: William Smith
Robotman: Leo Nowak and Paul Cassidy
Bernard Bailey (April 15, 1916 - January 19, 1996) co-created not only The Spectre with Jerry Siegel, but also the golden age hero Hourman with writer Ken Fitch. The Spectre first appeared in More Fun Comics #52 (February, 1940), and Hourman first appeared in Adventure Comics #48 (April 1940). Hourman was Rex Tyler, who invented the vitamin Miraclo which gave him superhuman strength and speed for one hour. His last golden age appearance was in Adventure Comics #83 (February 1943).
To listen to a great description of the first adventure of the Spectre, listen to The Golden Age of Comics podcast episode for October 10, 2005, hosted by Bill Jourdain, at, or
Bernard Bailey also worked on a number of other characters for National Comics, a precursor to the modern DC Comics, such as Tex Thomson for Action Comics #1, which ran through Action Comics #32 (January 1941). Thompson became Mister America from Action Comics 33-52 and then Americommando from Action Comics 53-74 (July 1944). Bailey also wrote and drew the character Buccaneer, a pirate adventure, in More Fun Comics #32-51 (June 1938-January 1940).
In 1943 he founded Bailey Publications, and with artist Mac Raboy, Bernard Bailey studio, a comic book packager for a variety of publishers which lasted until 1946. Some fledgling artists that worked for him were Gil Kane, Carmine Infantinoand a sixteen year old Frank Frazetta. During the 1950's he worked on DC's suspense and mystery titles like House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Tales of the Unexpected, as well as TV adaption comics for Mr. District Attorney and Gangbusters. He also worked on similar style stories for Fawcett Comics, the publisher of Captain Marvel, as well as other publishers including Atlas (Marvel) on such titles as Asatonishing, Journey Into Mystery, Strange Tales among others. Bailey worked on several short lived comic strips during the '40's and '50's, and contributed to the Mad rival cracked. During the '50's and '60's he produced a series of public service annoucements for comic books with writer Jack Schiff. In the 1960's he drew stories for DC's supernatural, mystery and scifi anthologies The Phantom Stranger, Strange Adventures, Weird War Tales and others. Bailey also drew the cover for the b/w comics magazine Chilling Tales of Horror #1 for Stanely Publications. His last known comic book work was the eight page story His Brother's Keeper, written by Jack Oleck for DC's House of Mystery #279 (April 1980).
In the 1970's he published a series of farm periodicals.

Hal Sherman (born 1911) began his career as a gag cartoonist. He co-created the Star Spangled Kid with Jerry Siegel. The character first appeared in a house ad in Action Comics #40 (September 1940). The Star Spangled Kid first appeared in story form in Star Spangled Comics #1 (October 1941). He was Sylverster Pemberton, an older teen who doscovered and defeated some Nazi saboteurs with help from an older auto mechanic, Pat Dugan. Pemberton became the Star Spangled Kid and Dugan was his sidekick and chauffeur Stripsey, driving the Star Rocket Racer. It was a car that could reach speeds of 200 mph and fly for short distances. The characters lost their cover spot with Star Spangled Comics #7, which featured the first appearance of the Newsboy Legion. The Star Spangled Kid and Stripsey continued to appear in the title until their last issue with Star Spangled Comics #86 (November 1948). They were brought back into comics during the 1970's.
According to, he worked on a different character named Wonder Woman which he tried to seel until the Marston / Peters version was published. (This is a not uncommon occurence in comics. Have you ever created your own character, only to findf out someone already published a character by that name?)
Sherman also drew stories for DC titles Leading Comics, More Fun Comics as well as Startling Comics for Better Publications. Sherman worked on the Star Spangled Kid until 1943, when he began to serve in the U.S. military. After the war, around 1946, he worked with Bernard Bailey, assisting on backgrounds on The Spectre.
Eventually Sherman returned to gag cartoonign, but did work on Harvey Comics' character Spooky.
Hal Sherman is not to be comfused with the artist Howard Sherman, who drew the first stories of DC characters such as Dr. Fate, Wyoming Kid, Space Cabby among others.

William Smith (1918-1989) co-created Red White and Blue with Jerry Siegel. The characters wer REd Dugan (Army G2), Whitey Smith (Army) and Blooey Blue (Navy), who assisted FBI agent Doris West in fighting Axis forces. Their final appearance was in All American Comics #71 ( September 1945). They never appeared in comic books again and never appeared in Who's Who In the DC Universe.
Smith only had a few comic book credits, including a now obscure character The King, a master of disguise whose normal costume was a tuxedo with an opera cape, top hat and domino mask. Smith attende the Art Student League and Grand Central Art School in New York and two art institutes in Paris, France. He was a writer for the Walter Lantz animation studios in the late 1930's. His comic book career only lasted during the 1930's and 1940's. Some of his work for other publishers included Captain Cook of Scotland Yard, Race Keane, Yankee Eagle and Navy Section for Quality Comics, and Doc Savage and The Shadow for Street and Smith Comics. During the 1940's he was a regular artist for such magazines as Boy's Life, Saturday Evening Post. Good Housekeeping and McCall's. Later Smith focused on watercolor painting.

Joe Siegel also co-created the character Robotman withtow artists who worked in Joe Shuster's Cleveland studio, Paul Cassidy (October 10, 1910 - May 15, 2005) and Leo Nowak (1907 - January 6, 2001) They were feature in Superman Fan Podcast episode #17, The Siegel and Shuster Cleveland Studio, so I will concentrate on the character here. Scientist Robert Crane was critically injured by some gangsters, and his brain was put into a robot body, sohe was more of a cyborg instead of a robot. As Robotman, he was a member of the World War II team All-Star Squadron. In his solo stories he had a humorous sidekick, Robotdog, for comedy relief in lighthearted adventures. Robotman first appeared in Star Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942), lasting until issue 82 (July 1948) He shifted over to Detective Comics from issues 138 (August 1948) through his last golden age appearance with issue 202 (December 1953). He would return to comic books with DC's Justice League of America 144 (July 1977). Robotman's final comic book appearance was in America vs. the Justice Society of America 2 (February 1985).

To see some pictures of an older Leo Nowak and samples of his art go to

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Thanks for listening to Superman Fan Podcast, and as always thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

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