Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two-Gun Wally?

Here's an oddity. It may be nothing or it may, in fact, be hitherto unknown Woodwork. TWO-GUN KID was a long-running Marvel western title and its longest-running artist was veteran cowboy cartoonist Dick Ayers. Issue 69 of TWO-GUN KID was dated April, 1964 which meant it would have come out around the same time as other April Marvels, probably in January. DAREDEVIL # 1, drawn by Bill Everett, was also dated April, 1964 and actually has a full page ad in that issue of TWO-GUN KID (watch for it to be posted soon at BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY). Wallace Wood's first issue of DAREDEVIL was dated December of 1964 meaning it probably came out around September of that year.

My question then is...how come these few panels in TWO-GUN KID # 69 appear to me to have been inked by Wally Wood? The rest of the story was drawn by Ayers and looks vaguely Kirbyesque like much of Ayers' work during that period. Is it just my Wood-tuned imagination at work here? As most people know, the fabled Marvel Bullpen really did not include all of the artists. Most of them worked from home and had their pages either shipped in or else delivered them themselves. Ayers presumably worked at home and was inking himself during much of this era. What if Wood, perhaps already feeling around over at Marvel at the beginning of the year, just happened to be there visiting when Stan or Sol or somebody needed some inking touchups on a few panels of Ayers' already delivered pages? Is that too hard to imagine? Ayers, to the best of my knowledge, never tended to show any leanings toward Woody's style either before or since. Could TWO-GUN KID # 69 contain at least a little bit of secret Woodwork or is it just me? Ronn? Bhob? Anyone?


  1. It looks more to me like somebody copying Woody, Steve. Did he have anybody assisting at the time?
    If it is him, they look really rushed, especially the third panel. Would Woody light it that badly?
    I dunno...

  2. Wood draws hands in a way that is all his own, spare and exact, with a hint of abstraction. The hands in the third panel don't look like Wood at all. The middle hand looks really vague and in the one at right the lumpy glove texture is rendered literally in a way that's antithetical to that smooth semi-realistic Wood gloss. In the second panel, it seems to me that the inking isn't slick enough (look at the wavering shading on the top of the hat). The rich blacks of the first panel gives me pause, though. Extremely well done, just the type of thing that Wood might do to save time.

  3. I think that the eyes in the first panel are what might be hinting at Wood. The clear, watery pupils with highlight like Wood did with the Spirit. Beyond that, well...

  4. Seems unlikely to me that its Wood. Its especially difficult to judge by just looking at isolated panels, but of the three, only the first one really reminds me of Wood. And I think its just co-incidence. The third one especially seems "off" to me. I can't image Woody ever drawing straight lines like a doorframe and not using a ruler or set-square. I think we'd "know" it was Wood if we saw it, like that THOR #122 cover that I "knew" was inked by Wood long before anyone ever confirmed it.

    But what do I know?

  5. Thanks for everyone's input! As far as wanting to see more than isolated panels, that's just it. I don't see a trace of Wood anywhere else in the story! Just in these three and then not completely! It's as if Wood re-inked the first panel, touched up the second and POSSIBLY (I was anxiously searching for another example)redrew TG's tiny face in the third...or again, maybe not!

  6. It LOOKS like Wally Wood touches on the first two panels, but that begs the question why? He
    would have to had been hanging around at the bullpen when the original art came in and was
    asked?/volunteered? to touch up those particular
    panels. That's a reach.
    More likely, as often happens when the deadline is looming, some other artist 'glanced' at some
    copy of Wood art and was 'inspired' to 'pay homage' to the master.
    My guess is as far-fetched as yours!

    Sam "Spa Fon" Kujava

  7. wasnt Ayers called to make his inking look wood-ish when he took over the inking on Skymasters?

  8. Wow! I can't believe I forgot that, Steven! You are, of course, probably correct and this whole thing is left with one big "Never mind!" Ugh! Or...or is it?

  9. If you want to find uncredited Marvel Wood, take a look at the first two Captain America pages from Tales of Suspense 72...

  10. The GCD now credits George Roussos with the cover inks. Could those Wood-like touch-ups have been done by Roussos?