Saturday, March 26, 2011

Black Cat Mystery #50 - non-attributed Frank Frazetta art

Black Cat Mystery v1 #50, 1954 - A man's face and hands start to deteriorate from radiation poisoning on this jarringly horrific cover, one of my favorites prior to the establishment of the comics code. The story shown here features an eccentric character that enters a small town and entertains them enough to gain their trust (and their money). Some comic book price guides have attributed the story art solely to Sid Check, but it appears likely that Frank Frazetta provided the inks. Though Check had a vaguely similar approach, the fine lines and meticulous detail are inconsistent with his other works. Note the superb craftsmanship on the characters' faces and most of the backgrounds. One of the most telling moments is page three, panel seven, as the policeman's figure reels from a gunshot. His tightly gripped hand and the detailed folds on his uniform are familiar traits of Frazetta's action scenes. The only other Frazetta/Check collaboration that comes to mind is the cover to Beware #10 and a comparison of both works reveal more similarities. This is number 1 of 1 Black Cat Mystery issues with Frazetta art and/or covers. See today's posts or more Frazetta or Black Cat Mystery issues. See also this blog's Frazetta checklist or Top 10 Frazetta comics.
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"Here Today..." Frazetta story inks (Sid Check pencils) 5 pages = ****
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Frank Frazetta
Find on ebay: >this issue >Frazetta >Black Cat Mystery

More Frazetta posts:
Frank Frazetta Buck Rogers 1950s golden age science fiction comic book cover / Famous Funnies #216
Famous Funnies #216
Heroic Comics #75
Durango Kid #13


  1. Based on the page shown, I find it hard to believe that Frazetta pencilled this. Even in the early days, Frazetta had a pretty highly developed sense of layout and composition. The layouts on this page are pretty bad. I find a more likely scenario here is that these pages were pencilled or layed-out by Sid Check, and inked by Frazetta. There are surface details that are consistent with Frazetta, but the layouts are not.

  2. To me, it doesn't look like Frazetta inked any of this. On a few panels, Check did some nice Frazetta swipes. He is clearly attempting to ink like Frazetta, but most of it seems too crude to actually be inked by Frank.

  3. Just FYI, here's two more online sources that attribute it to Frazetta:
    ---Frazetta Forum (
    ---Heritage Auction Galleries (

  4. Actually, this was drawn by the great Bob Powell...who was an assistant of Howard Nostrand.

    Both worked for Harvey Comics at the time. Nostrand did a very similar cover for Tomb of Terror #15 (1954) only one month before.