THE MANY LOVES OF BOB OKSNER

MY FAVOURITE FUNNIES
issue No. 18 presents

Many Loves of Bob Oksner

Bob Hope * Phil Silvers * Warren Beatty * Dean Martin * Jerry Lewis
Cairo Jones * Kitty Karr * Lady Danger * Miss Masque
Lucille Ball * Desi Arnaz * Fred Astaire * Gabe Kaplan * John Travolta
Mary Marvel * Captain Marvel * The Vixen * Black Orchid * Wonder Woman
April O’Day * Angel O’Day * Sam Simeon * Holly Wood * Beverly Hills * Melody Lane
Pat Boone * Diane Baker * Johnny Mathis * Bobby Darin * Dwayne Hickman * Bob Denver
Binky * Peggy * Debbi * Janie * Stanley & His Monster * Windy * Willy * Soozi
Supergirl * Super-Hip * The Seraph * Superman * Lois Lane

STARRING IN THIS ISSUE

(all art by Bob Oksner unless otherwise noted)

my favourite funnies 18Part 1.

a kiss from a miss

MISS CAIRO JONES * MISS MASQUE
LADY DANGER
MISS BEVERLY HILLS * JANIE
MISS MELODY LANE * KITTY KARR
MISS HOLLY WOOD

Part 2.

the girl in the picture

BOB HOPE * MARTIN & LEWIS
JERRY LEWIS * I LOVE LUCY
SGT BILKO * PAT BOONE
DOBIE GILLIS * WINDY & WILLY
WELCOME BACK KOTTER

Part 3.

angel eyes

BINKY * BINKY’S BUDDIES
DATE WITH DEBBI
APRIL O’DAY * SOOZI
ANGEL O’DAY
STANLEY & HIS MONSTER

Part 4.

a room of ones own

WONDER WOMAN * LOIS LANE
SUPERGIRL * BLACK ORCHID
MARY MARVEL * THE MARVEL FAMILY
THE VIXEN * THE SERAPH

The Adventures of Bob Oksner

portrait of the artist as an old man?

MISCELLANY * SUPERNUMERARY

Ad Infinitum

_____________________________________

cairo silhouette
Part 1.

a kiss from a miss

MISS CAIRO JONES
MCJsep22.46

⇐ MISS CAIRO JONES, 22nd of September ’46.

Bob Oksner created MISS CAIRO JONES for the Associated Newspapers syndicate, while he was an art director for Ned Pines.

The adventure strip was taking over the slot left by the departue of Tarpé Mill’s MISS FURY, thus MISS CAIRO JONES.

Oksner didn’t think of himself as a good girl artist at the time, so he went out and bought BEAUTY PARADE–a magazine that featured women from the Burlesque theatre. At the Ned Pines company was the editor and writer Jerry Albert who helped out with the writing. MISS CAIRO JONES began as a Sunday feature on the 29th of July ’45.

Miss Cairo Jones May 26 1946

⇐ MISS CAIRO JONES, 26th of May ’46.

When the syndicate added dailies, Oksner then took over the writing, as well. Bob wrote to his strength which was humour; however, this is not what the syndicate had signed him up for and the strip was cancelled on the 27th of April ’47.

MISS CAIRO JONES, 11th and 18th of August ’46. ⇒

Miss Cairo Jones August 11 & 18 1946

Croydon Publishing–a small press active in the mid-‘40s–collected some Sundays in one issue of MISS CAIRO JONES for 1945.

MISS MASQUE
bob oksner
⇐ Miss Masque: Cleopatra’s Comb, AMERICA’S BEST COMICS No. 25 (February ’48).

A back-up feature for Better Publications (aka Nedor, Standard, or Pines), Miss Masque debuted in EXCITING COMICS No. 51 (September ’46) drawn by Lin Streeter.

Although Bob Oksner was the regular artist for the Crash Carter feature in the same magazine, he would later illustrate other adventures of Miss Masque that appeared in THE BLACK TERROR and AMERICA’S BEST COMICS.

Miss Masque: Diana’s Jewels, AMERICA’S BEST COMICS No.24 (December ’47). ⇒

Msq.ABC24.p14
ring of death, Black Terror 21

⇐ Miss Masque: Ring of Death, THE BLACK TERROR No. 21 (January ’48).

Initially, Miss Masque’s covered up with a big hat and a long dress, but subsequentally the hat got smaller and her clothes covered much less.

Miss Masque: Cleopatra’s Comb, AMERICA’S BEST COMICS No. 25 (February ’48). ⇒

Miss Masque Cleopatra's CombMiss Masque, America's Best 28

⇐ Miss Masque: Death Holds Top Cards, AMERICA’S BEST COMICS No. 28 (November ’48).

LADY DANGER
Lois Lane 218, lady danger⇐ Lady Danger: The Dead Man’s Chest, SENSATION COMICS No. 85 (January ’49), reprinted in SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE No. 119 (February ’71); story Bob Kanigher; art: Bob Oksner & Bernard Sachs.

Created by Roberts Kanigher (writer/editor) and Oksner (penciller), as a back-up feature for Wonder Woman’s SENSATION COMICS, Lady Danger makes her debut in issue 84 of that comic magazine.

sensation 84 and 86, lady danger

⇐ Lady Danger: The Shakespeare Clue, SENSATION COMICS No. 84 (December ’48); story: Bob Kanigher; art: Bob Oksner & Bernard Sachs.  Lady Danger: The Case of the Conscientious Shoplifter, SENSATION COMICS No. 86 (February ’49); story: Bob Kanigher; art: Bob Oksner & Bernard Sachs.

Originally a young debutante, Valerie Vaughn becomes a reporter to prove herself to her father. Smart and unafraid of any danger that comes her way, Valerie Vaughn takes second place to no man of action.

The series continued in every issue of SENSATION up to and including issue 93, with Oksner and Sachs handling the first three stories in her run.

MISS BEVERLY HILLS
house ad for Miss Beverly Hills⇐ House ad for MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 2 (May-June ’49) [the actual comic book cover features a photo of William Holden, but here Oksner has rendered the same photo as a line drawing].

By the late ’40s, Bob Oksner was working at National Comics (aka DC), on a variety of features, when he got the opportunity to create MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD. The series was right up Bob’s alley, as it utilized his talent for drawing cute ladies and celebrity likenesses.

MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 1 (March-April ’49) went on sale around the 26th of January ’49 and No. 9 (July-August ’50)–the final issue–came out on (or about) the 24th of May ’50.

MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 5 (November-December ’49). Beverly will do anything for a part in a movie. ⇒

Miss Beverly Hills 5, cover, inside

Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood 1 and 2, Fred Astaire

⇐ MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 1 (March-April ’49). MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 7 (March-April ’50)–guest star: Fred Astaire, with a cameo by William Bendix among others.

While Beverly waits for her big break in the motion pictures, her boyfriend, Will Shire, is a Hollywood reporter with access to the rich and famous.

Beverly’s Designs on You, MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 5 (November-December ’49). Tips on proper deportment for young ladies. ⇒

Miss Bevery Hills design page

bob hope 13 beverly hills

⇐ Miss Beverly Hills of Hollywood, THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 13 (February-March ’52).

After the demise of her own comic, Beverly Hills continued on as a back-up feature in THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE Nos. 8 – 10, 13 & 14.

JANIE
Janie and the the Hills

⇐ MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 3 (July-August ’49); MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 5 (November-December ’49).

The rest of the Hills family were also featured in Beverly’s title–especially her younger sister, Janie.

Janie, THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 6 (December ’50 – January ’51). Janie got her own back-up feature in this issue of Bob Hope’s title. ⇒

Janie Hills in Bob Hope 6

Janie is older in Bob Hope 10

Janie, THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 10 (August-September ’51). When Janie returns to Bob’s mag, she’s sprung up into a teen–which no doubt has caused Mr. Hills to lose all his hair.

Janie, SUPERMAN’S GIRLFRIEND, LOIS LANE No. 75 (July ’67). As a filler in various titles, Janie outlived her big sister. ⇒

Janie, Lois Lane 75
MISS MELODY LANE
house ad for MELODY LANE no. 1⇐ House ad for MISS MELODY LANE OF BROADWAY No. 1 (February-March ’50), on sale around the 7th of December ’49.

Modelled after Miss Beverly Hills, MISS MELODY LANE OF BROADWAY took the same formula for Hollywood stars and applied it to the New York scene, with stars from radio, television and the Great White Way.

Again, Oksner was the primary artist employed on this series, although it only lasted for three issues.

MISS MELODY LANE OF BROADWAY

⇐ Stars on Broadway: Margaret Whiting, MISS MELODY LANE OF BROADWAY No. 1 (February-March ’50). MISS MELODY LANE OF BROADWAY No. 2 (Apri-May ’50)

Miss Melody Lane of Broadway, THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 15 (June-July ’52). After the demise of her own comic, Miss Melody Lane was awarded one more shot in this issue of Bob’s comic magazine. ⇒

Melody Lane, Bob Hope 15

KITTY KARR
Kitty Karr Bob Hope 17⇐ Kitty Karr of Hollywood, THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 17 (October-November ’52).

Immediately after Miss Beverly Hills and Miss Melody Lane faded to black in the back pages of BOB HOPE, a new feature–Kitty Karr of Hollywood–took their place. Kitty was perhaps intentionally an amalgam of Beverly and Melody, as she hunted for parts on the West Coast like her Beverly Hills counterpart, but she could have been a screen double for our East Coast Melody Lane.

Her pun-ny appellation doesn’t seem nearly as clever as either of the other starlets pun-gent stage names. Kitty not only backed up THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE, she also performed the same service for THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS and others–wherever they were casting for a part, I guess.

MISS HOLLY WOOD
Holly Wood⇐ The Adventures of Miss Holly Wood. Unpublished, early ’70s?

Holly Wood is like a ’70s version of Miss Beverly Hills. Bob Oksner likely created her for DC–although for which magazine is anyone’s guess.

See Kevin Nowlan’s blog for February 27, 2011.

Holly’s appearance is similar to that of Oksner’s Mary Marvel (more on her in Part 4, below).Miss Holly Wood by Bob Oksner

⇐ The Adventures of Miss Holly Wood. Unpublished, original art, early ’70s? Miss Holly Wood meets Mr. Warren Beatty–as well as the landlady.

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JerryLewis78.oksnersil

Part 2.

the girl in the picture

BOB HOPE
Adventures of Bob Hope 72, Oksner cover⇐ THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 72 (December ’61 – January ’62). In the swim.

During the ‘40s, National/DC had done its fair share of licensed characters; however, DC stepped up its game in the ‘50s and THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE was the leading edge of this trend starting with issue No. 1 cover dated February-March ’50–that was at the newsstands on the 25th of November ’49.

The title would continue for the next eighteen years until the final issue hit the stands on the 7th of December ’67–issue No. 109, cover dated February-March ’68.

While Owen Fitzgerald and Mort Drucker contributed art for the bulk of the ’50s issues, Oksner became the artist of choice in the ’60s–as well as sometimes writing the adventures.

bob hope, the great lover

⇐ MISS BEVERLY HILLS OF HOLLYWOOD No. 5 (November-December ’49)–prior to getting his own title, Bob Hope showed up in Beverly’s book to plug his latest movie, THE GREAT LOVER–a Paramount picture, released on the 23rd of November ’49.

THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 72 (December ’61 – January ’62); story & art: Bob Oksner. Hope speaks his own language–like many geniuses, he’s often misunderstood. ⇒

Bob Hope 72, beatniks

In the ’60s, Arnold Drake took over the writing and a cast of supporting characters was added. Most of the action centred around Benedict Arnold High School–a refuge for rejects from THE MUNSTERS–where Tadwallader Jutefruce was a student. Young Jutefruce lived with the avuncular Bob Hope. While Tadwallader was strictly squaresville, he had the habit of turning into a mod rocker super-hero named SUPER-HIP.

It’s possible the introduction of these oddball characters was a hedge against DC losing their license to use Bob Hope himself; yet if this was the case it didn’t pan out as none of these freaks of nature survived the cancellation of the book, when DC did in fact lose the rights to Bob Hope’s likeness.

Super-Hip, the Sickest Super-Hero of ‘Em All, THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 95 (October-November ’65); story: Arnold Drake–this is the first story to feature Super-Hip. ⇒

BOB HOPE 95, SUPER-HIP

MARTIN & LEWIS
Martin and Lewis No. 35⇐ THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS No. 35 (February ’57)–on sale around Christmas Eve of ’56. More than likely inspired by the Martin & Lewis comic classic motion picture, ARTISTS AND MODELS (released the 7th of November ’55).

Along with Bob Hope, the comedy duo of Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis topped the bill in DC’s Line of Stars for the ’50s.

Martin and Lewis No. 2

⇐ The Martin and Lewis Story, THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN AND JERRY LEWIS No. 2 (September -October ’52). For this short bio of the comedy team, Bob Oksner renders Dean and Jerry with greater realism.

By the mid-’50s, Bob Oksner was often contributing to the comic–not just as a penciller or inker but also as a writer. And often for no money in return, as editor Lawrence Nadle had his own scheme going.

THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS No. 35 (February ’57). Martin and Lewis each have their own way around a pretty woman. ⇒

Martin and Lewis 35

Beginning with THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS No. 1 (July-August ’52)–on sale the 21st of May ’52–the DC funny book prevailed until its 40th (October ’57) and what would prove its finaleth issue–on sale about the 6th of August ’57.

THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS No. 25 (November ’55). THE ADVENTURES OF DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS No. 40 (October ’57). ⇒

Oksner covers for MARTIN/LEWIS 25 AND 40

The 40th is the final issue to feature Dean Martin–art mirroring life, the comedy team split up and Jerry captained the humour mag on his own–retitled THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS (more on that immediately below). The Martin & Lewis team had broken up in the summer of ’56–so the change to the title was a year belated.

JERRY LEWIS
Adventures of Jerry Lewis 105, Superman⇐ Superman Meets Jerry, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 105 (March-April ’68); story: Arnold Drake–on newsstands around the 4th of January ’68.

With the departure of Dean Martin, Jerry became a solo act in THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS–albeit with some supporting characters post hoc.

Bob Oksner emerges as the Jerry Lewis artist for most of this run.

Jerry Lewis 78 Astrid, Jerry Hope

⇐ THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 78 (September-October ’63)–Jerry travels back to the time of the Norsemen and meets Astrid [see more of this story in GRŒNLENDINGA SAGA and VINLAND SAGA].

Fearless Tarantula, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 84 (September-October ’64); story: Arnold Drake. Uncle Wendell draws his niece, Patricia, for his comic. Bob Oksner drew Uncle Wendell to look like himself–and Patricia was in fact the name of Bob’s wife. ⇒

Jerry Lewis No. 84 (September October 64)

In the next issue after this, Arnold Drake introduced Jerry’s little nephew, Renfrew, to provide more comedy (if Jerry wasn’t enough). Then Drake had Jerry hire a housekeeper named Witch Kraft, who was in fact a witch.

Like the BOB HOPE book with Super-Hip and Benedict Arnold High School, this might have been an effort to put some DC owned characters in a celebrity book, in case the license for the celebrity himself was lost.

Batman meets Jerry

⇐ Batman Meets Jerry, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 97 (November-December ’66); story: Arnold Drake. At the height of Bat-Mania, the Dynamic Duo paid a visit to Jerry. This must’ve been a success, as DC tried the same move three more times, with Superman, the Flash and Wonder Woman.

Superman meets Jerry, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 105 (March-April ’68); cover art: Bob Oksner except Superman figure [probably Wayne Boring]. The Flash meets Jerry, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 112 (May-June ’69). Jerry meets Wonder Woman, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 117 (March-April ’70) ⇒.

Jerry Meets Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman

I LOVE LUCY
I love Lucy, bob oksner⇐ I LOVE LUCY, 8th of December ’52, reprinted in I LOVE LUCY No. 1 (June ’90); story: Lawrence Nadle–the first appearance of this strip in newspapers coincides with the TV show announcing Lucy’s pregnancy.

Beginning on the 8th of December ’52, King Features ran a syndicated comic strip adaptation of I LOVE LUCY, the popular TV show that originally aired from the fall of ’51 to the spring of ’57.

Signed as Bob Lawrence, the strip was actually by the team of Lawrence Nadle (writer)–the same fellow who edited many of the ‘50s DC humour books–and our man Bob Oksner (artist). Patricia Oksner, Bob’s wife, provided backgrounds for this strip.

The comic strip  originally ran  until 1955 and was collected in comic book form, in 1990, by the Eternity Comics imprint of Malibu Graphics in two six-issue runs: I LOVE LUCY Nos. 1 -6 & I LOVE LUCY, BOOK TWO Nos. 1 -6.

DECEMBER 9 52 I LOVE LUCY

⇐ I LOVE LUCY, 9th of December ’52, reprinted in I LOVE LUCY No. 1 (June ’90).  Lucy announces she’s pregnant–a day after the same announcement was made on the TV show. As in the TV show and real life, Lucy gave birth to a son, named after his father, on the 19th of January ’53.

I LOVE LUCY, 2nd of April ’53, reprinted in I LOVE LUCY No. 2 (June ’90). Ricky’s accent wanders a bit in the comic strip–perhaps Larry Nadle wasn’t comfortable with overly mocking Desi Arnaz. ⇒

APRIL 4 53 I LOVE LUCY

JULY 8 54 I LOVE LUCY

⇐ I LOVE LUCY, 8th of July ’54, reprinted in I LOVE LUCY, BOOK TWO No. 3 (December ’90). Nadle and Oksner did a good job of capturing the Lucy Ricardo character. Desi thought that Bob made Lucy look so beautiful and wondered why the artist couldn’t make his character more handsome.

I LOVE LUCY, 19th of July ’54, reprinted in I LOVE LUCY, BOOK TWO No. 3 (December ’90). In the comic strip, Lucy and Ricky always called their son Ricky Jr.–not Little Ricky as on the television series. ⇒

January 19 53 I LOVE LUCY

SGT BILKO
sgt bilko 14⇐ Gay Paree, SGT. BILKO No. 13 (July-August ’59); story: Cal Howard.

Originally titled YOU’LL NEVER GET RICH and subsequently retitled THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW, the television series featuring the antics of Sgt. Bilko ran on CBS from the fall of ’55 to the summer of ’59.

DC launched its own adaptation, wisely choosing to name it after the featured character played by Silvers: SGT. BILKO.

The comic book ran from No. 1 (May-June ’57) to No. 18 (March-April ’60), with Bob Oksner as the primary artist throughout the run.

House ad for SGT. BILKO 13 (May-June ’59). SGT. BILKO No. 14 (July-August ’59).⇒

House ad Bilko 13 and cover Bilko 14BILKO PARIS CAFE
BILKO PARIS FASHION

⇐  Gay Paree, SGT. BILKO No. 14 (July-August ’59); story: Cal Howard. Bilko and the gang sample what Paris has to offer.

Sgt. Bilko proved so successful that even his sidekick–Private Doberman–got his own series. Oksner illustrated this title, as well–which ran for eleven issues.

House ad for PRIVATE DOBERMAN No. 1 (June-July ’58). PRIVATE DOBERMAN No. 8 (August-September ’59). ⇒

Private Doberman
PAT BOONE
the pat boone story, PAT BOONE No. 1⇐ The Pat Boone Story: The Beginning Years, PAT BOONE No. 1 (September-October ’59).

On the one hand, PAT BOONE was typical of DC’s output of Hollywood based titles in the ’50s. but on the other hand it was quite different in its style and showed the publisher daring to try new things–perhaps to entice a teen audience that had grown tired of funny books.

Geared toward a young female audience, the comic magazine combined teen trends with Boone’s honest family values. The title only ran for five issues, but in that run Bob Oksner created some of the most sophisicated artwork in his career.

The front cover, inside covers and back cover all featured photographs, while the bulk of the comic relied on Oksner’s reality-based illustrations. Pat Boone lived in Teaneck, New Jersey, with his wife and four little daughters. Oksner also lived there, with his wife and three daughters (teens). Oksner had an in with Pat Boone as he illustrated the star’s Christmas cards. While working on the PAT BOONE comic, the Oksners would visit the Boones so Bob could draw from life.

Rather than being a purely commercial enterprise, given its subject matter, PAT BOONE seems to have been a true labour of love by the entire creative team involved on the series.

A Teen-Ager’s Dilemma, PAT BOONE No. 1 (September-October ’59); story: Lawrence Nadle. Teen female fans were the subject of many stories in PAT BOONE. ⇒

PAT BOONE no. 1, teenager's dilemmaPat Boone No. 1 4 little chicks

4 Little Chicks, PAT BOONE No. 1 (September-October ’59); story: Lawrence Nadle. Pat Boone’s life with his wife and four young daughters was another subject featured in the PAT BOONE comic.

A Journey to the Center of the Earth, PAT BOONE No. 4 (March-April ’60)–a feature on the movie, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, which premiered in New York on the 16th of December ’59, starring Boone, James Mason, Arlene Dahl and Diane Baker. ⇒

Journey to the Center of the Earth Pat Boone No. 4Pat Boone 5, Fashions a la Francaise

Fashions a la Française, PAT BOONE No. 5 (May-June ’60). Oksner draws the latest fasions from Paris.

Meet Bobby Darin, Diane Baker (Boone’s movie co-star), Johnny Mathis, PAT BOONE No.4 (March-April ’60)–every issue had features on the latest teen heart throbs. ⇒

Bobby Darin, Diane Baker, Johnny Mathis
SEE these good blogs on DC’s PAT BOONE at OUT OF THIS WORLD:
Mining for Gold: DC’s Pat Boone Comics
DC’s Pat Boone Comics: Wholesome Americana
Bob Oksner’s Finest Hour: DC’s Pat Boone series

DOBIE GILLIS
THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS No. 22, original art.⇐ THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS No. 22 (November-December ’63).

Based on a series of short stories by Max Shulman and a 1953 feature film, THE AFFAIRS OF DOBIE GILLIS (starring Bobby Van, Debbie Reynolds and Bob Fosse)–THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS aired on CBS from the fall of ’59 to the summer of ’63. Dwayne Hickman starred as the titular Dobie and Bob Denver was his beatnik sidekick, Maynard G. Krebs.

The comedy chronicled the aspirations of Dobie for love or money, as he grew from teen to young adult.

Bob Oksner was the natural choice for putting THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS on the comic book page–given his talent for humour and beautiful women. The title ran from issue No. 1 (May-June ’60) to 26 (October ’64).

Dobie Gillis No. 3 coverDobie 3, pretty girl

⇐ THE MANY LOVES OF DOBY GILLIS No. 3 (September-October ’60). Dobie fancies himself a judge of great beauty.

THE MANY LOVES OF DOBY GILLIS No. 7 (May-June ’61). Dobie meets Dracula’s daughter. ⇒

Dobie Gillis 7, DraculaDobie no. 21
⇐ THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS No. 21 (November-October ’63). Maynard G. Krebs knows the score.

WINDY AND WILLY
Showcase 81--Windy and Willy. issue 4

⇐ SHOWCASE No. 81 (March’69); cover art: Bob Oksner & Tex Blaisdell. Historical High Jinks, WINDY AND WILLY No. 4 (November ’69) [final issue]–revamped by Oksner from his work on THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS No. 17 (January-February ’63).

In the late ’60s, DC sought to repurpose and update their back catalogue of comics. Part of this effort was the WINDY AND WILLIE comic, which had Bob Oksner replacing the trademarked visages of Dwayne Hickman and Bob Denver with unlicensed kissers.

The Two Astro-Nuts, WINDY AND WILLY No. 2 (July-August ’69); story: Arnold Drake. The cover is a new turn on Oksner’s cover for THE MANY LOVES OF DOBY GILLIS No. 3 (September-October ’60) [see above]. The story is a revamp of a previous comic misadventure in THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS No. 25 (September ’64). ⇒

windy and willy no. 2
WELCOME BACK KOTTER
The Sweat Hogs
⇐ As the Woodman Turns, WELCOME BACK, KOTTER No. 10 (March-April ’78); story: Scott Edelman; art: Bob Oksner & Ric Estrada. This turned out to be the final issue.

In 1976, DC was again attempting to get back into the TV adaptation game–putting a DC TV logo on a few of their books

WELCOME BACK, KOTTER No. 1 (November ’76)–in the upper left-hand corner, the first version of the DC TV logo. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER No. 8 (December ’77)–the later version of the DC TV logo incorporating the new DC bullet into the design. ⇒

Welcome Back, Kotter No. 1 and No. 8

All of these were in fact Saturday morning TV comic books–SUPER FRIENDS, THE MIGHTY ISIS, SHAZAM!–WELCOME BACK, KOTTER being the exception, as this was a prime time situation comedy on ABC–airing from the fall of ’75 to the summer of ’79. One could argue that WONDER WOMAN also represented prime time TV–as the comic book was trying to use the TV show continuity at that time–but WONDER WOMAN never got the DC TV logo on its covers.

Of course, WELCOME BACK, KOTTER was a series about a group of high school kids (the Sweat Hogs) and their teacher–Gabe Kotter, played by Gabe Kaplan–but the sitcom is better known for featuring John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino. For the comic book, Bob Oksner contributed to the majority of the covers and in some form (inking or pencilling) to most stories during the run of the title, from No. 1 (November ’76) to No. 10 (March-April ’78).

Welcome Back Kotter 3

⇐ WELCOME BACK, KOTTER No. 3 (March ’77); story: Tony Isabella; layouts: Ric Estrada; art: Bob Oksner. High school teacher, Gabe Kotter knows no boundaries when it comes to his young students.

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soozi silhouette
Part 3.

angel eyes

BINKY
binky psa, SUPERBOY 15⇐ Leave it to Binky: Look for the Real Reason [public service advertisement], SUPERBOY No. 15 (July-August ’51); story: Jack Schiff–Binky was one of the most commonly used characters in the DC public service ads, even after his comic was cancelled.

Created by Sheldon Mayer and Bob Oksner, Bertram Biggs, better known as Binky, was a little more Scribbly and a little less Archie as far as teen humour goes.

Oksner was the primary artist on BINKY for all of the original run.

House ads: LEAVE IT TO BINKY No. 1 (February-March ’48). LEAVE IT TO BINKY No. 2 (April-May ’48). ⇒

Leave it to Binky house ads 1 and 2
Leave it to Binky 1; DC Special 2

Mannequin Maneuvers, LEAVE IT TO BINKY No. 1 (February-March ’48); story: Hal Seegar, Sheldon Mayer; art: Bob Oksner, Sheldon Mayer. Leave it to Binky: The Play’s the Thing, DC SPECIAL No. 2 (January-March ’69); updated Bob Oksner artwork from the original run of LEAVE IT TO BINKY.

LEAVE IT TO BINKY ended its original run with issue No. 60 (October ’58)–at newsstands about the 3rd of July ’58.  However, Binky was brought back to life in the late ‘60s–first in SHOWCASE No. 70 (September-October ’67) and then, picking up the old numbering, with LEAVE IT TO BINKY No. 61.

The revived title combined reprints and new material. Some reprinted stories were altered and updated, as with WINDY AND WILLY [re: DOBIE GILLIS, above]. Binky’s second time around there was a stronger Archie influence, especially once Henry Scarpelli and Stan Goldberg left Archie for DC.

LEAVE IT TO BINKY No. 61 (June-July ’68). LEAVE IT TO BINKY No. 62 (August-September ’68). LEAVE IT TO BINKY No. 63 (October-November ’68); cover art: Bob Oksner & Tex Blaisdell. Binky’s blonde gal pal, Peggy, is the centre of attention on these covers, for obvious reasons. ⇒

binky covers 61, 62, 63

LEAVE IT TO BINKY became simply BINKY with issue No. 72 (April-May ’70). Issue No. 81 (October-November ’71) would have been the final issue, if not for one last gasp when BINKY No. 82 hit the stands in early July ’77.

BINKY’S BUDDIES
binky's buddies 2⇐ Winter Ice-Folly, BINKY’S BUDDIES No. 2 (March-April ’69)–the gang gets into hockey.

Spun off from the ’60s revival of LEAVE IT TO BINKY and featuring additional teen humour characters–including Buzzy–BINKY’S BUDDIES mined more material from the DC vaults and alloyed that with swinging ’60s refinements.

DC SPECIAL No. 2 (January-March ’69). BINKY’S BUDDIES No. 3 (May-June ’69). ⇒
dc special 2 binky's buddies 3
DATE WITH DEBBI
date with debbi

⇐  Oh Those Beautiful Chicks, DATE WITH DEBBI No. 13 (January-February ’71); story: John Albano; art: Bob Oksner & Henry Scarpelli. The Little Cowboy, DATE WITH DEBBI No. 14 (March-April ’71); story: Henry Boltinoff; art: Bob Oksner & Henry Scarpelli.

Another addition to the teen humour gang was Debbi Anderson in DEBBI’S DATES, later titled DATE WITH DEBBI. Most of her stories seem to be original, although there’s an obvious similarity to A DATE WITH JUDY, which DC published for many years as a licensed adaptation of the radio show, movie and television series from the ’40s and ’50s.

APRIL O’DAY
April Love inset⇐ April O’Day, Hollywood Starlet: First Kiss–Last Kiss, GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES No. 104 (July ’64); story:  Bob Kanigher.

While DC’s romance comics were anthologies, they had serialized features on occasion–including April O’Day, Hollywood Starlet.

April O’Day was yet another young woman with dreams of fame. Per Beverly Hills, Melody Lane, Kitty Karr and the like–April is always hoping for her lucky break–usually with some romantic involvement along the way.  Bob Kanigher and Bob Oksner introduced April in GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES No. 104 (July ’64).

cover and splash page Girl's Love Stories 104Girls' Love Stories 104, April's childhood

⇐ April O’Day: Hollywood Starlet: First Kiss–Last Kiss, GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES No. 104 (July ’64); story:  Bob Kanigher. April reflects on her sad childhood.

GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES No. 108 (January ’65). Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin made a guest appearance on this April O’Day cover. ⇒

gl108.OKSNERSOOZI
Soozi⇐ SOOZI, 24th of October; story: Don Weldon.

In the ’60s, Bob Oksner’s agent, Toni Mendez, got him a job illustrating a new comic strip, SOOZI, created by writer Don Weldon.

The strip appeared in newspapers for about a year between ’66 and ’67.

Oksner’s experience on the strip was not a pleasant one, as Weldon proved unsatisfactory as a gag writer and they had to use their own money to hire other writers. So it was a money-losing proposition and Oksner was glad when it was over.

Soozi April Sundays

⇐ SOOZI,  2nd & 30th of April ’67.

SOOZI 7th & 14th of May ’67. ⇒

Soozi May SundaysSOOZI September 24th '67

⇐ SOOZI, 24th of September ’67.

SOOZI, 24th of October ’67. ⇒

Soozie October 24 daily
ANGEL O’DAY
Meet Angel No. 5, Oksner⇐ ANGEL AND THE APE No. 5 (July-August ’69)–the title officially changes to MEET ANGEL with the 7th and final issue.

Because she was co-created by Bob Oksner and because she has white hair and her last name is O’Day, Angel is suspected of being April O’Day’s sister.

Some would say the hair is white–others would say it’s platinum blonde. As Oksner himself had white hair (not blond), it might be the case that he liked to adorn his beauties with white tresses, as well.

Showcase 77, Angel and the Ape

Angel and the Ape, SHOWCASE No. 77 (September ’68); cover art: Sergio Aragones, Bob Oksner & Tex Blaisdell; story: E. Nelson Bridwell; inside art: Oksner & Blaisdell; on sale the 25th of July ’68. Angel O’Day partners with ape detective/cartoonist, Sam Simeon in this try-out issue.

For Oksner, after his bitter experience with SOOZI, the opportunity to work on ANGEL AND THE APE, came as a blessing from above–or from Joe Orlando, which amounts to about the same thing.

Case of the Going, Going, Gone Go Go Girls, THE ANGEL AND THE APE No. 1 (November-December ’68); story: John Albano; inside art: Bob Oksner & Henry Scarpelli. ⇒

Angel and the Ape No. 1Limited Collectors' Edition C-34, Angel and the Ape

⇐ Angel and the Ape: The $500,000 Doll Caper, LIMITED COLLECTORS’ EDITION C-34 (February-March ’75); story: John Albano; art: Bob Oksner & Wally Wood. Angel O’Day and Sam Simeon had one last hurrah with this all new yuletide tale in the Christmas with the Super-Heroes tabloid-sized comic, on sale the 7th of November ’74.

STANLEY & HIS MONSTER
Stanley and His Monster 111, Jerry LewisFilm Flam Man, STANLEY AND HIS MONSTER No. 111 (August-September ’68); story: Arnold Drake; art: Bob Oksner & Tex Blaisdell. Stanley and Marcia meet Jerry Lewis.

Despite the issue numbers, the actual run for the STANLEY AND HIS MONSTER title was only four issues.

Stanley and His Monster 112 cover

⇐ STANLEY AND HIS MONSTER No. 112 (October-November ’68) [final issue]; cover art: Bob Oksner & Tex Blaisdell. The girl in the picture is Marcia, who was added to spice up Stanley’s series and give it some teen appeal. Since she’s a movie extra, there’s also that connection with screen stars, again.

Initially, Stanley with his menagerie of not imaginary friends was an added feature in THE FOX AND THE CROW, starting with No. 95 (January ’66), but they gradually pushed the long running Fox and Crow feature out of their own book, until the mag was retitled with No. 109 (April-May ’68)–thus only a four issue run under that title.

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SHAZAM silhouette
Part 4.

a room of one’s own

WONDER WOMAN
WONDER WOMAN 212, OKSNER⇐ WONDER WOMAN No. 212 (June-July ’74). The 12 trials begin, as the Justice League tests Diana’s fitness for service.

Bob Oksner had the opportunity to work on Wonder Woman at different times during his days at DC; however, never as a regular artist on her series–and we’re all the poorer for that.

Comic Cavalcade 25, 26, sensation comics 90

⇐ COMIC CAVALCADE No. 25 (February-March ’48); SENSATION COMICS No. 90 (June ’49); COMIC CAVALCADE No. 26 (April-May ’48).

Jerry Meets the New Wonder Woman, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 117 (March-April ’70); story: Alan R. Riefe; art: Bob Oksner & Tex Blaisdell. This is the last of the Jerry meets a super-hero adventures and Mr. Lewis happens to bump into the Princess Diana when she is going through her mod, de-powered phase. Thus no recognizable costume here. ⇒

Jetty meets Wonder WomanCovers for SUPERMAN'S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE No. 135 and Wonder Woman 215

⇐ SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE No. 136 (January-February ’74)–guest starring the Amazing Amazon. WONDER WOMAN No. 215 (December ’74 – January ’75)–featuring Aquaman. Diana got her powers and her costume back and immediately made time with Superman, before her twelve trials drowned her in strife.

WONDER WOMAN No. 213 (August-September ’74)–featuring the Flash. WONDER WOMAN No. 214 (October-November ’74)–a Super Spectacular and Green Lantern, too, as Wonder Woman’s trials continue. ⇒

wonder woman 213 and 214
LOIS LANE
originla art for Lois Lane 124⇐  SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE No. 124 (July ’72). Lois the Jungle Queen.

For the period between ’72 and ’74, Bob Oksner was the primary cover artist for THE DAILY PLANET’s star reporter, in her own magazine: SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE.

Bob had earlier already illustrated Lois Lane–and her boyfriend, Superman: Superman Meets Jerry, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 105 (March-April ’68); story: Arnold Drake. ⇒
Jerry Lewis 105, Lois and Superman
Lois Lane 128 and 133

⇐ SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE No. 128 (December ’72)–the famous Pieta cover. SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE No. 133 (September ’73)–of super-human bondage. Our lady of many sorrows.

In ’73, Bob Oksner started inking Curt Swan’s pencils on Superman–mainly in ACTION COMICS and SUPERMAN–and soon after that, Oksner began producing a lot of the cover art for both titles, as well as other Super comics. Here again, Bob was often drawing Lois.

ACTION COMICS No. 446 (April ’75). SUPERMAN No. 298 (April ’76).⇒

action 446; superman 298
Following the end of SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE, Bob Oksner was often called upon to pencil the Lois Lane feature in SUPERMAN FAMILY. Then, after that title folded, he followed Supergirl and Lois Lane over to THE DARING NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL, where he inked Carmine Infantino’s pencils on the lead Supergirl stories and pencilled (and sometimes inked) the Lois Lane back-up feature for that title.

Lois Lane: Missy is M ssing, THE DARING NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL No. 3 (January ’83); story: Tamsyn O’Flyn–yet another Miss in Oksner’s career–Missy Conrad. ⇒

Supergirl 3 Lois Lane
SUPERGIRL
supergirl adventure comics 411, original art⇐ Supergirl: The Alien Among Us, ADVENTURE COMICS No. 411 (October ’71); story: John Albano. At the newsstands on the 31st of August ’71.

Linda Danvers–aka Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin–had been going through some changes by the time Bob Oksner signed on as a Supergirl artist.

Adventure comics 412; supergirl 5

⇐ ADVENTURE COMICS No. 412 (November ’71). SUPERGIRL No. 5 (June ’73). By the early ’70s, the Maid of Might was trying out a number of different costumes, although she favoured red hotpants and a plunging neckline that required her to shrink her red S and move it over to the left.

Supergirl: The Kidnapping, ADVENTURE COMICS No. 414 (January ’72); story: John Albano. Spoilers: the kidnapping victim is not quite what she seems. ⇒

Supergirl in Adventure Comicics 414Supergirl 7, Supergirl 10

⇐  SUPERGIRL No. 7 (October ’73)–Supergirl teams up with Zatanna. SUPERGIRL No. 10 (September-October ’74)–Prez guest stars in the final issue.

After a fairly long run in ADVENTURE COMICS, the Girl of Steel gained her own title, finally. Yet this one didn’t fair so well, despite a number of guest stars. And while Bob Oksner had drawn many of her ADVENTURE stories, he was only the cover artist on SUPERGIRL. The tenth and final issue went on sale the 25th of June ’74–nine months after the previous issue.
BLACK ORCHID
Adventure 428--Black Orchid⇐ ADVENTURE COMICS No. 428 (July-August ’73). The first issue to feature the Black Orchid–on sale the 26th of April ’73.

Created by Sheldon Mayer and Tony DeZuniga, the mysterious Black Orchid made her debut in three issue of ADVENTURE COMICS–Nos. 428, 429 & 430–with Bob Oksner providing the covers for all three issues. The true identity of the super-powered Black Orchid always remained a mystery–each story kept you guessing just who she could be.

Bob Oksner covers for Adventure 429 and 430

⇐ ADVENTURE COMICS No. 429 (September-October ’73); on sale the 28th of June ’73. ADVENTURE COMICS No. 430 (November-December ’73); on sale the 30th of August ’73.

MARY MARVEL
MARY MARVEL GIF⇐  Mary Marvel, THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS No. 17 (April ’78), reprinted from SHAZAM! No. 12 (May-June ’74).

When DC acquired the license to publish new stories of Captain Marvel and his whole family, Bob Oksner was soon enlisted to draw some of the new stories.

Mary Marvel, The Thanksgiving Thieves, SHAZAM! No. 10 (February ’74); story: E. Nelson Bridwell–first appearance of the new Mary Marvel by Bob Oksner. ⇒
SHAZAM 10, new Mary Marvel debutSHAZAM 13, 16, MARY MARVEL

⇐ Mary MarveL: The Haunted Clubhouse, SHAZAM! No. 13 (July-August ’74); story: E. Nelson Bridwell. Mary Marvel: The Green-Eyed Monster, SHAZAM! No. 16 (January-February ’75); story: E. Nelson Bridwell. With one magic word . . .

Mary Marvel: The Secret of the Smiling Swordsman, SHAZAM! No. 19 (July-August ’75); story: E. Nelson Bridwell. ⇒

Shazam 19 Mary Marvel, swordsman
THE MARVEL FAMILY
SHAZAM 11 1974 cover⇐ SHAZAM! No. 11 (March ’74)–a variation on the cover for CAPTAIN MARVEL, JR No. 26 (January ’45).

While Bob Oksner made Mary Marvel his own creation–giving her that quintessential Oksner-girl look–for the Big Red Cheese, Bob captured the classic C. C. Beck design exactly.
SHAZAM 13 AND 15

⇐ SHAZAM! No. 13 (July-August ’74). SHAZAM! No. 15 (November-December ’74). The entire Marvel Family–and then some–were on display in these Super-Spectacular issues. As of issue 15, DC was forced to remove Captain Marvel’s name from the covers.

Captain Marvel: The Celebrated Talking Frog of Blackstone Forest, SHAZAM! No. 18 (July-August ’74); story: Elliot S! Maggin–featuring Tawky Tawny. Mary Marvel: The Secret of the Smiling Swordsman, SHAZAM! No. 19 (July-August ’75); story: E. Nelson Bridwell–featuring Uncle Marvel. ⇒

Shazam 18, Shazam 19
THE VIXEN
The Vixen splash page
⇐ The Vixen is a Lady Fox, THE VIXEN No. 1 (November-December ’78) [unpublished], reprinted in CANCELLED COMIC CAVALADE No. 2 (Fall ’78); story Gerry & Carla Conway; art: Bob Oskner & Vince Colletta.

The Vixen was originally created by Gerry Conway and Bob Oskner, as DC’s first African-American female super-hero, with THE VIXEN scheduled to go on sale the 8th of August ’78; however the events of the so-called DC Implosion meant that that would never happen.

The original pages were published in the Xeroxed black and white collection, CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE No. 2 (Fall ’78), with a very small number of copies.

Mari Macabe is a successful fashion model in New York, when she sees on television C’Tanga Manitoba. Through a bloody coup, he has become president of the small African nation of D’Mulla, where Mari was born. C’Tanga Manitoba killed her father when she was a child and Mari was rescued by a priest who took her to America.  Mari finds the last memento of her father, the Tantu Totem–a necklace that gives her the animal powers of the Vixen.

house ad for the Vixen, page 16

⇐ House ad for THE VIXEN No. 1. The Vixen is a Lady Fox, THE VIXEN No. 1 (November-December ’78) [unpublished], reprinted in CANCELLED COMIC CAVALADE No. 2 (Fall ’78); story Gerry & Carla Conway; art: Bob Oskner & Vince Colletta.

Action Comics 521 VixenWith the DC Implosion, the Vixen was shelved and would have to wait three more years before another kick at the cat.

And even then she had to settle for scraps.

Superman: The Deadly Rampage of the Lady Fox, ACTION COMICS No 521 (July 81); story: Gerry Conway; art: Curt Swan & Francisco Chiaramonte. The first appearance of Vixen in an official comic book on the sales racks. Bob Oksner was left out of the mix. ⇒

THE SERAPH
THE SERAPH, SUPER FRIENDS 38 AND 41

⇐  The Seraph: The Seraph’s Day of Atonement, SUPER FRIENDS No. 38 (November ’80); story: E. Nelson Bridwell; art: Bob Oksner & Kim DeMulder. The Seraph: Dry Earth . . . Stolen Waters, SUPER FRIENDS No. 41 (February ’81); story & art: Bob Oksner.

A member of the Global Guardians–the international super-team introduced in the SUPER FRIENDS comic book–the Seraph was an Israeli super-hero, who made no secret of his identity. In his solo stories, the Seraph revealed the ancient and modern circumstances of the Jewish people.

The Seraph: Echo of Evil, SUPER FRIENDS No. 46 (July ’81); story & art: Bob Oksner. The ancient story of Masada provides the backdrop for this tale. ⇒

THE SERAPH, SUPER FRIENDS 46

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beverly hills silhouette, bob hope
The Adventures of Bob Oksner

portrait of the artist as an old man?

bob oksner academy awards⇐ In the fall of ’71, in all the November ’71 cover-dated issues of DC’s titles, this feature page appeared, ballyhooing the latest wins of the DC talent pool at the Academy Awards (well, someone’s academy’s awards).

Here were my heroes–their likenesses I was seeing for the first time, from some unidentified artist. But look at Bob Oksner! He looks ancient in contrast to everyone else on the page–especially Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams who look like they haven’t started shaving yet. Just how old was Bob Oksner, for crying out loud? Eighty? Ninety? A hundred?

In actual fact, his hair having already turned silver when he was in his forties, Bob had not yet turned 55 when the November dated comic books went to press. Older maybe, but not the Methuselah that I had thought he must be [in fact, he was less than a year senior to Jack Adler].

Born Robert on the 14th of October, 1916, in Manhattan, New York City, to the Oksner clan (the name was German–Ochsner–but with a Polish spelling), the family upped sticks and moved to Paterson, New Jersey, before Bob had seen more than a year in this world. As a child he liked to draw airplanes and he took an art class in high school. Nevertheless, his parents wishing their son should be a lawyer if not a doctor, he was pre-law at New York Univesity.

While there, Bob submitted cartoons to the magazine, N. Y. U. VARIETIES. Oksner also had some musical ability as he played the piano and wrote songs for college dances. Subsequently, Bob edited a different [unidentified] magazine, that allowed him to meet established artists like Russell Patterson and William Brown–these artists encouraged him to attend the Art Student’s League.

It was at the A.S.L., in a class taught by George Bridgman, where Bob Oksner met the former Miss Ulster County of New York and the future Mrs. Oksner, Patricia.

After two years of art school, Bob’s parents wanted him to complete his education by getting an M.A at Columbia University, which qualifed him to teach–I guess they had given up on the dream of being a lawyer. But it was while attending the A.S.L., in ’39 or ’40, that Bob got a job working for Funnies Incorporated, a shop run by Lloydd Jacquet, which provided material for various comic book publishers–Timely being one in particular. Bob would do his comic book drawing in the evening, while still attending art school in the day.

At the Lloyd Jacquet shop, Oksner worked with writers like Mickey Spillane and Ray Gill, as well as doing his own writing. There he created Terry Vance, the School Boy Sleuth, which had a long run in MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS.

The brother of Bob’s soon-to-be wife got Oksner an interview with Ned Pines. Pines owned the comic book company called at various times Cinema, Standard, Nedor, Pines and Better Publications. There, Bob worked as art director. It was while at that company that Bob created his own syndicated comic strip, MISS CAIRO JONES, which he worked on while continuing at the Ned Pines operation.

After that strip ended in ’47, Bob Oksner departed Ned Pines and went over to National Comics, working for editor Sheldon Mayer. That arrangement didn’t last long, as Mayer would soon give up editing for his first love, writing and drawing comics–but it was during that interregnum that Mayer and Oksner co-created LEAVE IT TO BINKY, which would be one of the longest running gigs for Bob.

Another of Bob Oksner’s editors was Lawrence Nadle, for whom Bob did a lot of work in the ’50s–both art and story. In fact, Bob did a lot of writing uncredited on books like JERRY LEWIS for no money. Nadle credited this work in his accounting to other writers, paid them and then got a kickback from them. This under the table deal went on for many years, with no one at DC being the wiser.

Soon after their marriage, Bob and Patricia Oksner settled down in Teaneck, New Jersey, where in the fullness of time, three beautiful daughters were born, Rebecca, Peggy and Amy–wife and daughters must have been stunning, as they served as the models for all Bob’s women.

Jerry 84, Bob Oksner drawing board.Fearless Tarantula, THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS No. 84 (September-October ’64); story: Arnold Drake. ⇒

Wendell Doll serves as a portrait of the artist.  One imagines the studio set up is drawn from life, as well.

In Teaneck, the Oksners were active in their community and Bob taught adult education classes. Later on, the family moved out to the country, to Saugerties in Ulster County, that’s in upstate New York.

Sugar, Bob OksnerSugar–with Spice, ALTER EGO No. 67 (April 2007). ⇒

Oksner gave this drawing to Bob Bailey in 1978, when the latter was a student at Joe Kubert’s school. It was a sketch for a proposed comic strip to be called SUGAR.

–Jim Amash [Roy Thomas, editor].

In 1978, Bob Oksner taught composition at the Joe Kubert School.

In addition to all his other work in comics, in 1966 after the death of DONDI’s co-creator, Gus Edson, Oksner wrote that comic strip, teaming with artist Irwin Hasen (the other co-creator of the strip, who Oksner had worked with often at DC in the ‘40s).

They both stayed with DONDI until the end of the strip in 1986–which is about when Bob retired from the funny business.

Of course, Bob Oksner was so prolific that it’s nearly impossible to catalogue everything that he worked on. On top of all his pencilling and writing, he inked for many other artists. One of the very last features that Bob inked before his retirement was Ambush Bug over Keith Giffen’s pencils.

All cover art by Keith Giffen & Bob Oksner: ACTION COMICS No. 565 (March ’85). AMBUSH BUG No. 3 (August ’85). AMBUSH BUG STOCKING STUFFER No. 1 (1986). SON OF AMBUSH BUG No. 1 (July ’86). ⇒

AMBUSH BUG, Giffen and Oksner

Bob Oksner passed away in 2007.

MISCELLANY

Marvel Mysteries: Terry Vance, the School Boy Sleuth: The Pharaoh’s Eye, MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS No. 30 (April ’42). The Destroyer: The Den of Horror, USA Comics No. 6 (December ’42). Marvel Boy, USA COMICS No. 7 (February-March ’43); story & art: Bob Oksner–first appearance for this version of Marvel Boy. BLACKSTONE THE MAGICIAN No. 2 (May ’48)–this was the first Timely/Marvel issue of BLACKSTONE, as the first issue was published by EC. BLACKSTONE THE MAGICIAN No. 3 (July ’48). ⇒

Marvel comics by Oksner (Timely)Blackstone 2 and 3 covers by Oksner

Better You Bet: Crash Carter, Air Cadet, EXCITING COMICS Vol. 6, No. 1 [16] (January ’42)–intro of Crash. Commando Cubs, Even the Windmills Cry Freedom, THRILLING COMICS No. 39 (December ’43); story: Richard Hughes [a Boy Commandos knock-off]. Mekano, WONDER COMICS No. 1 (May ’44). Brad Spencer, Wonderman, WONDER COMICS No. 9 (December ’46)–this is a weird one. ⇒

Crash Carter first appearance
Commando Cubs, MekanoBrad Spencer, Wonderman, Wonder Comics 9

More public domain comics from the Ned Pines publications can be found at Comic Book Plus.

Strange Adventures in Space (all cover art by Bob Oksner & Bernard Sachs): STRANGE ADVENTURES No. 7 (April ’51). STRANGE ADVENTURES No. 10 (July ’51). STRANGE ADVENTURES No. 11 (August ’51). STRANGE ADVENTURES No. 22 (July ’52). MYSTERY IN SPACE No. 8 (June-July ’52). ⇒

strange adventure 7, 10, 11, 22, Mystery In Space 8.It's a Woman's World, It’s a Woman’s World, MYSTERY IN SPACE No. 8 (June-July ’52), reprinted in FROM BEYOND THE UNKNOWN No. 11 (June-July ’71); story: John Broome; art: Bob Oksner & Bernard Sachs. In the future, women will control the world–but they’ll still wear fishnets.

It Will All End in Tears: Love Stories, DC 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR No. 5, reprinted in . . . REPLICA EDITION (2001). Julia Roberts, Romance Counselor, GIRLS’ ROMANCES No. 126 (July ’67)–Bob Oksner designed the masthead illustration for this long running advice column. YOUNG ROMANCE No. 174 (September ’71)–teachers never behave. ⇒

romance art by bob oksnerElvira original artMistress of the Macabre: In the early ‘80s, Elvira (played by Cassandra Peterson) hosted MOVIE MACABRE–which aired classic horror movies–and she became a cult sensation as a result. So much so that DC rented out its HOUSE OF MYSTERY to her.

In Quest of a Caretaker, ELVIRA’S HOUSE OF MYSTERY No. 2 (April ’86); story: Joey Cavalieri–this three page framing sequence was Bob Oksner’s last comic book work.  

[page 2, right; pages 1 & 3, below] ⇒Elvira no. 2

SUPERNUMERARY
Hawkman, FLASH COMICS 91 JANUARY 48⇐ Hawkman: The Phantom Menace, FLASH COMICS No. 91 (January ’48); story: John Broome. Bob Oksner had the chance to draw Hawkgirl in this eight page story.

World’s Greatest Super-Females, ADVENTURE COMICS No. 416 {DC-10] (March ’72)–on sale the 4th of January ’72. Oksner drew virtually every super-powered DC female circa 1972 for the wrap around cover on this Super Spectacular–the inside back cover provides a key [click to enlarge]. ⇒
Adventure Comics 416 cover
adv423SG8.JLA

⇐ ADVENTURE COMICS 423 (September ’72). SUPERGIRL No. 8 (November ’73)–the art for this cover may have been flipped, as Supergirl’s S that normally would be over her left breast has migrated to her right. While, Bob Oksner never was a Justice League artist, he pretty much drew all the Leaguers, separately or collectively everywhere else but their own book.

Superman, LIMITED COLLECTORS’ EDITION C-38 (October-November ’75). A beautiful cover for this tabloid-sized edition. ⇒

ltdc38.superman.oksOks.SM300

⇐ Superman 2001, SUPERMAN No. 300 (June ’76). A special imaginary story of tomorrow.

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My Favorite Funnies No. 19, Batman, Robin, BatgirlNext Issue:

IT’S THE CRAZE!

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JOIN THE HUMAN RACE

Bob Hope PSA, the golden rule
Bob Hope was a hero in our house.

Whether it was his specials or his yearly hosting of the Academy Awards or just an old Crosby and Hope Road movie on a weekend afternoon, everyone parked themselves in front of the TV to watch Mr. Hope.

He seemed to embody all the values my parents held dear–and with a witty crack or an endearing half-smile.

So when Bob Hope showed up in the regular DC PSA (yet another feature I looked for in every issue of a DC comic book–further evidence that National Periodicals was a company that cared about our welfare), it was not surprising that he was there to exhort the Golden Rule. Mr. Hope was always good for a laugh, but when it came down to it, he believed in the basic goodness of all mankind. Which is what my parents taught me and what my funny books taught me, too.

The PSA I saw was in the April ’67 issues of DC comics, but it had originally appeared in the April ’64 comics. The one above if from THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE No. 86 (April-May ’64)

The PSA was written by Jack Schiff, as usual, and it was illustrated by Bob Oksner, the Bob Hope artist–but here Mr. Oksner didn’t lampoon Mr. Hope as he did so often in THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE. There’s a time to be funny and there’s a time for more serious thoughts.

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