Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dell, Gold Key, and Dell Comics ( PART II )

Just to name another of the great cartoonists who drew comic books for DELL, and later, GOLD KEY, I am going to bring up Dan Spiegle, a very prolific illustrator for both companies.
Spiegle drew projects adapted from television series, such as MAVERICK and THE UNTOUCHABLES.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Spiegle, from GRAPHIC STORY WORLD, Richard Kyle, Editor, from 1972.
Interview conducted by Dan Gheno.
Dan Spiegle: Well, I rarely look back into my past. The story I'm drawing at the time is my main concern. Nonetheless, I would say my favorite was Maverick, which ran about three years----fairly successful, considering the run of other western strips published then.
I was assigned this strip even before they had stills available for the show, so I was sent down to Warner Bros. to see it in production----where I met James Garner, which is perhaps the reason I enjoyed it so much. Having met the star, I was extra careful to make the drawings I did look as parallel to the real person as possible. I put my all into that strip, having fun all the way.
Q: How did you come to draw "Space Family Robinson"?
Dan Spiegle: At that time, Del Connell, a Western editor, was writing the origin issue for the new magazine, and they asked me to draw up a cast of characters. Western liked them so much that they assigned me the strip. It was a success right from the beginning, running about four years, for a while one of their most popular.
In fact, it was so popular that CBS stole our idea and refused to pay us any royalties! We were going to sue, but our lawyers cautioned against it, since we were doing so many comic books on their characters, and in the long run we would lose from the loss of business from them. So we adopted their title and added it to ours in hope of deriving some publicity off the tv show.
the above excerpt is (c) by the respective copyright holder (s) and is presented here under "fair use"
Spiegle is gifted at capturing the likenesses of actual people, and was thus an ideal choice for Western Publishing, who produced the Dell and Gold Key comic books, to keep busy drawing adaptations like those mentioned above, but Dan's canny ability at portraying characters of his own design, in uncanny situations, for such series as the above mentioned SPACE FAMILY ROBINSON and it's companion featurette, "Captain Venture" made him an equally ideal choice for drawing those as well.
Spiegle also drew adaptations of such hit Walt Disney films as THE SHAGGY DOG and THE ABSENT MINDED PROFESSOR.
I would guess that Spiegle probably churned out thousands of pages, from his premiere work, drawing the syndicated HOPALONG CASSIDY strip, to the tv/movie adaptations and SPACE FAMILY ROBINSON noted here, to his later work, drawing some series for DC COMICS, and drawing the dramatic portions of a MARVEL COMICS adaptation of Disney's WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.
Mr. Spiegle was born in 1920, his daughter, Carrie Spiegle, is a well-known comic book letterer of the 1980's and 1990's, also known as Carrie McCarthy.

No comments: