Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners by Mike Roy, Mike Peppe' and Mort Drucker

Jackie Gleason was a struggling actor until he finally found his medium with television in the 1950's. Gleason is mainly known to the public these days for his Honeymooners TV series that has been in constant syndication since the 1950's. But he was a working actor in the 40's through the 1980's in films as well. After his best known role as Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit series in the late 70's and 80's, his best known film role was in The Hustler (1961) as Minnesota Fats directed by Robert Rossen. These comic books from the mid 1950's, however, reflect his television personality and the characters he created for his show The Jackie Gleason Show. 

The first issue below was published by St. John in 1955 and was written by Frank Ryan and Bill Shelly. Writers credits were extremely rare until the 60's in comic books, so this acknowledgement is a surprise. The artists on the entire series ( only 4 issues were published) were by Mike Roy and Mike Peppe. The choice of the large ink line by Peppe is interesting and surprising. I know his work from inking Alex Toth around this time for Standard Comics and it's delicate and gentle. It almost seems as if he were going for an animation style. 

The second issue posted was published by DC Comics in 1956/1957 and was drawn by Mort Drucker, as was DC's entire run of 12 issues that lasted until 1958. Both titles were drawn very stylized, but each had their own flavor as interpreted by the artists. Enjoy.

Jackie Gleason #3, 1955

Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners #4, 1956/1957

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