Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Comics of Stanley Pitt: 1940's - 1970's

Stanley Pitt was an Australian cartoonist that got his start in the 1940's. Outside of the Wikipedia entry and a couple of other web pages, there's not a lot of information out there that's readily available. I first came across his work in The Witching Hour #14 (published by DC in 1971) back in the late 90's when I was buying DC mystery titles from the 70's based on the artists that appeared in them. This particular comic contained a rare mainstream story by Jeff Jones as well as a story by Al Williamson. It also contained an absolutely beautifully drawn story by someone named Stanley Pitt. Even then I was fairly aware of comic artists from that time period, and I had no idea who Stanley Pitt was. I found out a few years, later thanks to the internet, that he was a cartoonist from Australia who had been in the business for close to 30 years at that point. So why, out of nowhere, did he show up in an American comic book in 1971? Beats me. That same year he was also published by Gold Key in issue 33 of Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery. But that seems to be it for the US. He was hired by Al Williamson around this time to ghost a few weeks worth of Secret Agent Corrigan, so it's possible that he was able to get those two jobs through Williamson himself. It's a shame, because his work outside of those two stories is difficult to find. One of his most well-known creations is Silver Starr, a strip that ran in Australian newspapers in the late 40's. It's a beautifully drawn strip that not only showcases his obvious influence and love for Alex Raymond's romantic style from the 1930's and early 40's, but is also heavily influenced by Raymond's own creation Flash Gordon. He also drew a jungle strip around the same time called Yarmak.

Below are four complete stories that were drawn by Stanley Pitt. The Silver Starr comic is an obvious reprint of his newspaper strip from the late 40's. Like Flash Gordon, it's a healthy dose of sci fi fluff. All have serviceable scripts, but all are wonderfully drawn.

Silver Starr #1 1952

Yarmak#16 1949

The Witching Hour #14 1971

Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery #33 1971

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