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reconstruction credits     original artwork credits

Noted expert Bob Hughes very kindly agreed to examine the surviving pages of the 1940 K-Metal artwork with an eye toward revealing who had worked on them.  When he sat down and began flipping through them, his first reaction was:

Gah!  Every page is drawn by a different person!

Undeterred, he dove right in:

OK, let's start at the beginning:

Siegel's cover letter to the script is dated August 7, 1940.

Paul Cassidy left Cleveland at the end of August to return to teaching in Wisconsin.  He did continue to work on Superman, ostensibly up until 1942, but he no longer worked in the shop.  He did complete stories, pencils and inks.  Superman #6 came out in August as did Action #29.  Jack Burnley was just beginning a run of 7 issues of Action, the first artist not employed by Siegel and Shuster to work on Superman.  Siegel's letter to Jack Liebowitz (not to editor Whit Ellsworth) shows that the shop was over taxed and falling behind.  Siegel's reassurences leave no doubt that he was feeling pressure from above, probably accompanied by threats of bringing the whole operation in-house if they didn't up production.

Leo Nowak started work for Siegel and Shuster in September 1940.  John Sikela also joined the studio in 1940, beginning as a background artist.

Shuster's usual role at this time was to come in and redo Superman and Lois' heads.

Will Murray recognized the handwriting on the unsigned note attached to the plot summary as being editor Whitney Ellsworth—which makes sense—who else could it be?

The peak of the shop art system—where everybody is working on every page—is evident in Superman #7 through #10.  By Superman #11, which came out in May 1941, the artwork is primarily in the hands of individual artists again, alternately Leo Nowak and John Sikela.

So this story came into existence right at the height of panic-driven shop madness.

Now let's look at the individual pages:

Page 1 - The Superman figure is very Joe Shuster.  The rest of it????

Page 5 - Very much Paul Cassidy.  Look at the twisted necks in panels 3,4,5,7 and 8.  Those are Cassidy trademarks.  The inking and backgrounds could be John Sikela.

Page 7 - Some sketchy Cassidy layouts.  Superman's figure is fleshed out by Wayne Boring.  See the barrel chest in panel eight (panel seven in Siegel's script and in the restored version of the page).  Inking is by Boring and probably Don Komisarow.  Komisarow didn't hang around too long.  He began doing fashion art in the newspapers and later went on to assist Lou Fine at Quality.  He was an expert at over-embellishing stuff, but could actually draw real street clothes.

Page 8 - The detail is washed out here, but Boring is starting to overpower Cassidy.  Or maybe Cassidy isn't here at all.  That's Wayne Boring's cape on Superman.  Cassidy's is pulled tight up against the back of his neck.  It's hard to tell with all the detail being washed out, but we might have changed inkers.

Page 9 - Boring and probably Leo Nowak.   Not sure, but the inking is stronger.  More sure of itself, not relying on endless noodling to cover up the fact that the artist has no idea what he's trying to do.

Page 11 - Boring and the same inker as page 8.

Page 12 - Boring and Don Komisarow.  These guys did a lot of the newspaper dailies around this time.  Komisarow loved textured backgrounds.  Look at the tires, the bricks, the shading, the shadows, the creases in the suits.  Best page in the story so far.

Page 13 - Cassidy is back!  They must have just ripped the script in pieces and tossed the pages around the room.  The inker is probably still Komisarow.

Page 15 - Wayne Boring.  Not enough detail to be sure of the inker.

Page 17 - I'm thinking this is Paul Cassidy.

Page 20 - Probably Wayne Boring, but there's an awful lot of John Sikela in this page.

Page 21 - Wayne Boring, maybe Leo Nowak.

Page 23 - Wayne Boring, maybe Leo Nowak.

It's a pretty good story.  I wish DC had gone ahead with the plans to finish it.  Apparently the front office didn't think it was "special" enough.

They were wrong.

Bob Hughes
"Who's Whose at DC Comics?" Creator Credits and art samples from DC's Golden and Silver Age Comics, especially Superman and Batman profiled here.

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