Thursday, February 6, 2014

John Giunta (ca. 1920-1970)-Part 3

According to the book The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Companion (2005), John Giunta began working in comic books in 1939, when, as a beginning artist, he did lettering and coloring for the Harry "A" Chesler comic book shop. He also reviewed science fiction fanzines in Amazing Mystery Funnies #12 (Dec. 1939)According to the online Comic Book Database, Giunta's earliest credited work as a comic book artist appeared in Spitfire Comics #1, from August 1941. He continued working in comic books for the rest of his life and is credited with published work in all but four years between 1941 and 1970, the year of his death. In addition to Spitfire Comics, he worked on Joker Comics, Suspense Comics, Treasure Comics, Spook Comics, The Mad Hatter, All-Star Comics, All-American Western, Boy Commandoes, Badmen of Tombstone, Strange Worlds, Man Comics, Chamber of Chills, Weird Thrillers, Big Town, Strange Adventures, Mystery in Space, Lost Worlds, Phantom Stranger, Tomb of Terror, Thrills of Tomorrow, Superboy, Journey into Mystery, Two Gun Western, World of Suspense, Strange Tales, World of Fantasy, Eerie, The Fly, Adventures of the Fly, Tales of the Unexpected, Laugh, Pep, House of Mystery, Tales to Astonish, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Undersea Agents, Noman, Batman, and Detective Comics. That means that in his lifetime, John Giunta worked for Harvey, Timely, Continental Magazines, Prize Publications, Baily Publishing, O.W. Comics, DC, Avon, Ziff-Davis, Standard/Nedor, Atlas, I.W. Enterprises, Archie Comics, Marvel, and Tower Comics. His work has also been reprinted since his death.

According to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, John Giunta's first published work in a professional science fiction magazine was an illustration for "Bratton's Idea" by Manly Wade Wellman in the December 1940 issue of Comet, edited by F. Orlin Tremaine. Giunta's second credited illustration was for "The Hound" by Fritz Leiber, Jr., published in Weird Tales in November 1942. For the next eight years, his illustrations in the genres of science fiction and fantasy appeared only in Weird Tales. That changed in December 1950 with his illustrations for Out of This World Adventures. From the early 1950s to the late 1960s, Giunta contributed to Fantastic Adventures, Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader, Fantastic, Infinity Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Science Fiction Adventures, Venture Science Fiction Magazine, Saturn, Fantastic Universe, If, Galaxy Magazine, and Worlds of Tomorrow. He was also art director for Original Science Fiction Stories and Saturn. And again, his work has been reprinted since his death in 1970.

Those are some long lists for a blog posting, but I have compiled them for a reason. John Giunta was both a comic book artist and a science fiction illustrator. You would hardly know that to look at sources in print or on the Internet. The science fiction sources pretty well ignore his work in comic books, and the comic book sources tell very little about his work as an illustrator. Why is that? Why should there be this unbridged gap between a genre (science fiction) and a form (comic books) that so naturally go together?

To be concluded . . . 

"The Magician from Mars," a comic book character and series created by John Giunta, Malcolm Kildale, and Michael Mirando in Amazing Man Comics (Centaur, 1940-1941). Giunta's interest in science fiction shows through pretty clearly here. If you remember my posting from the other day, Malcolm Kildale was the artist from whom Frank Frazetta seems to have borrowed an image or two.
Roly-Poly Comics #10 (Green Publishing Company, Jan. 1946). "Jay Gee," the artist, was John Giunta. 
Fantasy, a fanzine dated November 15, 1948, with cover art by John Giunta, evidence that he was involved in fandom even after having become a professional artist. 
A somewhat muddy interior illustration for "The Moonrakers," Giunta's own story from If (Jan. 1966). 
The cover of Fantasy-Times: The Science-Fiction Newspaper (Sept. 1956), with a small photograph of John Giunta in the upper right. Bill Blackbeard is in the lower center. Giunta illustrated his story (co-written with James O. Causey) "Hammer of Cain" for Weird Tales in November 1943.

Text and captions copyright 2014 Terence E. Hanley

No comments:

Post a Comment