From Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #3 (April 1957), here’s “They Didn’t Believe Him,” with art by Steve Ditko — as if you couldn’t tell at a glance!
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You’ve gotta love the leer of the mermaid in the second panel of the second page. When she tells the young dreamer to be among the reeds in the morning, you know he’s gonna be there, and when says she’ll come again, you definitely believe her!
From Unusual Tales #7 (May 1957), here’s “The Man Who Painted on Air,” cover and story, with art by Steve Ditko and script by the great unknown:
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Registered users can download Unusual Tales #7, in its entirety, via The Digital Comics Museum; the story posted above is a version of the DCM scan that has been run through GIMP to adjust the colour levels. The cover scan, which is from an online auction, has also been run through GIMP.
A nicely cleaned up (and slightly more muted) version of “The Man Who Painted on Air” is included in Unexplored Worlds: The Steve Ditko Archives, Vol. 2 (Fantagraphics, 2012).
For those who don’t aleady know, The Steve Ditko Archives, edited by Blake Bell, is a project to reprint all of the pre-Comics Code stories with art by Steve Ditko that have fallen into the public domain.
Unfortunately, the first volume in the series, Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1, is currently marked “sold out” in the publisher’s online catalogue.
The most recent volume, Mysterious Traveller: The Steve Ditko Archives, Vol. 3, was published earlier this spring.
Lioness Watching Cabin is included in Frank Frazetta: Book Three (New York: Bantam Books, 1979), but no date is given. Ditko’s story “The Teddy Bear” was published in Amazing Adventures, vol. 1, no. 3, in August 1961. The panel by Frazetta that features “Krag, the sabretooth tiger” is from the second page of the story “When the Earth Shook,” which appeared in Thun’da #1 in 1952.
With the help of a reader, Clayton, I now have a rough date for “Lioness Watching Cabin,” which, it turns out, is one of the few completed illustrations from a re-do of a Wally Wood illustrated story, “Came the Dawn,” written by Al Feldstein, that Frazetta worked on, but didn’t finish, for the unpublished Shock Illustrated #4, which, had it been published, would have appeared in 1956. Frazetta’s artwork was featured early last year on Mr. Door Tree’s Golden Age Comic Book Stories blog, which I regularly visit and highly recommend to anyone who might be reading this message. Here’s the link to Mr. Door Tree’s post that includes Wally Wood’s original illumination of Feldstein’s script along with Frazetta’s abandoned re-vision.
All of which means we can now say with some certainty that Frazetta’s “Lioness Watching Cabin” illustration was produced before the mountain lion watching tent comic panel by Ditko.