These books have quickly moved to the top of my favorites list, as my interests have expanded beyond the good girl theme to include motorcycle related covers and further on into superheros.

Action Comics #29 is “pre war” from October 1940, the first appearance of Lois Lane on a comic book cover.  The release date of August 22, 1940 means it would have chronologically been printed for newsstands just behind self titled Superman #6 (July 10, 1940) and his appearances in New York World’s Fair Comics.  By my count making this just the 36th appearance of the man of steel, anywhere, ever.  Cover pencils by Wayne Boring.

The two incredible motorcycle covers directly reflect World War II in both Europe and Japan, serving as nice bookends to the era. Action Comics #66 is from November 1943 and #76 September 1944 – the height of U.S.
involvement in the war. Pencils on #66 are Jack Burnley and inks by Stan Kaye.  Inside Superman story script is Don Cameron (signed as Jerry Siegel) and pencils Ed Dobrotka (signed as Joe Shuster). Pencils on #76 are Wayne Boring with inks by Stan Kaye. Here the inside Superman story is penciled and inked by Ed Dobrotka.

This seems as good of time as any to explore the meaning of “pencil and ink.”  From what I learned on Wikipedia, an artist first creates the outline of the artwork in pencil. But printing presses could not reproduce penciled drawings so after that stage it is given to an inker (and after that potentially a third artist adds color).  It was the inker’s job to refine the lines over the penciled drawing.

“As the last hand in the production chain before the colorist, the inker has the final word on the look of the page, and can help control a story’s mood, pace, and readability. A good inker can salvage shaky pencils, while a bad one can obliterate great draftsmanship and/or muddy good storytelling.”


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