Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Invisible Publisher!

Pete Morisi, better known in some quarters by "PAM", is one of my favorite comic storytellers. His crisp clean style (adopted with permission from the great George Tuska) makes for a handsome comic page which offers a fresh restrained alternative to some of the more hectic talents of his time.

Morisi was a policeman for much of his comics career and consequently was unable to officially moonlight at other work, so he took the "PAM" identity to obscure his true situation. That slight air of mystery made the work I saw from him a bit more unusual perhaps than it might've been and also by the time I was taking notice he was working exclusively for Charlton Comics, a harbor for eccentric talents of all stripes.

In later years I'd learn a lot about Morisi, but I don't think I ever recollect seeing the cover above for the debut issue of Superior Stories from the heretofore unknown (to me) publisher Nesbit. This is their only comic series and it only ran four issues during 1955. Morisi did all four lead stories as well as the covers.

This adaptation of the H.G.Well's classic is vintage Morisi, a very clean and spare look to a story told many times in comic book form. Morisi as was his wont makes everything feel a bit too modern in this period story, but there's no denying his storytelling which briskly walks us through bare bone of the classic novel.

Go here to read the whole thing.

The cover above by Ross Andru  and Mike Esposito was for an unauthorized reprint of the Morisi story nearly a decade later for the scattershot I.W.Waldman/Super Comics publisher. It was in fact this cover, a nice action shot by Andru and his longtime partner Esposito which put me onto the Morisi original.

Below are the remaining three issues of Superior Stories. Below each you will find a link to read the full contents of each issue. Enjoy some terrific artwork.

Superior Stories #2

Superior Stories #3

Superior Stories #4
I can find little information about the Nesbit Publishing Company located apparently in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, but based on the several mentions of the Kiwanis Club and this current Kiwanis involvement there, I'm assuming some connection there.

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  1. Is it just me or is that Race Bannon on the cover of "Vengeance Squad"?

    1. He does look a bit like Race. But that's Vengeance Squad member Tulsa Coyle, the muscle on the team. Along with Eric Redd and Candy Orr he was the Vengeance Squad, a comic which deserved more exposure.

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