Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reading Room: SPACE ACTION "Silicon Monsters from Galaxy X"

If you're a cheesy sci-fi fan like me, you'll go for a story with a title like...
...'cause with a title like that, you're in for a fun (if not totally rational or even coherent) time!
While the writer is unknown, the art for this tale from Ace's Space Action #2 (1952) is attributed to "Jim McLaughlin", who had a short-lived comics career doing work primarily for Ace!
After that publisher dropped comics in 1955 to concentrate on paperbacks, he did a couple of stories for Atlas/Marvel, then a run of Dell's adaptation of the TV series Gunsmoke.
Then "Jim McLaughlin" disappeared.
Totally.
Unlike most comic book artists who went on to do commercial art or newspaper strips, there's no trace of "Jim McLaughlin" after his brief foray into four-color publishing...and no background about his pre-comics career!
Here's another interesting point...his art style altered considerably during his career.
In this story, the inking looks a lot like the work of long-time artist Jim Mooney!
In fact, a number of panels resemble Mooney's work on the DC strip Tommy Tomorrow, which Jim Mooney was both penciling and inking during the same period as "Jim McLaughlin's" work for Ace!
In McLaughlin's later work (particularly his Gunsmoke art), while the layouts look similar, the inking style is totally-different!
Was "Jim McLaughlin" a pen-name for a penciler working with at least two (if not more) different inkers?

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