Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Bill Fraccio, R.I.P.

Seems like it's bad luck for me to say I won't be posting for a while. Whenever I do it, I have to rush back here to post an obit for some veteran comic book creator...

Comic historian Jim Amash informs me of the death, about three weeks ago, of Bill Fraccio, whose work was all over Charlton and Dell Comics in the sixties. Almost all of it was done in tandem with his friend, Tony Tallarico. They were teamed so often that it's sometimes difficult to identify which stories were pencilled by Fraccio and which ones were solo work by Tallarico. I think (but cannot swear) that Fraccio drew the above covers but he may have only done the interiors. Tallarico was the senior partner in the combo. Most of the time, editors gave him the work and he called in Fraccio to help.

Fans know them best for their stints drawing Charlton's short-lived super-hero line of Blue Beetle and Son of Vulcan around 1965 and an odd batch of monster super-heroes — like the Super Frankenstein seen above — shortly after. In the late sixties, they collaborated on dozens of stories for Warren's Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella that were credited to "Tony Williamson" and later to "Tony Willamsune." (Reportedly, artist Al Williamson — who had recently quit working for Warren — objected to the company making it look like "Williamson" was still working for them.)

I never met Mr. Fraccio but Jim Amash says he was a very jolly man and that he loved to draw.

Posted at 8:34 PM · Permalink

Briefly Noted...

There may not be many postings here for the next day or two as I attend to some pressing matters. But I will return to you soon...and with the announcement of a new website I set up a few days ago. (If you've been paying attention, you may know its address already. I'll post it here before the week is out.)

After our spate of postings about comic book characters on stamps, many folks wrote to remind me that we could have Groo stamps or Crypt Keeper stamps or even Jack Kirby stamps. All we have to do is use a service like Photo Stamps, which can put any picture on a sticker that the U.S. post office will accept as postage. But you know what's wrong for me with this and all those lovely commemorative stamps? It's that since the invention of e-mail, I send very few letters to anyone I care about. I'd say that of the last fifty times I stuck a stamp on a letter, fewer than five were letters. The rest were bills...and between electronic bill paying and the ones my Business Manager handles, I don't even send out many of them. I don't send out Christmas Cards, either. Ultimately, jazzy stamps may be fun to collect but I don't need them for any other purpose.

Which reminds me: Thanks to Joe Dante, director of some of my favorite movies for sending me a DVD of his recent episode of the Showtime Masters of Horror series. My TiVo hiccuped and missed the first airing. Quite a few folks have told me it's wonderful, so I look forward to watching it after I get through this busy period. Joe says he reads this site every day...so this is an easier way to thank him than to write a letter. And besides, I'm out of stamps.

I did catch a little of TV Land's latest clip show, which is a five-part series counting down what they call The 100 Most Unexpected TV Moments. Here's the whole list and like all of these shows, one can quibble a lot with the selections. But it does make for a hundred interesting clips and that's reason enough to watch. (Also online are extended versions of some of the interviews with the featured players.)

Okay, I'm outta here. Back at full power in a day or so. And if I owe you e-mail — and I probably do — please forgive me.

Posted at 12:03 AM · Permalink

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