Saturday, June 9, 2012

Phil Sturm, golden age comics writer and editor

Philip H. "Phil" Sturm (1913 -1999)  was a first generation American who was born in Brooklyn NY and during his 4 year comics career,  lived with his parents and sister on Bayview Ave.    His  entire comics career was for Harry "A" Chesler. Chesler was a service or shop providing comics for other publications, and then his own comics.  Sturm begain writing for Chesler  in 1939, and then in 1941, he became Chesler's editor.  He served in the military from January 1, 1943 to March 21, 1946. Upon his discharge from the military, he chose to work for the army in a civilian capacity for the next 30 years,  he also married, and raised a family. For the last years of his life, he lived on Staten Island.  

The 1940 census reports that, at age 26,  he was a magazine writer, and also was a Junior in College.
He reported that he worked 40 hours a week, and made $750 for the year, the equivalent of $6150 in 2010.  Let's hope he got a good raise the next year when he became an editor.

the stories below are only those that he is credited for, however this is far from all that he
actually wrote for Chesler.  Did he write some of the other Chesler material that showed
up in the Marvel (Martin Goodman) Comics?    "Probably" is the best we can say at this point.

Detective Eye #2 December 1940 Don Rance and the Mysticape -6p - Red Holmdale, art

editor:  Dynamic Comics #1 -3, 8      October 1941 - c1942/3
editor:  Punch Comics #1 - 2            December 1941 - Feb. 1942
editor:  Scoop Comics #1 -3             November 1941 - March 1942
editor:   Yankee Comics #1 - 4          September 1941 - March 1942

All Heroes Comics #1 March 1943 text page

   Blue Beetle story reported

Blue Beetle #15 October 1942  Blue Beetle - 8p  Phil Bard, art

Daring Mystery Comics # 3 April 1940 Dale of the FBI - 8p - Gus Rica?,  art
Mystic Comics #5  March 1941 The Terror - 7p, Syd Shores, art (art corrections by George Klein)
USA Comics #1  August 1941  Mr. Liberty  10p Syd Shores, art (inks by George Klein?)
USA Comics #2 Nov. 1941     Major Liberty  7p Syd Shores, art (corrections by Klein?)
USA Comics #3  Jan. 1942       Major Liberty  7p Syd Shores, art
USA Comics #4 May 1942       Major Liberty 7p  Syd Shores, art (inks by Shores?)

MLJ - Archie
Blue Ribbon Comics #3  January 1940 text page
Pep Comics #1   Jan 1940 - Kayo Ward  6p   Bob Wood, art
Pep Comics #2   Feb 1940 - Kayo Ward  6p  Bob Wood, art (script not confirmed)
Pep Comics #3   Mar 1940 - Kayo Ward 6p  Bob Wood, art  (script not confirmed)
Pep Comics #4  April 1940 - Kayo Ward 6p  Bob Wood, art (script not confirmed)

Syd Shores has stated that the Terror in Mystic Comics #5 was his first pencil and ink job, which he did
while on staff for the Chesler shop.   Dr Michael J. Vassallo, an expert on the art styles of George Klein,  believes that Klein inked the stories indicated.   Klein did not work for the Chesler Shop, which makes it possible that Klein's contributions were done later, and especially for Marvel (AKA Timely-Atlas).