Artist Spotlight - Manny Stallman

Earlier this week I presented a little mystery of sorts when I shared the 1966 Young Love #57 story, "How Long Can I Go on Loving the Man I Hate?" I was completely stumped on the artist, but luckily in the comments section, a few readers (including Nick Caputo of Marvel Mysteries and Comics Minutiae) were able to help me out! I now can concretely say after receiving their comments and doing some research on my end, that the artist responsible for the story in question is Manny Stallman.

 "Girl on the Run!" Girls' Love Stories #115 (November 1965) 

 "Girl on the Run!" Girls' Love Stories #115 (November 1965) 

Born in 1927, Stallman started in the comic book industry as a teenager. He had hopes of using his skills as an artist to break into the world of advertising, but Stallman worked for quite a few comic publishers before moving on. His first known published work was on a series of stories called Young Robin Hood in 1943 for Lev Gleason. In the following years, Stallman worked for almost every publisher out there -- Atlas, Avon, Harvey, and Prize, to name a few.

"The Strange Tree" Mystic #1 (March 1951) Scan from The Horrors of It All

"The Strange Tree" Mystic #1 (March 1951) Scan from The Horrors of It All

As you can see, Stallman also worked on a variety of genres including crime, horror, and romance. At times he just inked, as can be seen in this early example of Stallman's contribution to the romance genre:

"The Life of the Party!" Young Love #6 (December 1949) Pencils: John Guinta, Inks: Manny Stallman, Scan from the Simon and Kirby Blog

"The Life of the Party!" Young Love #6 (December 1949) Pencils: John Guinta, Inks: Manny Stallman, Scan from the Simon and Kirby Blog

Stallman only worked on a few DC romance stories in the '60s, but they are quite special. Not only are they rare, but they posses a certain fervid charm. What a shock it must have been for romance readers in the mid-sixties to encounter art and layouts so drastically unique as his!

"Burn, Heart -- Burn!" Girls' Love Stories #113 (August 1965) 

"Burn, Heart -- Burn!" Girls' Love Stories #113 (August 1965) 

Later on in his career, Stallman did get to that advertising work he had intended on when he was a teen. He went on to draw promotional comics for the ice cream chain, Baskin-Robbins, as well as for Big Boy. In his fantastic tribute to Stallman (which is definitely worth a read if you have a few minutes), Mark Evanier explains, "Manny’s Big Boy stories were just like Manny: sweet and utterly bizarre."

Adventures of Big Boy #73 Scan from the Grand Comics Database

Adventures of Big Boy #73 Scan from the Grand Comics Database

Stallman passed away in 1997, but from all accounts, he is remembered as a genuinely kind man and a certainly interesting (though relatively unknown) part of comic book industry history. Now that I know what his art looks like, I will be sure to keep an eye out for more in the 1960s romance books and report back in a future post if I find any! What do you think of Stallman's romance work?