Dannay once recalled there was talk of an Ellery Queen newspaper comic
strip it is said nothing came of it.
September 30, 1946 the newspaper The Wilkes-Barre
Record ran the first in a series of eight mystery novelettes by
famous detective fiction writers.
Each story was contained in six installments. Starting with "A Tale
of Two Women" by Dashiell Hammett it also included: "The
Adventure of the House of Darkness" by Ellery Queen
(from Oct 7. to Oct 12. 1946),
"Borrowed Crime" by William Irish, "Cocaine" by
Cornell Woolrich, "Death Rides the Train" by Eric Stanley
Gardner, "The Mystery of The Spotted Pup" by Dorothy D. Hughes,
"The Seventh Murder" by Carroll John Daly and "Intruder
at Scotland Yard" by Eric Ambler.
I'm still unsure if these novelettes published in prose were accompanied
by any comic panels...
The art in the following panels was done by Paul Norris and the feature
was syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Norris,
best known for his work on the comic strip Brick Bradford and
Aquaman with Mort Weisinger was a prolific artist who also
worked on Dashiell Hammett's Secret Agent X-9. He started to work for King
Features after he returned from World War II.
Norris published similar work to accompany a 6 part publication of the
short story "The Adventure of the Seven Black Cats" in Washington D.C.'s
The Evening Star in September 1950.
Picture above left:
"The dainty woman moistened
her lips , she looked faint" - Panel from the late 40s comic "House of Darkness" by Paul
Picture above right:
"Chapter III - If he
replaced it as he felt like
replacing it the entire
instrument would be smashed". An illustration for
"Intruder at Scotland Yard." This piece is
rendered in ink and blue pencil.(Date unknown)
ads for Superman (and spin-offs) comic books sometimes included the phrase
"Challenge to the Reader!" to predict mystery plots inside.
We have to agree with Michael E. Grost who stated that
more than one aspect
of the mystery plots in Superman resemble Ellery Queen or Van Dine for that matter. Brainy amateur
detectives usually solve the case by pure logic. Use of disguise and impersonation recalls
Drury Lane. The showbiz settings, the many scholarly and intellectual characters also
recall the Van Dine School. As do the
museums; the private collections of Jimmy Olsen's Superman souvenirs and Superman's
Fortress of Solitude recall the many private museums in Van Dine school books. Metropolis
is a thinly disguised version of New York City and there
is a consistent liberal politic about the stories.
Above (from L to R): Superior series #1 with artwork by LB
Cole contains the story "The Challenging Case of Faith, Hope and a
Superior series #2 with artwork by LB Cole, includes stories "Terror Tide",
"Calamity Clock," "Vanishing Phantoms", "Devil in the Vault". Centre story
is "The Bell That Screamed" by Maxfield R. Pater.
Superior series #3 featuring dope use, lingerie and torture scenes!
Condemned by Frederuc Wertham. In "The Bubble Gum Mystery" Ellery discovers
kids getting drugs that have been smuggled into the country inside
bubble-gum balls. In "The Turbulent Tomb!" Ellery deduces how an isolated
lighthouse keeper was killed in the middle of the storm. Contains some of
the earliest drug stories. Find out how a practical joke by the Captain on
Ellery helps solve the crime. Also, is it murder or can a pair of pyjamas be
the reason for someone's death?
Superior series #4 includes the stories, "The Case of the Seventh Raven" and
"The Crooked Mile" artwork Jack Kamen
In 1949 Ellery appeared for four issues in Superior Comics.
Despite the artwork by Jack Kamen, Matt Baker, L.B. Cole (#1),
John Forte and the S.M. Iger studio, the series
was essentially forgettable --
appearing bimonthly from May through
November. Written by Ruth Ann Roche. The fifth issue was in the works when
the title was canceled and the name of Ellery
was changed to Edmond Blake and Nikki to Nola.
The names were pasted over the original lettering.
To make things more confusing, Edmond Blake poses as Tim Keene in the story
(Ellery Queen posing as Tim Keene).
The 9 page story intended for unpublished Ellery Queen
nr 5. appeared in Our
Secret #7 (April, 1950).
Above: Original panel for the Our Secret story
"Kiss and Tell" (1950). In the first panel you can see the original
usage of the names "Ellery" and "Nikki". In the last panel some cut and
paste work 'old style' to change "Ellery" into "Blake".
There were also Canadian editions of these comics.
Some of these comics were translated in foreign pulp magazines e.g. Pistas in Argentina
around 1950. The 4 EQ-stories were reprinted in Haunted Thrills
#'s 1 and 2 a few years later (6/52 and 7/52).
Policiaca, a 1953 comic book published monthly in Spanish by
Export Newspaper Service in New York City for Mexican Distribution also included
"Rest(less) in Peace"
originally appeared in Ellery Queen
#1, 1949 and continued as "Chant of the
Dead" when it re-appeared in Strange Fantasy #2,
1952. Ellery by now became Jerry. The story was
also found in 2 Eerie Publications Tales of Voodoo
(v2, 1968) and Terror
Tales (v.3,1969) as a
7 pages B&W reprint with some
(blood, bats,...) alterations. Finally a 5 pages
version found it's way into Horror Tales
n 1952 Ziff-Davis (the latter later becoming publisher of
EQMM) which was producing
comic books then, chose to issue an Ellery Queen book in conjunction with
the Dumont television series.
The four stories where drawn by two artists one of the signed with "R.Kay". Some of the stories
broke with the usual format by being just action-crime adventures instead of whodunits.
Although topped of by great Norman Saunders painted covers, the book lasted just two
issues (Spring and Summer of 1952), becoming more obscure than the Superior title
that had preceded it. And although Ellery appeared in a several forms on television from
1954 through at least 1959, comics publishers avoided making the mistakes of their
Above: Ziff Davis' Ellery Queen
included "Vengeance From the Grave" - "The Corpse That Killed" -
"The Legion of the Damned" - "The Chain Letter Murders" and Slippery
Slim in "The Hopeless Diamond".
"The Corpse That Killed" re-appeared digitally restored in a
Source Point Press publication with a collection Ellery Queen
comics. "J. Werner Presents Classic Pulp" series (release April 29. 2020)
Ellery's next appearance in comics was brought about by
the same company that introduced him. Dell Publishing gave us Ellery Queen
(Detective) for three issues of their Four Color series (1165, 1243, and 1289),
dating 3-5/61, 11/61-1/62 and 4/62. This rendition of Ellery was somewhat modernized for
the 60's but still carried the same basic plot concepts as earlier comics versions.
Artwork was done by the late Mike Sekowsky and his Ellery differs from the rest by wearing
Above: Ellery and his dad in "Voodoo
These comics were translated for different
countries (e.g. Australia,...). Between '61 en '62 the publisher Zuid-Holland published a Dutch version (Nos. 1-3-5 in a series of 6 issues).
were alternatingly published with an edition called
Strangely enough the comic was printed in black and white.
Also the extra trivia pages at the beginning and the end
of the comic were omitted... From June1962 on
Spanish editions of these three issues were published in Mexico for Editions
SAE (Domingos Alegres presents).
December 14. 2015 Coachwhip Publications republished the three Dell comics as one volume under
the title Ellery Queen,
Detective (A Dell Comic Reprint) . This volume
collects the three Dell Four Color comics in the
Ellery Queen, Detective, set.
Above bottom (from L to R): Dell Four
colour series N°1165 - 1961, N°1243 - 1961-62 and N°1289 - 1962.
Despite all this Ellery again disappeared from the
comics scene. Or did he? He actually did return in a spoof, in a comic
Inferior 5 (Nr.7 March-April 1968) the five
"heroes" encounter "Allergy Queen" the sleuth for a criminal mastermind.
Right before his great revelation Allergy is reduced to dust...
1976 when Marty Pasko wrote the script for a
12 page Batman story called "A Clue Before Dying"
(Detective Comics Nr.
459 - May 1976) It involved the work of artist Jose Luis
tries to find the man who killed mystery writer Elliot Quinn, and who may
be the same man who killed an architect in Quinn's home years ago. On
the cover one can clearly make out Alfred Pennyworth, the police, Batman
unmasking, and Elliot Quinn's corpse. Not only an homage to Queen but in
the story also "a" Lt. Dannay appeared!
Above right: Detective Comics
No. 459 - May 1976 On the cover one can clearly make out Alfred
Pennyworth, the police, Batman unmasking, and Elliot Quinn’s corpse.
(Art: J.L.Garcia Lopez - Editing Julius Schwartz)
Above: Panel from "A Clue Before Dying" where we see
Lt.Dannay and find another classic imitation of the Challenge to the
Reader! Click on the panel for a the title page of the story...