Thursday 3 December 2009

Well I Never Knew That Dept.

As noted on Bleeding Cool, a new biography of Patricia Highsmith reveals that Highsmith did a stint at the coalface of comics. Blimey. It's entirely possible that this information is in the biography of Highsmith I'm currently reading, Beautiful Shadow, but I haven't got very far with it yet. Anyway, a quick search on t'web (apart from bringing up Existential Ennui as one of the hits when you google "Patricia Highsmith comics" – not much bloody use to anyone there, including me) turned up this:

"Living in New York City and Mexico between 1942 and 1948, [Highsmith] wrote numerous comic book stories, turning out two stories a day for $55-a-week paychecks. With Nedor/Standard/Pines (1942-43), she wrote Sgt. Bill King stories and contributed to Black Terror. For Real Fact, Real Heroes and True Comics, she wrote comic book profiles of Einstein, Galileo, Barney Ross, Edward Rickenbacker, Oliver Cromwell, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. David Livingstone and others. In 1943-45 she wrote for Fawcett Publications, scripting for such Fawcett Comics characters as Golden Arrow, Spy Smasher, Captain Midnight, Crisco and Jasper. She wrote for Western Comics in 1945-47."

Right then. A-hunting we will go...


  1. According to the Joan Schenkar bio of PH, The Talented Miss Highsmith, her editor at Timely Comics tried to set her up on a date with Stan Lee! Apparently neither was interested so the date never happened. Also, Highsmith apparently removed almost every scrap of paper from her archives - which Schenkar had access to - of her work in comics.

  2. Wow, now there's a match made in hell! Highsmith and Stan Lee... the mind boggles! Bloody shame about her removing info about the comics from her archives; I did do a bit of scouring after this post but never managed to identify any specific comics issues she worked on

  3. I imagine her killing Lee and stuffing his body in a trunk after their first date, had it happened. How the world would be different...

    Schenkar mentions some of the same titles as Wilson and also reports that Highsmith wanted to work on Wonder Woman (makes sense) but was always denied the job. And when Highsmith spoke about working in comics, she often mentioned Batman and Superman - though from what I make of it, she didn't work on those two.

    The Schenkar book is wonderful but as an editor, it might give you fits.