artwork copyright by DC Comics, Inc.

THE FORTIES
updated 070/08/07


SHUSTER SHOP
When Superboy was introduced in More Fun #101 in January 1945, the art was handled by Joe Shuster  himself, with the assistance of his shop.  These men worked directly for Shuster under his supervision and often worked on the same pages with Shuster providing layouts and finished inking on the heads.  Therefore the artwork is often inconsistent and definite attribution is complicated and difficult.  The hands of Ed Dobrotka, Marvin Stein and Ira Yarbrough are evident in these early stories. Marvin Stein (1925-?) was Shuster's primary assistant during the early Superboy days.  His inks are apparent in most of the More Fun run, especially number 105.  In issue 107's "Crimes on Delivery" written by Don Cameron, Stein seems to have done all the artwork.  Stein left Shuster shortly after this and went over to Simon and Kirby's outfit where he inked a lot of Jack Kirby's major work through out the fifties, including the earliest Challengers of the Unknown stories and samples for Kirby's newspaper strip Sky Masters of the Space Force.
Joe Shuster art from More Fun 101 Jan-Feb 1945 Written by Jerry Siegel. More Fun 107 "Crimes on Delivery" by Marvin Stein(?) written by Don Cameron
Although the first Superboy cover on Adventure Comics was most likely pencilled by Joe Shuster, with inks by Marvin Stein, most of covers were handled by other artists. The More Fun covers and the earlier, more humorous covers on Adventure appear to have been both pencilled and inked by Stan Kaye.
Jack Burnley also pencilled a number of covers prior to leaving comics in 1948.  This cover is inked by George Roussos.
Jack Burnley and Stan Kaye.
In late 1946, John Sikela (1907-98) returning from the war became the primary Superboy artist. This lasted until Siegel and Shuster departed from DC and began suing for ownership over Superman and Superboy's copyrights. 
John Sikela /George Roussos art from "The Miracle Plane" in Adventure 117, June 1947. Written by Bill Finger. "The Quiz Biz Broadcast" by Don Cameron, John Sikela and George Roussos from Adventure 118, August 1947. This was the last Superboy story to feature the Siegel and Shuster by-line.
Afterwards
After this it gets complicated. The Grand Comics Database listed most of the Superboy stories from 1947-49 as "unknown Superboy penciller".  Considerable discussion has taken place on their lists over the years with first one artist, then another being considered the most likely prospect.  Concensus seemed to have settled on Ed Dobrotka, but there were too many stories that didn't fit.  Most recently, with the publication of the Superman Archives vol 6, it was discovered that one of the stories formerly thought to have been pencilled by Dobrotka had actually been pencilled by George Roussos, and that the artist had confirmed it. Since that was the "Dobrotka" story that most looked like the later Superboy work, it appeared most likey that the mystery penciller was George Roussos. 

However, further research has pointed at an artist who has never hithertoo been associated with DC comics at all!
Albert Borth Wenzel 1924-? apparently began his comic career drawing Superboy stories and covers for National Comics.  Following the return of John Sikela in April 1949, Wenzel began tapering off his National work, replacing it with stories for Lev Gleason's Crimebuster, Crime Does Not Pay and Daredevil Comics.  In 1951-52 he began ghosting the Spirit for Will Eisner, as well as beginning a long career as a magazine cartoonist.  After Gleason folded his work continued to appear in various ACG horror comics.  He also ghosted the syndicated features Steve Roper and  Buzz Sawyer in the 1960's.

Al Wenzel from Adventure 130,"Superboy-Super Salesman" by Bill Finger  July1948 Al Wenzel and  George Roussos? from "Superboy Meets Mighty Boy" in Superboy #1 April 1949.
This  pencil work is characterized by wild angle shots and weird perspective, showing Superboy flying with his legs widely apart, often with one tucked way high up at the knee.  This is a standard flying position for Superboy but this penciller pushes it to the extreme.  He loves overhead, underneath and flying directly at the reader shots.  His supporting cast figures are very cartoony and he shows a stong prediliction for long pointed noses and protruding ears.
In 1949, after the failure of Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman, John Sikela returned to work for DC and began drawing Superboy pretty much exclusively.  The addition of a Superboy comic book to the lineup meant a need for additional artists, so Curt Swan also began doing Superboy stories with Superboy #5.
John Sikela returned with Adventure139 in April 1949. "Superboy- Telegraph Boy". Writer unknown. Superboy 5 "Zoo For Sale" Page 6 Curt Swan and John Fischetti 1949

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