When I first started collecting comics, I fell in love with the stories, and of course the art. John Buscema was one of Marvel comics artists that really came into prominence in the mid-late 60's, becoming one of their heaviest hitters, one of their most popular and dependable. What I didn't realize for several years was how long he (and many of my favorite comic artists) had been working in the comics field...long before I was born!
Ah, the ignorance of youth!
John Buscema had in fact been drawing comics (mostly for Marvel/Timely/Atlas) since 1948. Here he draws Mr. Risk, a pipe smoking crime sleuth who was first introduced in 1942 (and drawn by EC comics genius and MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman in a 1943 story here shown at Pappy's ). Even early on Buscema displays the same skill at creating well proportioned, recognizable characters in that easily accessable style (like a cross between Joe Kubert and Alex Raymond) that I would fall in love with almost 20 years later.
This particular story is from Mr. Risk's first self titled comic book, MR. RISK # 7, 1950. For some reason, sadly, even though there was plenty of action, socks to the jaw, and solved cases, MR. RISK only lasted for 2 issues.
Remember, chum, when in dire peril, call
No case too dangerous,
No risk too great.