Sponsored Comics: Hub Capps

Here’s Hub Capps, the story of a good-hearted hot rod kid. This one’s a pretty good read, and the art is quite nice, too. The strip is credited to Jay Howard, which I’m assuming is a pen-name. This name was one of my clues, wrong as it turned out, that Norman Maurer was running the show at Family Comics, since he was married into the Three Stooges Howard family, and I seem to recall he used the Howard name occasionally on his work.

I don’t know who the artist is, but the art certainly does look familiar. I feel like I ought to be able to ID the artist just on the strength of panel three of the second strip. I know I’ve seen faces drawn that way many times. I can’t put my finger on it, but I keep thinking that this is an art style that I used to see in the old Charlton comic books a lot. Hopefully one of you folks can supply an ID.

Oh, and sorry about the selection of strips here. I didn’t realize until posting this that I’d scanned two strips that hardly have any appearance by the star of the strip.

9 comments on “Sponsored Comics: Hub Capps

  1. Hub Capps originals were sold by Lowery galeries. Or maybe still are, I don’t know how many they have already sold. They do seem to have had a lot.

    I might have been pushing you toward Maurer. For me, this strip was one of the arguments. It seems like Maurer’s Timely cowboy work from the late fifties to me.

  2. Hi Allan,

    Yes, that is Norman Maurer’s work on “Hub Capps”. This strip was one of his many enterprises after leaving his partnership with Joe Kubert. Maurer did a little work for several comic book companies in the late Fifties, but primarily applied his time to managing the Three Stooges and working on various film projects. And as you suspected, the name “Jay Howard” is a pseudonym, comprised of the first initial of his son Jeffery and his wife Joan’s maiden name, Howard (she was Moe’s daughter).

    By the way, I happen to own the original artwork to the first “Hub Capps” strip, which is the top one you scanned. I’ve uploaded a scan to my ftp space at: http://www.comicartville.com/hubcappsstrip.jpg Take care.

    Ken Quattro

  3. Glad that everyone seems to be in agreement that this is Maurer, but I just can’t see the same artist producing both this strip and Happy Days 1969. This art, while serviceable, is to my mind far inferior and stylistically contrary to the transcendent work on Happy Days. Was Maurer really so flexible that he could work in two such contrary styles??


  4. Hi Ken –
    Thanks for posting that page. Looks to me to be yet another style adopted by Maurer. Was this guy known for his multiple art personalities or is this simply a case of a guy who would sign his name to work by others?


  5. While I can’t say for certain that Maurer never signed his name to a ghosted strip, I do know that he was a talented artist in his own right. As he matured, Maurer’s style became more polished (the Stooges example I posted was from 1953). I believe it was a matter of his being more comfortable in his ‘humorous’ style. The “Hub Capps” strip was in his more ‘realistic’ style. “Happy Days 1969” is obviously Maurer adopting a sleeker ‘space age’ style in keeping with the feature’s subject matter. Furthermore, while I can see him using two styles and names to give the impression that two artists drew the two strips, I don’t understand why he would sign his own name to the one that was ghosted and use a pseudonym on the one he drew himself.

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