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Strange Tales of the Unusual #1-11 (Dec. 1995 – Aug. 1967).

Strange Tales of the Unusual #5

Bill Benulis (born November 5, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, died May 30, 2011 in Fort Pierce, Florida) was an American comic book artist in the 1950s. His style is distinctive, and he signed his work, but he drew only a small number of stories, in a variety of genres. His work appears in war comics, horror comics, and science fiction comics.

He attended the Cartoonist and Illustrators School (later renamed the School of Visual Arts). One of his teachers was Jerry Robinson, and a fellow classmate was Steve Ditko. Although Bill had polio, he was able to walk without the use of a cane until late in life. Polio did not hinder his ability to get work at both Fiction House and Timely/Atlas. Timely was his first professional art job in 1952; for a few years he teamed up with Jack Abel as his inker. He also worked briefly as an assistant at the studio of Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs. He said "I went to Fiction House to have a second place in case I couldn't get work at the first place.”

Bill Benulis mainly worked freelancing for Timely/Atlas, (1952-1956). He drew nearly a hundred stories in mystery and war titles, including Adventures into Weird Worlds, Astonishing Comics, Battle, Journey into Mystery, Mystery Tales, Navy Action, Private Penny, Strange Tales, Strange Tales of the Unusual, War Comics and Speed Carter Spaceman.

Bill BenulisHe was also present at Fiction House in titles like Ghost Comics, The Monster, Planet Comics, Rangers Comics and Wings Comics, and at Premier Magazines (Police Against Crime, Masked Ranger). He was affiliated to the Simon and Kirby studio around 1953-54. Benulis seems to have made a very brief stop there. He only did three pieces (at least during this period) and they all appeared in January 1954. His romance work was the most interesting. Benulis was new to comics and his art has a more modern approach. He gives his woman a scratchy look which is very unfortunate thing to do in romance comics. Benulis is one of the younger artists who did romance in a more modern style and gave his characters more modern clothing and hair styles.

Bill often used likenesses of famous people such as Marilyn Monroe, Burl Ives, etc., in his artwork. His career in comics lasted only four years, due to the Comic Code Authority taking its toll on the industry in 1955 and 1956, since Bill’s specialties had been science-fiction and horror. Benulis entry into comics was ill timed and he seems to have been a victim of the crash that would affect the comic industry in a few years. After a short stint at Terry-Toons as a colorist and doing a few miscellaneous book illustrations, including one for a Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction book, he decided not to pursue his art further and went to work for the U.S. Post Office Service in NJ & NY as a letter carrier for the next 34 years. There he met his future wife Loretta; they married in 1958, and have three children and two grandchildren.

He was a resident of Fort Pierce since 1992, moving from New Jersey. Bill was an avid reader of both World War II and science-fiction books; he admired sf writers and was in awe of WWII vets.

Sadly, he never drew any more after his short time in comics—a time in which he was able to work alongside others he admired.

From Alter Ego 110, wikipedia and other sources.

Strange Tales of the Unusual #7