Kin Platt

Kin Platt

Kin Platt (August 12,1911-November 30, 2003, New York City, New York) is an American writer-artist best known for penning radio comedy and animated TV series, as well as children's mystery novels, for one of which he received the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award.

He additionally wrote comic books (creating an early funny-animal superhero, Supermouse) and comic strips.

Biography

Early life and career

The son of Daniel and Etta Hochberg Platt, Kin Platt in the mid-1930s wrote radio comedy for George Burns, Jack Benny, the comedy team of Stoopnagle and Budd, and "The National Biscuit Comedy Hour of 1936". Later in the 1930s, he wrote for Disney and Walter Lantz theatrical cartoons, and he scripted the Robert Benchley film, "How to Read" (1938).

Comic books

He broke into comic books with humor stories featuring the character "Happy" in the Better Comics omnibus "Best Comics" #1 (Nov. 1939). Platt went on to write and draw many features in the next few issues and to draw such features as "Captain Future" in Better's "Startling Comics"; "The Mask" (no relation to the 1990s Dark Horse Comics character), featuring a district attorney turned costumed crimefighter, in "Exciting Comics"; and writer Richard Hughes' Doc Savage-like "Doc Strange" (no relation to Marvel Comics' Dr. Strange), in "Thrilling Comics".

Post-war career

After doing WWII military service with the U.S. Army Air Force's Air Transport Command from 1943-46 began working for such comic book companies as Timely (the 1940s predecessor of Marvel), for which his features included "Widjet Witch" in "Comedy Comics"); and Better/Nedor/Standard, where he created Supermouse in 1948. Additionally, Platt wrote for the Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis comics at DC. For two years he drew the adventures of Pepsi and Pete for the advertising strip, "Pepsi Cola Cops".

For the "New York Herald Tribune" Syndicate, Platt wrote and drew the comic strip "Mr. and Mrs." from 1947-63, and "The Duke and the Duchess" from 1950-54. Additionally, he drew theatrical caricatures for such newspapers and magazines as "The Village Voice" and the "Los Angeles Times". In the 1960s, Platt scripted TV animation, including for the Hanna-Barbera series "The Jetsons", "The Flintstones", "Yogi Bear", "Top Cat" and "Jonny Quest" (for which at one point he held the title of "story director"), as well as for Hal Seeger Productions' "Milton the Monster".

Young-readers' literature

Plat began writing children's books and young-adult mysteries in 1961. He eventually published more than 30 books, including general-reader mysteries. His pseudonyms included Guy West, Alan West, Wesley Simon York, Nick Tall, Nick West, Noah Zark and Kirby Carr. [Contemporary Collections holdings of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University] Platt wrote several novels in the "Hitman" series under the name Kirby Carr.

Platt also returned to comics around this time, writing occasional stories for the DC Comics titles "G.I. Combat", "Our Army at War" and "Star Spangled War Stories" in 1964. His final known comics credit is a 48-page adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in "Marvel Classics Comics" #1 (1976).

Later career

The 1973 film "Baxter!", a psychological drama starring Patricia Neal, was based on a book by Platt, "The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear".

He continued writing books throughout the 1980s, though some novels remained unpublished. This material, as well as unpublished caricatures submitted to magazines and newspapers, was donated to the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. "Big Max and the Missing Giraffe" was published posthumously by HarperTrophy in 2005.

Awards

* 1967 Edgar Award for juvenile mystery, for "Sinbad and Me"
* 1970 Edgar Award nomination, for "The Mystery of the Witch Who Wouldn't"

Quotes

Al Jaffee:

Bibliography

Children's Books

*"Big Max", illustrated by Robert Lopshire
*"Walt Disney's Snow White and Donald Duck" (Whitman, 1967; as Nick Tall)
*"Walt Disney's Donald Duck Buried Treasure" , illustrated by Anthony Strobl (Whitman, 1968; as Nick Tall)
*"Woody Woodpecker and the Busy Beavers" (Whitman, 1968; as Nick Tall)
*"Mystery of the Coughing Dragon" (Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series, Book 14) (1970; as Nick West)
*"Mystery of the Nervous Lion" (Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series, Book 16) (1971; as Nick West)
*"Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped" (comic book adaptation as Nick Tall, illustrated by Frank Redondo) (Pendulum Press, 1974)
*"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Great Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" (comic book adaptation as Nick Tall, illustrated by Nestor Redondo) (Pendulum Press, 1974)
*"Big Max and the Mystery of the Missing Moose" (HarperCollins, 1975)
*"Darwin and the Great Beasts" (Self-illustrated) (Greenwillow, 1992)
*"Big Max and the Mystery of the Missing Giraffe" , illustrated by Lynne Cravath (HarperCollins, 2005)

Young Adult Books

*"The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear" (Chilton, 1968)
*"Hey, Dummy" (Chilton, 1971)
*"Chloris and the Creeps" (Chilton, 1973)
*"Chloris and the Freaks" (Bradbury, 1975)
*"Headman" (Greenwillow, 1975)
*"The Terrible Love Life of Dudley Cornflower" (Bradbury, 1976)
*"Run for Your Life" (F. Watts, 1977)
*"Chloris and the Weirdos" (Bradbury, 1978)
*"The Doomsday Gang" (Greenwillow, 1978)
*"Dracula, Go Home" (F. Watts, 1979)
*"The Ape Inside Me" (Crowell, 1980)
*"Flames Going Out" (Methuen, 1980)
*"Brogg's Brain" (Crowell, 1981)
*"Frank and Stein and Me" (F. Watts, 1982)
*"Crocker" (Lippincott, 1983)
*"A Mystery for Thoreau" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008) [ [http://www.fsgkidsbooks.com Farrar, Straus and Giroux] ]

"Steve Forrester" young-adult mysteries

*"The Blue Man" (Harper, 1961)
*"Sinbad and Me" (Chilton, 1966)
*"The Mystery of the Witch Who Wouldn't" (Chilton, 1969)
*"The Ghost of Hellsfire Street" (Delacorte, 1980)

Mysteries

*"Dead as They Come" (Random House, 1972)
*"A Pride of Women" (Robert Hale, 1974)
*"Murder in Rosslare" (Walker, 1986)

"Max Roper" mysteries

*"The Pushbutton Butterfly" (Random House, 1970)
*"The Kissing Gourami" (Random House, 1970)
*"The Princess Stakes Murder" (Random House, 1973)
*"The Giant Kill" (Random House, 1974)
*"Match Point for Murder" (Random House, 1975)
*"The Body Beautiful Murder" (Random House, 1976)
*"The Screwball King Murder" (Random House, 1978)

"Hitman" Series (as Kirby Carr)

*"Who Killed You, Cindy Castle" (Canyon Books, 1974)
*"Let Me Kill You, Sweetheart" (Canyon Books, 1974)
*"The Girls Who Came To Murder" (Canyon Books, 1974)
*"They're Coming to Kill You, Jane" (Canyon Books, 1975)
*"You Die Next, Jill Baby" (Major Books, 1975)
*"You're Hired, You're Dead" (Major Books, 1975)
*"Don't Bet On Living Alice" (Major Books, 1975)
*"The Impossible Spy" (Major Books, 1976)

Adult books (various pseudonyms)

*"Sex Heel" as Guy West
*"Group Grope" as Alan West"
*"Pandora" as Guy York"
*"Lovers & Exorcists" as Wesley Simon York

Footnotes

References

* [http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/KinPlatt.html Three Investigators Books] (publishing-company site with Platt bio)
* [http://www.lambiek.net/artists/p/platt_kin.htm Lambiek Comiclopedia: Kin Platt]
*Al Jaffee interview, "Alter Ego" Vol. 3, #35 (April 2004)
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0686882/ IMDb: Kin Platt]
* [http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=84536 "The New York Times" review of "Baxter!"]
* [http://www.comicartville.com/vincefagopg2.htm "Vincent Fago and the Timely Funny Animal Dept.," by Dr. Michael J. Vassallo] , page two
* [http://www.davemackey.com/animation/seeger/milton/milteps.html "Milton the Monter" Episode Guide]
* [http://lantz.goldenagecartoons.com/1939.html The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1939]

*http://www.davekcomics.com/davekwriting.htm Personal memoir by a fan of the author.

External links

* [http://members.fortunecity.com/srca1941/AAC9-3-1.html# "All-Amazing Comics" #9 (May 2001)] Reprint of seven-page story "The Mask" from "Exciting Comics" #20 (July 1942), art by Kin Platt


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