Biographies of Arnold Drake and France Herron

From Blackhawk #197, June 1964

To round out our capsule biographies of the men behind the NEW BLACKHAWKS, we offer you Arnold Drake and France Herron, the writers of this popular feature. Without further introduction, we present Arnold first because he scripted last month's "A Firing Squad for Blackhawk," the current "War Between the Blackhawks," and the BLACKHAWK origin story --a full -length blockbuster -- which will occupy next month's entire issue.

Arnold confesses to being fed up with people who are surprised to learn that he was born in New York. He points out that of our entire population one man in 20 comes from New York City. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the army, finding himself behind a typewriter as well as behind a gun. He wrote and produced GI shows, later served as a newspaper reporter, then as a high-speed radio operator with the 13th Armored Division of Gen. Patton's Third Army, he marched one third across Europe, coming to a final halt in Austria sporting three combat stars and two unit citations.

After four years, he returned to civilian life to resume his education, began at the University of Missouri, at New York University. He studied by day, created radio and TV material for such diverse personalities as Xavier Cugat, Frankie lane, Milton Berle, and "Slapsy Maxie" Rosenbloom. Eventually, Arnold steered himself into comic-magazine channels, authoring yarns for Superman, Batman, Challengers of the Unknown, Mark Merlin, The Doom Patrol, etc.

A literary jack-of-all-trades, he recently entered the motion picture field. He has written four scripts, two of which already have been filmed, the other pair going before the cameras shortly. "The Flesh-Eaters," which he wrote and co-produced, is now being shown nationally. This science-fiction sizzler contains some unique sequences that were filmed in a new process called Supra-Motion.

Arnold's leaning towards show business is not surprising. Two brothers, Milton and Ervin Drake, are veteran songwriters who gave us such hits as "I Believe," "Tico-Tico," "Mairzy Doates," "Perdido" and "Come to the Ball." Ervin contributed the words and music for the Broadway musical, "What Makes Sammy Run."

Author of several hundred stories, three novels, and four films, he boasts most of his four-year-old creation Pamela Drake, which he co-authored with Mrs. Drake.

France Herron ("Five Broken Guns" last month) edited a string of comic for another publisher before joining the GI ranks prior to Pearl Harbor. He edited the newspaper at Camp Lee, VA., for a while, then was transferred to the 106th Infantry Division at Ft. Jackson, S.C. After a year as a machine gun corporal, he moved up to XII Corps, which was heading overseas. No sooner had he unpacked his barracks bag than he found himself on the London staff of Stars & Stripes. "My first day in London is memorable," he recalls. "The first buzz bomb and I arrived within an hour of each other."

With the fall of Paris to the Allies, he was switched to that city's edition of the GI daily, which dispatched him on numerous combat assignments. After the war, France again took to comics writing, this time for DC, while concocting short stories for national magazines. He veered off to do some correspondence for a Manhattan daily, and was sent to Mexico for an anticipated six weeks only to remain for two years. returning to the States, he joined a syndicate and supplied the strips for "Davy Crockett," "Nero Wolfe" and "Bat Masterson." He also produced last year's popular "Blue Book of Social Cats."

His hobby is browsing through museums, antique shops and book stores. Raised in Ohio farm country, he likes animals, "even field mice." Beside being credited for BLACKHAWK, he also does Challengers of the Unknown, Tomahawk (which he writes exclusively), and lends an occasional hand to Batman, DC's science fiction and war books.

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