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ISSUE NO. 763
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XBack when Robert Kanigher (pictured above in altered panels from Wonder Woman) was editing several DC war books, he was given the pencil art for an upcoming cover of GI COMBAT, pencilled by Jerry Grandenetti (self-portrait left). Kanigher was happy with the cover image, but not with its placement.

Kanigher saw that there wasn't enough room for the book's logo at the top, so he wrote an instruction to the inker (also Grandenetti) in the margin. The instruction said: “Drop an inch!”

Using Photoshop, I've recreated a version of what the original cover pencils must have looked like. Here it is, below!
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Now it was time for the penciled cover art to move along to the next stage in the comic book assembly-line -- it was passed to Ira Schnapp for lettering. But apparently, when Schnapp read Kanigher's instruction, he mistook it for the title of the story. So, Schnapp lettered the cover: Featuring "Drop An Inch!" and other battle-action stories!

The art was then given back to Jerry Grandenetti, who inked it. Since Kanigher's instruction had now inadvertantly become the story title, Grandenetti inked the image without lowering it an inch. This oversight was apparently fixed by the production department... if you look at the finished cover, you can see the entire top inch is almost empty. Someone in the DC production Department could easily have extended the art, to make room for the book's logo, DC bullet, 10 cent price, and comic code seal at the top.

The art cover was then colored, and sent off to the printer. A sample of the finished cover was returned to the DC offices for proofing. probably It looked something like this...

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"Drop An Inch!" ???? Oops!

But by the time Kanigher saw the incorrect cover blurb and realized what had happened, it was too late to change it. Now, Kanigher had to either trash the cover's entire print run, or embarass DC by printing a comic whose cover advertised a story that wasn't actually in the book. Using sensational cover images not found in books was a DC Silver-Age staple, but this was a featured story TITLE, and Kanigher was too fastidious an editor to simply let it slide.

Luckily, the book's INTERIOR hadn't been printed yet, so Kanigher decided to fix the problem by writing a NEW story for the issue with the title “Drop An Inch!" Time was of the essence, so he wrote the whole nine-page story on his lunch hour! Then artist Joe Kubert illustrated it in his usual speedy fashion.

XWhat about the story "Drop An Inch!" replaced? What happened to it? Kanigher probably just rescheduled it for another one of the several war books he was editing at the time.

Which book? One good possibility is OUR ARMY AT WAR #71 (June 1958, cover pictured right)), which came out around the same time, featured a similiar cover (planes in a dog fight), for a story titled "Flying Mosquito." This book starred infantry men (such as Sgt. Rock), so it was unusual for it to feature an Air Force scene on its cover. Maybe there was a reson for that.

But back to "Drop An Inch!" How good could a story written in just one hour be? Don't forget, it was written in an hour by ROBERT KANIGHER. One of the most prolific and accomplished writers in comics! And it's only nine pages.

In the opinion of Robby Reed, aka myself, I enjoyed it. It's rather typical Kanigher war fare. And with Joe Kubert drawing it, how bad could it be?

Reader, it's time for YOU to be the judge! Read the story yourself. Here it is... the infamous urban legend story, written on a Kanigher lunch hour... "DROP AN INCH!"

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TATS INCREDIBLE!
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