Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Number 48

Jack Bradbury's Spencer Spook

After the unintentionally silly story in Pappy's #47, here is a story that is intentionally silly.

This is a Spencer Spook story, originally published in Giggle Comics #54, June, 1948. Jack Bradbury drew it.

Bradbury (1914-2004), was originally an animator and turned into a fine comic book artist. He worked on funny animal comic books for Richard E. Hughes, the same writer/editor who turned out Adventures Into the Unknown, Forbidden Worlds, and many other comics over the years. Later on Bradbury went to work for Western Publishing and did many Mickey Mouse and Disney stories for Dell Comics.

Personally, I thought his Disney stuff seemed stiff compared to the freedom his line showed in the old Giggle and Ha-Ha Comics.

This story contains a stereotyped African-American woman, a maid, who may be offensive to some readers. I'm presenting this story as it originally appeared 58 years ago, when this sort of racist caricature wasn't that uncommon.

Several artists over the run of the Spencer Spook strip worked on the character, but I liked Bradbury's version the best. The character was revived in the 1980s, with new stories illustrated by Pat Boyette. I appreciated Boyette's skill, but in my mind no one could top Jack Bradbury.

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