Saturday, November 11, 2006

Number 52

Jack Cole and Silver Streak, Part IV

This is the last of the Silver Streak stories published in the one-shot, unnumbered issue of Silver Streak, published in 1946. The story itself was originally published in Silver Streak Comics #7 in 1940.

Previous postings of Jack Cole's Silver Streak were Pappy's Number 6, Pappy's Number 18, and Pappy's Number 36.

In his comic book days Cole was never far from his bigfoot art style of the 1930s. As a matter of fact, I don't think the superhero stuff came easy to him, not as easy as the cartoony stuff, that is. This story has some really weird cartoon characters. The premise of the story is ludicrous, but that was something of a hallmark of early Golden Age comic book stories.

From Silver Streak Cole went on to Plastic Man, Midnight, even The Spirit during Will Eisner's Army service. Cole did some horror and crime stories before wrapping up his comic book career and becoming Playboy's top cartoonist. He then created a syndicated newspaper comic strip, Betsy and Me, before shooting himself to death.

Jack Cole would have had a lot of good years of drawing in him and we are poorer for losing out on so much. The old Silver Streak Comics, with their cartoony art and bizarre stories, were very fun, but came nowhere close to showing the inspiring talent that was routine for Jack Cole just a few short years later.

1 comment:

Daniel Kian said...

These stories indeed don't show Cole at nearly his full power, but it's interesting how much transition is shown in just these four stories. The first story is barely different from much of the primitive stuff coming from so many artists in the thrities and early fourties; by the fourth story there are hints of the Jack Cole to come.