Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Number 723

A date with Canteen Kate

"Canteen Kate" is a feature that artist Matt Baker illustrated. These particular episodes are from St. John's Fightin' Marines #'s 3 and 5, from 1951-52. Baker's artwork is always beautiful, but here it's more restrained than his '40s work for Jerry Iger and Fiction House.

Fightin' Marines had a long run between publishers St. John and Charlton, and the two early issues I have are pretty good war comics. Number three is mostly drawn by a young Gene Colan, and #5 has a lead story by Colan. The Canteen Kate stories are comedy relief breaks in the usual combat stories. In style they remind me of the radio and TV sitcoms of the era. Kate acts like Lucy Ricardo in these two stories, getting into messes.


darkmark90 said...

These are really fun and I hope you find more Kate stories.

Jeff Overturf said...

Khaki never loooked so good as it did on Canteen Katie!

simone said...

Can I say once again what a fantastic job you're doing?

Chuck Wells said...

God Bless America!

I've always thought that Baker did his best work on stuff like this and Wartime Romances or True Love Pictorial.

He did lots of great jungle girl stuff, but he really shined on stuff like this Canteen Kate story.

I had hoped to have the late Dave Stevens do a Canteen Kate sketch, if we had ever crossed paths again.

Pappy said...

Whew, thanks for the great and positive comments, folks. They're nice to read in a heavy week during a heavy month.

Matt Baker did a lot during his short lifetime, but he died young. He should have had more years to work at his craft. Canteen Kate shows a more sophisticated illustrative style than his earlier Iger jungle girls and pin-up comic strips, but he did equally well with whatever style was required. Come back on Sunday when I'm showing a South Seas girl strip by Baker, scanned from a black and white version.

Warren said...

This stuff really makes me happy. Thanks for sharing.