Monday, May 28, 2012

Number 1165: “Lend me your comb.”*

Edd Byrnes was the hip, cool, jive-talking Kookie, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was Stu, Roger Smith was Jeff. Crazy, man..."you meet the highbrows and the hipsters, the gangsters and the phony tipsters..." During its first run on network television 77 Sunset Strip was on my must-watch list. Now, fifty years later I'm damned if I can remember anything about it but the theme song and the main characters.

Russ Manning did a fine job on this strip from the first Gold Key issue of 77 Sunset Strip, featuring two of those characters, Kookie and Stu, and a villain. The story involves a switched briefcase and some stolen plans (and how many times have you seen that one)? Despite the clichés, Manning does a lot with the atmosphere. Setting the story in the rain gives more visual interest to a fairly straightforward story. If all you've ever seen of Manning are his Tarzan, Brothers Of the Spear or Magnus, Robot Fighter adventures, he was right at home in a contemporary urban environment, also.

Russ Manning died at the young age of 52 in 1981.

From 77 Sunset Strip #1 (Gold Key, 1962):

 *This stupid song by Byrnes and Connie Stevens was everywhere. I'm putting it onto you, and you can have it running around in your head like it is mine.

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