Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Number 2138: Montana and Wolverton, comic book/comic strips

Bob Montana had a career drawing the Archie characters for a successful newspaper comic strip. I read it every day in my daily newspaper, and liked it more than the comic books, which were aimed at a younger audience. Before his comic strip work, Montana worked in comic books, both for MLJ (later Archie Comics) and Comic House, where this Dickie Dean, Boy Inventor feature appeared. Montana died young, at age 54, of a heart attack. It was a loss I still feel when I remember reading about his death in 1975.

On the other hand, despite having a national audience in 1948 when he won Al Capp’s Lena the Hyena contest for the Li'l Abner comic strip, Basil Wolverton just never achieved his dream of a daily newspaper feature. In the early days of comic books many of the early artists for that genre worked toward achieving the success of someone like Al Capp. These episodes of Wolverton’s character, Scoop Scuttle, are done in the daily strip format, and were likely prepared originally to sell to a newspaper syndicate. Many are called, but few are chosen, as the cliché goes. It was a tough field to enter, whereas early comic books allowed artists great latitude, and during the height of their early popularity, a lot easier to get a job with them than a newspaper.

Both the Dickie and Scoop episodes I am showing today were published in Silver Streak Comics #20 (1942).


Daniel [] said...

'Sprobably worth mentioning that Dickie Dean was a creation of Jack Cole.

Pappy said...

Daniel, that I did not know. Thanks.

Mike Britt said...

Another attempt at Wolverton's quest for a newspaper strip around 1950 was FLASH BULB, kind of a reincarnation of Scoop Skuttle. I am fortunate in owning two of these original dailies.

Pappy said...

Mike, thanks for adding something to the Wolverton history. I did not know about Flash Bulb. (Hmmmm. Both you and Daniel have made me admit to something I did not know.)