Monday, November 05, 2018
Number 2255: Zippo, the crimefighter on wheels
Zippo’s secret identity was detective Joe Blair. Did the creator of Zippo know that a real-life Joe Blair was a comic book writer? Maybe it was an inside joke. Also, so you know that I know, Zippo is the brand-name of a metallic cigarette lighter that can be carried in one’s pocket. My dad used a Zippo in World War II. I am sure many GIs knew what a Zippo was when they bought Clue Comics.
This Zippo story is drawn by longtime comics journeyman, Tony DiPreta. DiPreta drew comic books and comic strips until his retirement. DiPreta could draw straight superheroes (like Zippo), funny animals, teenage, crime comics like Crime Does Not Pay, and later on he drew the comic strip, Rex Morgan M.D. I first saw his signed work on a filler strip, “Vinnie the Vet,” in Beetle Bailey comic books. At the time I thought his art looked like that of Beetle Bailey’s creator, Mort Walker. He was one of those guys who could draw in different styles, handy for comic books, which were known to change genres overnight. Tony DiPreta, born in 1921, died in 2010 at age 88.
This is Zippo’s second adventure, from Clue Comics #2 (1943).