Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Number 2308: Real American #1
It was created, written and drawn by Dick Briefer, who created several characters for the comics, but is best known for his long string of Frankenstein stories which he kept up until late 1954 when the Comics Code came in. Briefer then left comics. Some biographical sources tell about Briefer’s comic strip work for the Communist Party USA newspaper, The Daily Worker. If he intended a call for racial justice with this presentation then I think the synthetic nature of comic book heroes kept that from happening. The story contains stock clichés about Indians, giving the story a false sincerity.
Jeff Dixon is the chief’s son (...and where did he get the the name “Jeff,” or for that matter “Dixon” from an Apache father who wears full native regalia?) Jeff is patterned after the famous real-life Native American athlete, Jim Thorpe (aha! Another American-sounding moniker!) For better or worse, Indians in comic books were not that uncommon, but some representations of their lives and culture were more accurate than others, including this one.