Thursday, March 26, 2015

Detective Jobbie

Thursday Story Strip Day.

Alfred Andriola is one of the few Milton Caniff assistants who made it big on his own. In the late thirties and early fifties he signed the Charlie Chan strip, which was drawn in a pure Caniff style. In 1943, he started his own strip, Kerry Drake, which went on to become a major crime strip in the forties, fifties and sixties. The style of Kerry Drake was a long way from the Caniff inspired look of Charlie Chan. In between those two, he drew less than a years worth of Dan Dunn, taking over the long running adventure strip as a favor for the syndicate while preparing Kerry Drake. Those who hope that this obscure strip (or at least Adriola's short run) would give a clue as to his changing style are out of luck. While slightly resembling Kerry Drake, Dan Dunn does not have any stylistic connection to Charlie Chan and as such does not give a clue to Andriola's core qualities as an artist. In fact, there are some that say that Andriola never drew anything himself. Somewhere in the fifties he picked up an assistant for Drake, who not only drew the strip for twenty years, but also drew Andiola's 'other' strip It's Me, Dilly in the late fifties. It is know he used an assistant for Drake earlier as well, even though I do not know his (or their) name(s). On Charlie Chan it is said that Milt Caniff and Noel Sickles hosted the first week to secure a sale for his assistant and when the strip was running Charles Raab is supposed to have done the heavy lifting. But it seems unlikely to me that Andriola was totally uninvolved. Why else would Milt Caniff gone through the trouble of getting him a strip of his own?I don't think Charles Raab was involved at this point, which would explain the lack of Caniff influence.

Anyway, all we have now are the strips themselves and all I can do is present them. here are the first few months of Alfred Andriola's Dan Dunn, with self made scans of the Sunday pages for as far as I have them. I have more and will run those later.