Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here's To You,Mr. Robinson...

Thusday Newspaper strip day.

Most of the stips and cartoons I show here are series or titles I would love to seen collected. I show what I have got, hoping to evoke some sort of reaction from reader s and/or publishers until maybe someday one will stick. High on my list of strip I would love to have in book form is Jerry Robinson's Jet Scott. Robinson is best known for two things... his work in the forties as artist on the early Batman stories and possible the co-creator of the Joker. He was one on a team for artists working directly for Bob Kane. Others included Geoge Roussos who was mentioned here earlier.The people at Dc noticed that Bob Kane was using assistants, but they didn't ask questions. In de late forties Robinson teamed up with Mort Meskin and together they produced a small but impressive amount of comic book stories, turning themin one of the most famous comic book teams. They both continued doing solo work as well, but their styles blended so well togethe that it is very hard to tell who did what in their collaborarions. Their work together looks like a hyper version of either man's art.

In the early forties Robinson took a job as a teacher at the New York School of Visual Arts night classes. As such he tough a new generation of artists, including Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, Steve Ditko and Marie Severin. He also free-laced sollo work for Stan Lee at Timely/Atlas. I think he did the most impressive work of his career in the stories he did for Lee in this period and for a short period in the midfifties. This work is very rarely seen or mentioned. He is better remembered for his work as a political cartoonist. In the early sixties he also did a cartoonish panel illustrated real life flubs sent in by readers. I will show some of those later, since I believe the career of Mr. Robinson is very much worth spotlighting. From 1953 to 1955 he laso did a slightly diappointing adventure strip called Jet Scott for the Herald Tribune. The Tribune had a lot ofexciting strips thye falied to sell outside of their own pages. Most of those were ultimately doomed. Jet Scott told the adventures of a CIA agent in the near future, making it only barely a science fiction strip. It fit in with the interest of that period in realistic space travel. Unfortunately, from what I have seen neither the stories not the art were very exciting.

Still, I have always been interested in this strip, ever since I saw just one tier of it in Mr. Robinson's mid-seventies book on comic strips. This excellent book (that did not skip the fifties as so many of he historians do) has recently been reprinted and I can recommend it to everyone. The first version had an immense impact on me. The quality is poor, but at least you can follow the story.

So here's the first few weeks of the daily version. Apparently the sunday version started right along with it. The paper I took these barely readable strips from didn't carry it every a sunday (and the one I have is pretty blurry), but I also do have the fourth sunday in color from another source, A solid scan, too.

I hope you'll agree Mr. Robinsn is a remarkable artist who deserves more credit than he has been getting.

As an introduction I alo have the announcement piece in the paper from the week before the strip started.

















1 comment:

Kevin said...

I represent Jerry Robinson, pioneer Batman artist and creator of the Joker. A major publisher is reprinting the entire two-year run of Jet Scott dailies and Sundays for which Jerry was co-creator and artist. I am trying to reach anyone who might have a collection of the daily Jet Scott strip. We are missing about forty dailies from 1954-55. We have all the color Sunday pages intact for the entire run (1953-55). I saw, with interest, this blog and would appreciate anyone contacting me at AstonishingTale@gmail.com for any information or leads you might have. If anyone has a complete run, or a sizable collection, please contact me for a list of the dailies we need. Anyone that can contribute or help in this regard that results in a reproducible copy of the needed Jet Scott daily strips will receive a personalized special print of Batman and the Joker, signed by Jerry Robinson, and an acknowledgment in the book. Thank you!