Sunday, January 18, 2009

Everything to Gain

Sunday Leftover Day.

I have just written a review of the Complete Terry and the Pirates series for the dutch fanzine Stripschrift, calling it the best reprint project of 2008. This makes me even more interested in all thing concerning Milton Caniff. Researching his earliest work, I came across a series of illustrations he did for a serialized Patricia Wentworth story in 1932. Caniif was working in the Associated Press newsroom in the early thirties (together with other later greats such as Noel Sickles and Al Capp). At one point he was doing a daily illustration for a rhyming children's story about a pig (which he may have written as well), a comic strip of his own (Dickie Dare), ghosted another strip for a 'friend' and did a daily panel. The daily panel he mentions may have been Mr. Gilfeather, which he inherited from Al Capp. I will try and show samples of all of these, but it was looking for the rhyming pig as wll, that I came across this illustrated detective story a year earlier. Nothing Venture had appeared earlier in 1932 and Patricia Wentworth may have had nothing to o with the serialisation of her 20th novel or so. I found it in several papers, so it was probably something AS packaged, as they packed their comics and other features. At the start Caniff provided one illustration daily. This later fell to to one or two a week. I have copied every installment, so you can follow the story as well. Patricia Wentworth is know to culture in general as the writer of the Miss Silver series, but this seems to be one of her lesser known novels (written after she had introduced the Miss Silver character in The Grey Mask in 1928). I have decided to include the text, so that you can spend the next few sundays reading this story if you want.

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