Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wild Things

Wednesday Advertising Day.

Some time ago I showed you a couple of scans from the Sam Spade series of advertising comics. These strips, which appeared between 1947 and 1950, were based on the radio show whoch was sponsored by Wildroot Haircream, alhough I doubt if the scipts for that radio show were as blatently about the hair cream as the strips were. After a start by an unknown artist most of this series was probably drawn by Lou Fine, who had broken away from the Johnstone and Cushing Agency in the late forties. Succesful though the radio show and the ad series was, it all suddenly came to a halt in late 1950/early 1951, when Sam Spade's creator Dashiel Hammmett appeared on one of the infamous Hollywood blacklists and couldn't do the introductions anymore. So a new detetcive was thought up, with a new presenter. His name was Charlie Wild. Unfortunately his adventures not as succesful asl Sam Spade's, so after a short year Spade returned (with a different announcer, I assume). In the newspapers Sam Spade also had to be replaced, which explains todays strips. Funny how all my samples seem to be from 1951. Like Sam Sade before him, Charlie Wild onl had a new adventure every month. But I have no saples for the first few months of the radio season in 1950. These strips may have been drawn by someone else than Lou Fine as well. Did Johnstone and Cushing use the opportunity to get the account? Or did Fine use another inker? He does seem the only one capable of this style at that point. I'll need a better eye of better scans at least to find out.

Jan 1951:

February 1951:

March 1951:

April 1951:

May 1951:

June 1951:

September 1951:

October 1951:

November 1951:


Smurfswacker said...

I wonder who that is imitating Fine. He seems competent enough. The March strip looks like it was drawn by somebody else, though it may just be lighter coloring letting the original ink show through better than on the other pages.

Funny, looks like even hair oil strips recycle their material. The snake charmer story has echoes in the "Rusty and Dusty" strip reprinted in the ADvisory Service book:

See it here

jhegenbe said...

Actually, these are Lou Fine. Sort of. The first one has a new head pasted over the Same Spage face and the first two have opening panels of teenagers drawn by the guy who did Trudy (I think). Allen Holtz will know.

Oh, and it was Dash Hammett who was blacklisted, not an actor, which explains why the radio Sam Spade suddenly was only announced as being the presented by William Speer (sans Hammett). Nice strips, tho. Much thanks for the posting.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Thanks for the info, jh. The connection to Rusty and Dusty is what set me to thinking that Fine wa't involved in this series. There clearly is some connection between the two and Fine obviously didn't do the latter. Although, the more I look at it - the more I have to agree with jh.