The Little Sheep Herder Boy Without A Drum
Saturday Christmas Treat.
Today's Christmas story is part of the regular run of David Crane. David Crane was a religious soap opera strip which was done by the former (and later) comic book artit Win Mortimer. The ungoing storyline concerned the adventures of a very kind and insightful minister in a small american town. It seems like a typical artist/syndicate ploy to get a special niche market. It may even have been sold as a Mary Worth for the Christian crowd. But Mortimer seems to have been genuinly religious. The Sunday strip was not part of the continuety and had a sermon-like quality, ofteh explaining or displaying certain religious symbols as well. All of which doesn't make the strip mre readable. Mortimer was a very good artist, though slightly dull. All this shows in his 1958 Christmas offering, about one of the boys who herd the sheep when Christ was born and [obvious plot spoiler] who gets to see The Lord as a Baby. A tale that has been many times in many forms and I don't know which one was first, but animation lover may see the onection to Don Bluth's similar Disney cartoon from the late sixties.
Nog long after this (about a year) the strip was taken over by Greig Flessel (which is why I came interested in it in the first place), probably because it didn't make enough for Mortimer to contnue. Anyway, with Flessel the strip changed it tone a bit. The Sunday page started featuring the humoreous adventures of the elderly parish vicar (or at least I think it is the vicar), taking on board another small niche - the elderly. I showed som eof his Sundays in color about a year ago. Flessel continued the strip for any years until he took up a strip for Playboy. As hesaid himself, I went for piety to smut in under a year.
But here's Mortmer's Christmas tale. Eventhough I found the strip in two papers, I am missing one or two because it was run on a different page every day and quite hard to assemble.