Thursday, February 18, 2010

Caniff Light

Thursday Story Strip Day.

Before taking on Buck Rogers George Tuska presided over the Scorchy Smith franchise from Associated Press for more than five years. Scorchy Smith had been started by John Terry for Ap, taken over and brought to new heights by Noel Sickles, adopted by later Johny Hazard artist Frank Robbins in the early forties, carried on by lesser know artists Edmond Goode and Rudlow Willard (who added science fiction and fantasy elements to it and finally taken on for a year by African-American artist A.C. Hollingsworth, who turned it into a full blown science fiction strip, with Scorchy taking on a space pilot role. Somewhere towards the end of 1954, George Tuska took over. I don't have a precice date (yet). The earliest sample I have is from September 7 1954, but it is a single sample and I can't really trust my own housekeeping enough to say that particular file is dated right. I will have to return to look for more samples. Tuska kept the space pilot theme, but de-emphesized it for his first story.

But for now I am able to show you a couple of months worth of George Tuska's early work on this strip. I think it is tremendeous work, even though I have the creepy feeling that Tuska, with his excellent minimal style, showed editors that it was possible to create a realistic strip with a lot less detail than many other artists were using at that time and thereby being the first to start the trend towards simplification and making the strips smaller.

I don't think there was a Sunday version, but I do have a couple of Hollingsworth Sundays (which I will show later, when I will do a showcase of his run on the strip), but it seems to have been dropped after that. I certainly haven't seen one. All this suggests that Tuska was probably prepared to work for less than Hollingsworth - hence the simplified style.

Jan 1 1955:

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Alex said...

It's not George Tuska but take a look at this ad in LIFE magazine, October 13, 1952.


p55: Buck Rogers Space Ranger Kit in a Sylvania TV ad

Ger Apeldoorn said...

It's quite good. The kids look a bit like Ray Bailey's work, but the older one doesn't.

I found an interesting Hank Ketcham bit, but have to piece together the download before I can show it.