Thursday, February 03, 2011

Roger Bravo

Thursday Story Strip Day.

A promised, the final part of John Sprangers first Saint story. Now let's go back and read it all and I'll see you in the comments section. Does anyone know how it compares to an actual Saint story from the books?


Smurfswacker said...

This Saint episode has the best John Spranger artwork I've seen. I'd been disappointed by other sample strips because of exaggerated cartoon faces and a rushed appearance. Spranger obviously poured everything he had into his first story.

It's nice to see a realistic art style that isn't overly indebted to either Raymond or Caniff. A very nice strip overall.

The story isn't bad, but it's quite different from the Saint of the books. When Simon Templar started out in the mid-thirties he was one of those witty, debonair upper class adventurers who skirted the edge of the law, in the Raffles tradition.

His early adventures often involved convincing s gang he was one of them, then turning the tables on them through a clever subterfuge. In those days his real identity was unknown and the police considered him a criminal. After a while people figured out who he was and he began helping the police openly and sparring with Inspector Claude Eustace Teal.

In this strip Simon seems a generic good guy and definitely American, not English. No one ever called him "Saint" in the books, by the way. The Saint was a nom de plume Templar used to sign notes he left behind explaining things to the police. People called him Simon. He sometimes assumed fake identities, always using a name with "S.T." initials, like "Sebastian Tombs."

Am I the only one who thinks the mustachioed heir looks like Walt Disney? It creates an interesting subtext.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Yeah, for me the art was the big surprise as well. John Spranger is named as one of the artists filling in for Jack Cole on Plastic Man, but I could never see it. His later Saint is rushed and I never liked his mustache and goatee look. But this looks very nice indeed. The story is so-so. Some nice bits of action, but as you see it's pretty run of the mill. I like the idea of a crime syndicate being run as a posh syndicate, with Picassos on the wall. Ever since The Godfather and The Sporanos we have sort of adjusted out view of that, but I guess this is the image the words Crime Syndicate conjure up. One of my waiting scan projects is a long run of Sprangers Bodyguard strip (which was later changed into the Bantam Prince and taken over by Carl Pfeifer. That looks pretty good as well. The Disney look-a-like is great. I was also struck by the likeness of the old geezer to Sprangers one tim Boss Will Eisner. But that was until I realized that he looke like the old Eisner, not the young one Spranger knew.