Thursday Story Strip Day.
In just about every interview with a comic book artist working in the forties and fifties, something is said about 'getting your own newspaper strip'. Getting a newspaper strip was the ultimte goal for every artist and if you read that enough it seems as if the world was a better place for newspaper strip artists back then.
Having reseached the many failed strips from that period, I have to conclude that there was a huge amount of wishful thinking in that statement. When artists mentioned having a newspaper stirp, they actually mean having a succesful newspaper strip. Many of them weren't and many of them meant long ours of hard work for very little pay. But I guess having a newspaper strip makes having a succesful one just that little bit closer.
Or does it? Take the case of Bob Lubbers. He started out doing comic books about planes and flyers and within ten years he was the artist on the daily Tarzan strip. Now, doing the Tarzan strip and being allowed to sign it, must be pretty close to being a succes, you would say. But it wasn't. despite doing this strip (beautifully, I might add) for a couple of years, Lubbers was replaced by the next artist (John Celardo, I think) and out of job. After that he drew Long Sam for about ten years, a beautiful and very funny strip about a sort of female Li'll Abner, writeen at first by Al Capp and later on by Capp's brother Elliott. when that was running down, he drew the Saint without signing and took over Secret Agent X-9 signing Bob Lewis. And what did it get him, except for maybe a couple of years enough income to take care o =f is family? Not a lot. He never came far enough to hire his own assistants and live the good life and he didn't leave any sort of legacy for his family.
But he did leave an awful ot of very well drawn strips.
I have been looking for his Tarzan works for years, but apparently I did not look in the right places. Samples of his run have been going around the internet for years now. So anyone who knows who Bob Lubbers is, may already have these. Those who do not, are in for a treat with his frst complete story.
Now I only have to get my hands on the Sundays...