Thursday, October 06, 2011

Waving the Flagg

Thursday Story Strip Day.

fter looking at the wonderful work of Tom Scheuer and Neal Adams yesterday, I now give you a chance to see some work of a different quality from the same period. Dan Flagg by Don Sherwood is mostly know for not being drawn or written by Don Sherwood. In one of the early issues of Warren's Creepy magazine, Archie Goodwin wrote and Al Williamson illustrated a story about a newspaper comic strip artist who hired a wroter, a penciller, an inker and a letterer to work on'his' newspaper strip, which he signed and delivered to the syndicate, but did nothin gon himself. Through the years the story came out that this particular piece of fiction was probably based on Sherwood and Dan Flagg. Artists mentioned to have been involved with this strip were Williamson, Al McWilliams and Archie Goodwin as a writer. Unfortunately, I don't think the truth was as straightforward as that. In the period Dan Flagg ran, Williamson was already doing Secret Agent X-9 and he would have had little time to work on another strip. And if you look at the earlier samples, something resembling Sherwood's later style (to be found in the run of The Partridge Family comics for Charlton) does hine through. Later on in the strip, Alden McWilliams' hand can be seen, though. Especially in the Sunday strips, even though I haven't got a lot of those here.

Anyway, all this has made Dan Flagg into a strip I'd love to read a bit more. Unfortunately, the scans I have been able to find are not of the best quality and I have never assembled a longer run. Instead of that, I have assembled a sampling of it's whole run from 1963 to 1967. I especially like all the articles that accompanied this strip, down to the last one announcing the demise of the strip, but promising the readers Sherwood will come back with a revamp... which of coure, he never did.


Smurfswacker said...

An interesting collection of this strip. It used to run in The Menomonee Falls Gazette. I have a few tear sheets, but none are reproduced here.

Alden McWilliams definitely had a big hand in the strip. The first Sunday here seems mostly his work. Subsequent strips are at least inked by him. I own a Flagg daily original which seems to have been pencilled by Sherwood but inked by McWilliams.

The sequence with the girl in the hat was ghosted entirely by Jack Sparling. The later strips are puzzling...badly drawn, badly inked figures and superior backgrounds. Based on his Charlton stuff and his Sgt. Preston work, I don't think Sherwood was as bad as this. A really bad ghost?

Many years ago in a fanzine I saw some pencilled dailies (beautiful ones!) by Williamson which were supposedly from Dan Flagg. Have you seen them?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I have a few Sundays that could be Williamson inked by McWilliams. Still, if I look at the Charlton work I think most of what's wrong with Sherwood's work is his ink line, so Sherwood inked by McWilliams might be the basis for most of them. Any Williamson ones must have been before he started X-9.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

The Jack Sparling guess is pretty much on the nose, I'd say. The weaker sequence reminds me of the type of work John Spranger used to do on the Saint. BUt inked by someone like Williams, creating an odd mix beteen cartoony and realism.