Friday, March 23, 2012

We May Need Another Hero

Thursday Story Strip Day.

Preparing my thursday posts takes a lot of effort and planning. I prefer to show complete sequences here, so you can not only enjoy the at, but the stories as well. I usually start with a large run of selfmade scans and try to find the missing strips that go with them in black and white. Today I am showong bits and pieces of a strip I have been collecting from the start of this blog, almost four years ago. Unfortunately, I have not been able yet to get it into a readble shape. I have so many Sunday samples lying around here and there, that I haven't been able to scan them all. I try not to desturb my Sunday pages too much so when I cans a paper I try to do all of it at once. Doing all of the Hopalong Sundays would require me to do five times as much, considering all the different strips that are in the same sections.

Still, I think Hopalong Cassidy by Dan Spiegle (because that's the strip we are talking abot here) is on of the great forgotten western strips of the fifties. Although it was never as succesful as some of the others or even the Hopalong Cassiy comic book series, it had a healthy run and the art by newscomer Dan Spiegle was gorgeous. Although his style became more bland in later years (a quality some people appreciate in itself) his early years are very expressive and his use of color was better than any of the other western strips I have seen (except maybe those of Warren Tufts). I don't know what held it back all those years, the limited distribution or some rights issue, but this is one that definitively deserves some more attention.

Until I am able to do just that, here are two of the middle years. I am lucky to have found a pretty good quality source for the later black and white dailies, so although there is nothing to read, there is plenty to enjoy.


jhegenbe said...

Some pretty good D and S for Hoppy at the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

rnigma said...

Mark Evanier, who worked with Spiegle on the Crossfire and Blackhawk comics in the 80s, praised Spiegle not only for his skill but also for his speed.

Dan did have quite the long career - I think his last comic strip work was on the short-lived '90s revival of Terry and the Pirates (taking over from the Hildebrandt brothers). If he is still alive he would be 91.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I'ts a hard strip to find good dailies. The best so far are from the Tokyo Stars and Stripes, but they don't start until later in the run.