Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ghost Story

Thursday Story Strip Day.

For most of his life, Al Plastino worked as a ghost. He joined DC in 1948 en for twenty years drew mainly Superman. In the sixties and seventies he drew the Batman strip, ghosted Nancy and Ferdinand and even ghosted a year of Peanuts strips that were never used (and were either prepared in case Schultz would become incapable to continue the strip or to show him he was not unreplacable - which of course, he was. But what his wikipedia page doesn't mention, is that for a short time after the war, he did try hs hand at a newspaper strip of his own, signed and all. You can see he was a formidable artist even then and the newspaper's loss was DC's gain.

But that is not the full story. Barry Noble did not start out his life as Barry Noble. As you can see from this stiry he started as Barry Kent. And Barry Kent was a new character introduced to the Hap Hopper strip, when writer Drew Pearson stopped writing that strip. Hap Hopper had started as a 'factual' strip about a political reporter, written by popular political columnists Pearson and Robert S. Allen. If they actually wrote it, I don't know. According to Don Markstein the actual writer was William Laas, United Feature's comics editor. But Pearson and Allen's were good for enough sales to get the strip started. The first artist and co-creator was Jack Sparling, who went on to do loads of war and romance strips in the fifties (some of which have been shown here). Again, according to Markstein the strip debuted on Monday, January 29, 1940. In 1942, Laas was replaced by pulp writer Charles Verral, who, among others, wrote the Mandrake the Magician radio show. Pearson and Allen split up, leavinf Pearson as editor of the series. In 1942, Sparling left the strip to create Claire Voyant. Several artists followed, finally settling on Al Plastino around 1944. I think the strips I am showing here showcase the switch - which seems to have occurred somewhere in the nine strip I am missing. Apparently it took them more then two years to realize they didn't need Pearson anymore.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Anyone know what's going on with blogger? Why are all my images suddenly 8 DPI when you click them? Even the older ones that used to be okay? Oh, no not all the older ones. Just this weeks posts, including the King Aroo. Did I change something in the settings?

Hm... I just redid the King Aroo pages from last Monday and now they come across alright. Which means I probably have to redo the whole Louie thing as well...

A friend mailed me that the problem might be that I uploaded to many pictures in one day. After which they retroactively downsized all uploads for that day. I guess I should be happy they didn't downsize all my uploads in all my posts. I'll try and redo the Louie pages I scanned myself, hoping they'll work this time.