Friday, January 18, 2013

What's Cookein'?

Thursday Story Strip Day.

As far as space explorers strips go Tom Cooke's Drift Marlo was a bit of a Johnny Come Lately. The big wave of this sort of strips had been the mid fifties, when the real space program was still a gleam in the eye of Senator John Kennedy. Tom Cooke was a real journey man artist, who ghosted strips from the late forties. His biggest claim to fame had been an uncredited run on the GeneAutry comic strip (which I should show some day, if only for the work of Hy Rosen) and some time in the late fifties as the man behind Mary Worth. In the same period he also drew some work for Stan Lee's badly paying Atlas outfit, which he got to sign. His style tells me he may later have ghosted Mary Perkins or Terry and the Pirates, but I am not sure. Drift Marlo ran for a couple of years and even had his own comic book version from Dell (where I am sure Tom Cooke did more incidental work).


Tom Floyd said...

great these space age strips....and never heard of this one. wow....nice.

Smurfswacker said...

I enjoyed "Drift Marlo," but I'd never seen these first strips. Interesting that they used the "hide the hero's face" ploy Caniff used when he introduced Steve Canyon.

It seems to me as if Cooke were looking for a comfortable style in these early dailies. This is probably crazy, but could there have been some "Jeff Hawke" in Marlo's design in the last few strips? Hawke had been around since 1955, but the strip would have been incredibly obscure in the US.

I remember reading somewhere that Cooke actually drew the Drift Marlo comics himself. Wish I still had them to inspect.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I had a Jeff hawke flash myself but I am too unfamiliar with that strip to be sure. I am going to post some of Tom's own (!) work in the Dell comic.