Thursday, April 25, 2013

Calling Doc Martin

Thursday Story Strip Day.

I came across a nice representable selection of Sunays from Richard Fletcher's Surgeon Stone. Several 'quite interesting facts' about that ('quite interesting' being the term for the sort of nerdy knowledge that would be too obscure even for a room full of comic geeks): Richard Fletcher is not Richard Fletcher. There is a lot of confusion about that. Richard Martin Fetcher was an artist from the Chicago area that did a history strip in the fifties called Jed Cooper, American Scout. Richard Eugene 'Rick' Fetcher was a slightly younger artist who did a history strip in the fifties called Old Glory Story. Both worked in a style that was influenced by Milt Caniff. The only difference being that Richard Martin Fletcher started out with a different style and Richard Eugene Fletcher ddn't change his style until after Old Glory Story, when he started assisting Chester Gould on Dick Tracy. Actually, I was quite surprised to see that the early samples of Surgeon Stone, Richar Martin Fletcher's first regular comic strip from the forties, were in a style totally unrelated to Milt Caniff. I had only seen some originals from his later period (which I have uncluded here) which show more of a Caniff influence. So much, that I would probaby want to include Surgeon stone in my proposed book on the 'School of Caniff'. Surgeon Stone ran for four years and was a Sunday only.

BY the way, looking at the originals I fear Fletcher may have picked up another trick from Milt Caniff - the panels in the color samples I have seem to have been cut to make them shorter. Caniff did that with his dalies... to the same deplorable effect.

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