Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Original Don

Thursday Story Strip Day.

According to comic book lore, the famous Archie Goodwin/Al Williamson 'Success Story' from Creepy #3 was based on the experiences that several cartoonists and writers had with creator Don Sherwood on his strip Dan Flagg. Hre is Mark Evanier quoted on one of the websites I found this gem:

"At various times, other friends of theirs -- including Angelo Torres, George Evans, George Woodbridge, Al McWilliams and others -- had worked on the strip and it was a recurring joke (almost) for them to discover they were working 'with' each other. [Archie] Goodwin based his script on that situation. Williamson, however, did not draw Sherwood. Al made the lead character of Baldo Smudge (which was the pen name for a few earlier stories where Williamson collaborated with Torres) look like himself. The writer was based on Goodwin. The inker was based on Torres. I'm not sure about the penciller, but I think I heard it was Al McWilliams."

Seems plausible. Looking at the artwork of Dan Flagg, it is obvious that Al McWilliams at least had a hand in it. But the turth must be more complicated. Because at the same time Dan Flagg was appearing daily and Sundays in the newspapers, Al McWilliams also did the daily only Davy Jones (which has been noted as being from 1966/1968, but I have samples as early as 1962. Al Williamson and Angelo Torres had more time on their hands, but Torres was still doing a lot of work for the satirical magazine Sick as well. Both Al McWilliams as Al Williamson are also down for helping out on John Prentice's Rip Kirby in the same period. Based on the fact that Don Sherwood did indeed produce the Partridge Family comic book for Charlton years later, in a very wooden style I may add, I would say that the horror story is an exaggeration and Sherwood did do some work on his own strip, possibly lay-out of sketches and maybe even some backgrounds.

By the way, the original art of the second Sunday here is for sale at Peter Koch's page at, which is where I got some of the other samples as well. The fact that this strip has not survived the sixties, it's war theme and the controversy surrounding Don Sherwood have made these originals extremely cheap. Most dailies go for about $60 and the extra large ones (which are in fact one tier of a Sunday) for $80-$100.

All this means that people have forgotten how well it could look, especially in the Sunday three tier version.

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