Thursday, September 03, 2015

I Am My Father's Keeper

Thursday Story Strip Day.

David Crane was a long running daily and Sunday soap opera in a niche arena. The main character was a pastor in a small community, who like Judge Parker or Mary Worth or any of the soap opera doctors, met a lot of different people through his work. Among them were always some who needed help and that is where the stories flowed from. With it's religious background the stories of David Crane were a bit holier than thou and although it had a long run (from the mid fifties until the early seventies) I am not quite sure how much was completely due to it's quality. After all, how many readers would say they liked it in a poll based on the subject rather than the execution and how many editors would like to be the one who killed it? So it is quite surprising that the art for this strip was above par for all of the run. The strip was started by Canadian artist Winslow Mortimer, who would work for DC in the sixties as well. He was a somewhat dull, but very competent artist and it shows from the earlier stories shown here. The second artist had an even better pedigree. Creig Flessel was one of the earlier artists involved in comics, working for DC's flagship titles in the late thirties and early forties. After that he went and created his own comic book company, before chucking it all in and becoming one of the mainstays at the newspaper comics advertising company Johnstone and Cushing. Apart from doing the Eveready strips (which I have shown here a lot), he was one of the main artists at the Johnstone and Cushing produced comic section of Boy's Life (the monthly boy scout magazine). There, he specialized in bible stories, which must be one of the reasons he was asked to take over David Crane when Mortimer left in the early sixties. But we'll get to him later, this post is concerned with Mortimer. I have clipped a lot of samples from this strip over the years, in all sorts of conditions. Recently I was able to add a couple of color Sunday scans, to make it more interesting. I went back to find the first story to give you a representative package.


alan geez said...

Thanks, Ger. These are just fantastic. Thank you so much for the abundance of material. Mortimer is the style of artist I enjoy. Did he do a strip called Larry Brannon? I believe I have seen one or two examples which were also quite good. Thanks again.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Yes, I have found a run of Larry Brannon which I still have to download and clip and order. So it may take a while before we see it here. But is is as beautifully drawn as the best of David Crane. As I understand it, Mortimer returned to Canada and did Larry Brandon for Canadian papers.

alan geez said...

Thanks so much, Ger.
Always look forward to your posts.