Saturday, November 07, 2015

It's A Brand New Day

Thursday Story Strip Day.

One of the longer runs I am doing right now is a stack of Dawn O'Day Sundays from the start. I have written about this charming strip about the Hollywood adventures of a young starlet - a theme that popped up in various strips in the forties and fifties. Eyecatcher is the Milt Caniff influenced style by the relatively unknown Val Heinz. All evidence points toward the possibility that he came from the Chicago area. Dawn O'Day started as a Sunday only strip in 1949. Somewhere along the way it acquired a daily version as well (some of which I have shown) but for the last couple of years it reverted to being a Sunday only - and in the end even without a continuing storyline, but rather with realistically drawn 'gags'. My run is pretty complete for some parts, starting with the first few five Sundays (only missing the second one). The first five were apparently in three tier form and after a bit of research it seems that the strip was made as a two tier version only after that. To date no three tier versions of the later ones have emerged and the three tier ones I have are not suitable for retooling into a two tier version. Another thing that is visible from this run is that Val Heinz did not start out a a true Milt Caniff adept. Rather, he started using Caniff's inking style as a way to mask his relative incompetence as an artist, although I have to say he adapted to it so well, that after a while the whole grew to be quite good. If and why he stopped doing comics after that is not known. Here is what I have from 1949, with more coming.

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