Thursday Comic Strip Day.
Dawn O'Day had a weird and unusual start. Unlike most strips it did not start as a daily with a Sunday added when it proved a success, it started in fact as a Sunday only and the daily wasn't added until a year later. And not only that, since I have an almost complete run of the first few years of the Sunday, I could show you it started with a half page three tier Sunday and was downsized to a third page two tier one after five weeks. Anyway, this meant that artist Val Heinz was able to find his style before starting the daily. The first few months his style was much less Milt Caniff influenced and decidedly wonky. Not strange when you consider where he came from - in the late forties he was an assistant to Frank King on his Gasoline Alley, a far less realistically drawn strip. The other assistant in the photo, by the way, is Bill Perry, who inherited the strip from King (and made it into one of the blandest strips in the paper, until it was saved for posterity by Dick Moores). What string were pulled to get Heinz his own strip, I don;t know - but he ran with Dawn O'Day until 1954 (ending it as a Sunday only again, this time with single gags instead of a continuity). After that he disappeared from the newspaper strip world. I would love to know more about him, so if anyone ever runs across any relatives, please let me know.