Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Blessed Event

Saturday Story Strip Day.

I have always been interested in the early days of the Saint newsoaoer strip, which were drawn by journeyman artist Mike Roy. He has a pleasant enough style, which is a variation of the Milt Caniff school. But most interestingly, somewhere in 1949 or 1950 he hired a young Jack Davis to do is his inking. This was Davis' first job after leaving the army and coming to New York. He also tried to sell cartoons, which we know because he sold one to the monthly magazine Gags (which you can see by following the link). And soon after, he also started working for EC, where he made his name, first as a realistic artist, later as one of the key figures in the development of Mad. When he started inking for Roy, is not really recorded. Alan Holtz, in his excellent and essential book on American Comic strips, credits him with one month only. But having seen samples from all over the 1949/1950 period I had my doubts.

Recently I bought a near complete run of The Saint Sundays (from the New York Herald), in their full three tier half page version even. I have my own thought about when his inks start to appear and I will note that. The ending is less clear, but it will take us four of these posts before we get there. I hope you will chime in.

In the meantime enjoy one of the forgotten gems of American newspaper history, Leslie Charteris and Mike Roy's The Saint. The colors may seem a bit garish, but that is not (totally) the fault of my cleaning. These strips have a weird color palette, with lots of greens and not many primary colors. Not something you see in a lot of Sunday strips.


Todd Mason said...

Thanks. Why the repetition of the last strip?

comicstripfan said...

Thanks for this, Ger. Apparently, William Stout would agree with your comments about Mr. Davis. In an article for the book “Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture” (2011) by Jack Davis (so one would assume Stout checked with Davis on this) Stout wrote: “While attending night classes, Davis got a day job with the Herald Tribune assisting on the syndicated strip The Saint. In Davis’s one-year stint on the strip, he drew backgrounds for artist Mike Roy, who shared valuable tips on how to improve Davis’s brush inking.”

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I removed the double Sunday, which I had to reload after the first lot and then copied instead of cut to out it back at it's place.

Frank M. Young said...

This strip has an odd layout that seems to prevent re-formatting. The only way it can be broken down is in multiple tiers of two panels--or as a quarter-page strip, which would have been unthinkable to most newspapers of the late '40s (but not impossible, as with the house of horrors that is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Sunday comics section). I've never seen anything like that 5-22-49 page, with the six double-wide panels.