Saturday, October 06, 2018

Rebel Without A Cost

Saturday Civil War Day.

I have always tried as much of the late fifties Sunday only strip Johnny Reb as possible. Signed by Frank Giacoia, it was often pencilled or even inked by others, with Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky and Carmine Infantino the most frequent suspects. Jack Kirby did one storyline late in 1957, early 1958. But don't rule out Giacoia himself Carmine has called him the best and most influencive artist of the early fifties and although he had problems meeting his deadline all his life, he was a tremendous penciller and inker.

Johnny Reb was a remarkable strip, starting in the Prince Valiant style with text underneath the panels. Like many strips, it it was made to be presented in several formats. Usually one format (often the tabloid) was a cut down version of the other (with the three tier having either a small panel missing in the top tier, or a square panel in the middle). But with Johnny Reb both versions were missing something the other had. I have never seen an original, but I am curious what they would have looked like, with additional pieces at the top of some paels and on the sides of others. I don't even know how that would have fit together.

Halfway through the run, the strip switched to balloon style. It seems to me at that point the full newspaper page Sunday also disappeared. All I have seen are three and two tier versions. So here are three months worth of early 1959 Sundays I recently scanned and cleaned. I am adding them as well to an earlier blogpost, which has all of my samples of this strip (both selfscanned and what I have found online) in order. It's probably the most complete set you can find anywhere (until someone does a nice reprint book - please contact me for my original scans).

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