Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Crack of Heinz

Saturday Leftover Day.

Over the last few years I have been slowly sharing an almost complete run of Van Heinz' Dawn O'Day Sundays. Val Heinz is noted to have started with Gasoline Alley, along with creator Frank King and Bill Perry, who took over the strip when King passed away. I don't know if Heinz remained with the series, but he soon started his own adventure strip, drawn in a completely new style - for which he borrowed Milt Caniff's inking style. A weird strip, which first ran as a Sunday only, later got a daily version and ended up as Sunday only after all. If you want to track Heinz' progress, just click the link and go back.


comicstripfan said...

Hoping you, Ger, and Mr. Alex Jay will forgive me quoting here from his article which you must have seen in the April 9, 2015 blog of Allan Holtz:

"Editor & Publisher, August 12, 1950, announced the Dawn O’Day daily:
“Dawn O’Day in Hollywood,” a Chicago Tribune-New York News comic strip….Now syndicated in 15 newspapers [only 15?], the strip is drawn by Val Heinz, 23, the youngest of the CT-NYN’s cartoonists. Mr. Heinz, a native of Streator, Ill., worked in Florida as an assistant to Frank King for four years before becoming a student at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts."

Does this mean, incredibly, that when he started working for the comic strip giant Frank King he was a teenager (and yet as your study indicates he adopted Milt Caniff’s style)? It would be like being a law student and working for Clarence Darrow!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

That makes him younger than I would have thought. Having read and remembered he worked for KIng I assumed he was a lot older. That makes his 'disappearance' after doing Dawn O'Day all the more intriguing.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

And I forgot I had this:

comicstripfan said...

An interesting question, Ger. The key gap appears to be between 1954 (the year that Dawn O’Day apparently ended) and 1956.
Alex Jay in his “Ink-Slinger Profiles” entry picks up the story: “At some point Heinz moved [from Chicago] to Kalamazoo, Michigan. The 1956 city directory had his…occupation as commercial artist at Allied Art and Photo Service [this doesn’t necessarily mean he started there in 1956 - could this have been his next job right after Chicago?]. In the 1959 directory, Heinz…was an artist [in Kalamazoo] at Bahlman Studio.”