Saturday, July 20, 2019

Tan Shun!

Saturday Leftover Day.

This is a big one. A couple of years ago I came across a newspaper section ade especially for the army, called the American Armed Forces Features. It was produced by the Bradbury company from 1955 until the mid sixties. For this 16 page newspaper comic section, only new strips were created by a host of talent from the late fifties, including many cartoonists and some big names. My fellow historian Paul Tumey alerted me to the fact that there was an online archive for this paper, which was distributed to army newspapers all over the country, alays carrying their name in the masthead. I went to that site, marveled about and and forgot it again. Recently I came back there through another search, quickly pulled all of the pages and started filing them. One of the features that attrackted me the most (apart from all the big names I will be showing later) started out on the front page (although later on it shrank and was moved to the back. Private Gooch was drawn and signed by Jess Benton, who until now was only known for drawing the Li'l Abner in the time of the Pilgrims strip Jasper Jooks, which only appeared in papers for a very short time in the late forties. To find such a sustained creation by a forgotten artist was in itself a great find. But the style in Which he drew Private Gooch (different from Jasper Jooks, though one could see the resemblance), did ring a bell with me. It seemed like this was the artist of the Luke the Spook and Hector the Spector fillers in Sterling's crime comic The Informer and the artist identified by master art spotter Jim Vadeboncoeur as Clem Weisbecker in Fawcett's Soldier Comics. I wrote about that in a seperate post, which you'll find if you follow the link.

But for now, here are all the Gooch episodes I could find online. As you can see, some years are completely missing, and in ten years of looking I have found only one color sample of this paper. If anyone out there has any more, please contact me. The years missing are 1956 (Vol. 2) and some single issues of Vol 4, 5 and 6. And anything beyond Vol 6, by the way, although I have to say the contents became less interesting towards the end.


Unknown said...

What was the site and where can I find it?


Ger Apeldoorn said...

I have promised Paul Tumey to keep it a secret a bit longer. Although Paul is not responding to my messages these days, I am trying to keep my promise to him.