Saturday, March 21, 2020

Keen Marine

Saturday Leftover Day.

On of the commenters here asked about the mid fifties adventure strip Marlin Keel. A was aware of that strip, although I never came across any color samples. Luckily I was able to find some online and it turned out to be more interesting than I hoped. The name of the strip was known to me, because it was said that the African-American artist A.C. Hollingsworth did some work on it. In fact, the only image know came from the site of Heritage Auctions, wgere they had a Hollingsworth drawn Sunday. But never having seen the strip, I did not know if that was an actual published page or some sort of try-out by the artist.

Last week I went online to loook for more samples and download and cleaned the first week as well as the last. As you can see, the strip was started by former Al Capp assistant George Shedd. In his obituary it's mentioned that the strip was created 'under the watchfull eye' of Earl Dodd, the creator of Mark Trail. I guess he wrote it as well, since Marlin Keel follows the formula of Trail, an adventure strip on the weekdays and a nature strip on the Sundays (in Keel's case, all about marine life). After Marlin Keel failed, Dodd found time to create and write another strip in the late fifties, the highly religious David Crane - which had a prayer illustration as it's Sunday extra in the first few years (when Win Mortimer drew it).

Although Shedd clearly drew the strip himself in the first few months (as the first week and the early Sunday I found on Ebay shows). But the last week is completely the work of Hollingsworth. I plan to go back to see if I can find the actual staring point of Hollingsworth's involvement. Hollingsworth was a often used comic artist before he went on to become a painter and illustrator. I am sure he is profiled in Invisible Men: Black Artists of the Golden Age of Comics by my friend Ken Quattro. I have added a link to the riight to preorder it at Amazon, but it is also available on the website of publisher Yoebooks. If you want to see more of Hollingsworth on my blog (compare the styles) click on the link below.


bryan stone £ said...

Dear Ger Thanks for letting me review Marlin Keel, I had discovered it in the 60s in an Italian liberal magazine. It involved me because it was very different from the comics then published in Italy. Great job yours. Aldo

Stefan said...
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