Sunday, July 19, 2020

Colonial Treat

Sunday Switcheroo.

Every Saturday I try to find stuff you have not yet seen, even around here. On Sundays I ad new scans to series I have shown before. This weekend I was forced to switch them around, so today you have a surprise. Or at least it was a surprise to me.

I was aware of the fact that there was a mid forties adventure strip called Captain Yank. I did not know this wartime fighter pilot strip was set in the Indonesian Archipel (at least for most of the time). But going through my papers one last time before listing them to sell on Ebay, I saw the familiar headbands and sarongs of my youth and looked closer. Indonesia (or "Our India" as we called it) was a Dutch colony up until they fought us out in 1948. We were wrong, the UN was against us and it still is somewhat of a national shame. My wife's father actually fought in that war and it stayed with him for the rest of his life. As with every colony, there was another side to it as well. Many of the Indonesians moved over here, both before theit independance and after (especially those that had remained loyal to the Dutch side). That brought with it a whole new level of problems, but also culture, food and lots of slightly brown people. For some reason the Dutch Indonesian and their offspring produced an inordenate amount of comic book artists. Enough so that the last few years several article have been written about it and exhibitions (and even a book) are in the future. Because they mixed quite freely into Dutch society, there are many artists with an Indonesian background, no one even knows about. Some of our best and internationally most successful (Romano Molenaar, Aimee de Jongh, Peter Nuyten, Chris Evenhuis, Jack Staller) among them.

But I don't think any of them will know about this strip, which has lots of familiar images. Of course Captain Yank should have been called Captain Whitey, but no one though anything of that at the time. I don't have many samples, but they are spread evenly over the last year of it's existance.

The artist of name is Frank Tinsley, but according to Italian master art spotter Alberto Baccatino he was helped by such artists as Lou Fine and Henry Kiefer. I don't know where he got that information, but he is usually right. It would fit with the fact that this strip looks more like a comic book than a newspaper strip stilistically.









In addition to my own scans I also have a run of 20 1943 strips from the Comicbookplus site, which is not set in Indonesia but in Mongolia and Cyprus.


There also was a story reprinted in the comic book Columbia Comics #1 (actually a one-shot) on the other great site for digital comcis: The Digital Comicbook Museum.
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5 comments:

comicstripfan said...

Thanks for the comments on Indonesian-Dutch artists and the personal note. May 19, 1945 original art daily on Heritage Auctions - “to the outskirts of Canton” - appreciate the slightly different perspective of this strip taken from that of Terry on the Pacific war theatre, including educating geographic references to the truly wide extent of hostilities, like the Dutch East Indies. On Frank Tinsley from pulpartists.com: “In 1942 he was the author and illustrator of the serialized newspaper comic strip, Yankee Doodle. The name of the strip was soon changed to Captain Yank.” Allan Holtz has Captain Yank running from October 28, 1940 (Sundays from November 3, 1940) to November 25, 1945.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Thanks.

Alberto Becattini said...

Hello Ger.

Lou Fine drew the first three pages of the comic book reprint you run here. Guess they reprint 1942 Sundays but I don't know the exact dates.

Best,
Alberto

Stefan said...

I have the first two years reissued in my facebook group, with the rest forthcoming. I really liked the series early on, with it's own take on Terry and he Pirates like adventures, before becoming a war strip.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Yoir collections are such a great resource, Stefan. I recommend them to anyone.