Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Case of The Missing Dalies

Saturday Leftover Day.

The Perry Mason newspaper strip was a short run affaire in the early fifties. Erle Stanley Gardner's detective hero had been a huge succes in the forties, helped by the writer's habit of prepublishing each new book in serealized form in various weekly magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post. The newspaper version was drawn by an Charles A. Lofgren, an unknown artist about whom I could not find a lot of information. On December 17 Mel Keefer took over with a new story. He continued the strip (unsigned) in a Alex Raymond inspired style until March 23. After that, a young Frank Thorne took over, fresh out of art school. He too adopted a Alex Raymond style, though his version was slightly more slickly inked than the scratchier Keefer. Thorne signed the strip and continued it until it's demise later that year, all the while developing his style.

I showed one of Lofgren's full stories in Sunday only version in an earlier post and I have various dailies and Sundays in other posts. But Perry Mason is a strip to be read, not only seen. So here is a longer run of Longren, going into the Mel Keefer months. I have a couple of those as well, but galfway through you will see it changes to Sundays only. The Sundays cover the handover to Thorne and I finish out his first story in Sunday only version as well.

Not the best quality (all these strips are clipped from a microfiche newspaper site), but in lieu of a real full color reprint it must serve as the only record of this forgotten but near really all that bad early crime strip.


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