Ken Burns documentary: “History of the Comic Strip”
Ken Burns documentary: “History of the Comic Strip”
A Life of Hazard at Hermes Press!
Johnny Hazard, the legendary aviation strip by Frank Robbins, returns to his wartime exploits with Hermes Press’s Johnny Hazard, Volume One—The Newspaper Dailies: 1944-1946. After a successful stint drawing Scorchy Smith, cartoonist Frank Robbins struck out on December 5, 1944 with the adventures of Hazard. Ironically, Hazard’s debut story, where he escapes from a Nazi P.O.W. camp, began the day before the Allies invaded France on D-Day. From there on, in the waning days of World War II to the burgeoning ones of the Cold War, Johnny fought enemy agents, dealt with Veronica Lake-esque femme fatales, and embarked on endless adventures.
Robbin’s inimitable line and crisp design is at play through Hazard’s run, and Hermes represents this dynamic comic strip in its own series of hardcover library editions. Reproduced in its entirety from the King Features printing proofs, Johnny Hazard, Volume One—The Newspaper Dailies: 1944-1946 is the start of your beautiful friendship with this two-fisted aviator.
For media inquiries and a digital review copy, contact Chris Irving at email@example.com
Deluxe hardcover; black and white with color section; 256 pages
$49.99; Available June, 2011
Hermes Press continues chronicling the original comic strip adventures of The Phantom with The Phantom: The Complete Newspaper Dailies by Lee Falk and Ray Moore—Volume Three, 1939-1941. This hardcover library edition features strips shot directly from the original proofs, in crisp black and white.
Kit Walker is The Phantom, “The Ghost Who Walks,” the 21st hero in a lineage born to rule the jungles of Bangalla. When writer Lee Falk and artist Ray Moore created him in 1936, they set the template for the superheroes of the comic books. The world’s first man of mystery continues to smash crime during the Great Depression in this breathtaking reprint of the original strip by Lee Falk and Ray Moore.
Smash crime and evil with The Phantom through four complete adventure continuities: “The Mysterious Girl”; “The Golden Circle”; “The Seahorse”; and “The Game of Alvar”. Throughout it all, The Phantom must overcome crime and injustice—while struggling to reunite with his love Diana Palmer.
To celebrate the release of this classic comic strip, Hermes is offering up the entire 1938 Phantom story, “Adventure in Algiers” online on their blog hermespress.tumblr.com. The first strip goes up today, with subsequent ones following to the story’s conclusion.
Hardcover with deluxe dustjacket and endpapers
288 pages with special 16 page color section with an historical essay
9” x 11.75” landscape format
ISBN #1-932563-61-X; young adults and up
Tom Tyler never gets enough credit.
After going cross-country to Hollywood, the Lithuanian strongman went on and became a silent serial cowboy star. It suited the strapping Tyler: he was always self-conscious of his thick Lithuanian accent and didn’t have to worry about it betraying his performance. However, as with many of the silent era stars, the advent of the talkies wasn’t good for him, and work became scarce for the wooden Tyler.
Tom did have a few high points, however—not in terms of big gigs, but in terms of pop culture—he played John Wayne’s arch-nemesis in the final part of The Duke’s breakout movie Stagecoach, and Captain Marvel in Republic’s 1941 serial The Adventures of Captain Marvel:
And, he played The Phantom in Columbia’s live-action take on the Ghost Who Walks. Produced in 1943, before Lee Falk gave his crimebuster the “Kit Walker” handle, Tyler plays Geoffrey Prescott, who returns to the jungle to inherit the mantle of The Phantom from his dying father. Despite the relatively low budget Columbia saddled director B. Reeve Eason with, The Phantom does its damnedest to keep the look of the comic strip, from Prescott’s hat and dark glasses, to the Phantom suit itself.
Columbia tried to make a sequel to The Phantom in 1955, as television was looming as a threat to the weekly serial format. Halfway through filming, they lost the Phantom license, and salvaged the serial by putting jodhpurs and a leather aviator’s cap on The Phantom and splicing it in with long shots from the first serial.
The new title? The Adventures of Captain Africa.
The unfortunate actor taking the twin automatics from Tyler? John Hart, who briefly and unsuccessfully wore the mask and hat of The Lone Ranger in 19, after Clayton Moore left over a salary dispute.
He got even less credit than Tyler, but that’s another story…
We’re soon coming out with our collection of the Roy Rogers comic strip, in celebration of what would be the King of the Cowboys’ 100th birthday this Roy Rogers: The Collected Daily and Sunday Newspaper Strips collects the work of Roy’s adventures, as drawn by the likes of Alex Toth.
I chatted with Roy’s son, Roy “Dusty” Rogers, Jr., who keeps the Rogers dream alive with his own cowboy music band. Dusty also reveals some stories about his legendary father’s fight with his own studio, as well as his family’s friendship with the legendary animator.