Saturday, July 16, 2011


No, this post is not about any of the film adaptations of 'King of the Royal Mounted', but rather about an adventure in which Sgt. King, upon the request of his girlfriend Betty Blake who has taken up the job of a scriptgirl, investigates suspiciously frequent accidents occuring during the shooting of a film. Titled 'Mystery on Location', it was serialized in Britain's Mickey Mouse Weekly no.'s 183-193 in 1939 (I don't know the date of its original run in the US newspapers); the above scan is from MMW no. 187. King's suspicions zero in on none other than the director himself, as in the below sequence from no.'s 189-190 whose coloring I especially like:The relatively advanced film making equipment on display in 'Mystery on Location' suggests an early 20th century time period for the strip.
'Mystery on Location' was the last 'King of the Royal Mounted' adventure serialized in MMW during the strip's consecutive run in this British magazine in 1936-39. Initially, the adventurues carried no specific titles of their own and were run under the generic title of 'King of the Royal Mounted by Zane Grey' from the start in no. 45 till no. 99. Here are the on-print titles of the remaining adventures and the issue numbers they were carried on, and the years these issue are from:
[The Mystery of the Sunken Treasure Ship (*)] # 100-109 (1938)
The Mystery of the Rush River # 110-131 (**) (1938)
The Helium Mine Mystery # 132-141 (1938)
Trouble At Skogen Ridge Ranch # 142-151 (1938)
Mystery of Little Snake (***) # 152-161 (1938-1939)
The History of the Synthetic Diamond Formula # 162-173 (1939)
The Terror of the Big Top # 174-182 (1939)
Mystery On Location # 183-193 (1939)
The Wild Man of the Wilderness 214-22? (1940)
(*) Actually, this title was given only at the end of #99 as the title of the forthcoming adventure, but # 100-109 carried only the generic title.
(**) 'The Mystery of the Rush River' actually consists of two consecutive adventures.
(***) The opening of 'Mystery of Little Snake' refers to the preceeding adventure as 'Border Terror', so at this point, MMW apparently broke out of sequence from the strip's original run.

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