Thursday, September 4, 2014
I am not a big fan of Hal Foster's famous Sunday newspaper comics 'Prince Valiant', largely because I am not a fan of swashbuckling type of comics in general unless they feature a large dose of fantastic elements and partly because of its lack of speech balloons, but I, of course, admire its high quality art and acknowledge its sway over a large body of comics readers. In addition, 'Prince Valiant' was apparently very influential on young and aspiring Turkish comics artists in the 1940s. For all these reasons, I feel obliged to record its early publication history in Turkey.
'Prince Valiant' debuted in Turkey with a five-years delay in the last page (back cover) of the first issue, dated July 30th, 1942, of the 3rd series of the weekly children's magazine Afacan as 'Aslan Prens [Lion Prince]'. Afacan had largely skipped the first-ever three 'Prince Valiant' Sundays chronicling the arrival of Valiant's clan to Britain and started its run with the fourth Sunday from March 6th, 1937 in which Valiant's first adventure really kicks in. Three panels from this Sunday were also omitted and replaced with three panels from the earlier Sundays, including the first-ever panel where Valiant had made a solo appearance, to provide an introduction. The next installment in the subsequent issue however presented the next Sunday in its entirety:
Afacan would cease publication in 1943 due to war-time economic hardships, including shortage of paper. Prince Valiant's reappearance in a Turkish publication would come up next year, but re-titled as 'Aslan Tekin' and presented as a Turkish character, "son of the khan of the Seljuks", in the Turkish translation! Below is the scan of the first installment of this new edition in the back cover of the no.89, dated Sept. 9th, 1944, in the weekly children's magazine Çocuk Haftası:
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Above scan is of the last 'Skit, Skat and the Captain' half-page by British comics artist Basil Reynolds published in Britain's Mickey Mouse Weekly. Reynolds was writing and drawing 'Skit, Skat and the Captain' since the inception of MMW in 1936 (see this earlier post in this blog on the debut of SSC in MMW). Reynolds was drafted in Oct. 1940 and SSC continued into MMW no. 254 (Dec. 14th, 1940) with apparently material Reynolds had made before being drafted. 'Pinky Green', Reynolds' other half-page title which had started to be published in MMW earlier in 1940, would end in no. 255. Soon, both titles would be picked up by another artist.
Friday, June 6, 2014
'Johnny Hazard' was an aviation strip created by Frank Robbins for the King Features in 1944, that is during the 2nd World War. The title character was a pilot serving in the US military. However, after the 2nd WW ended, he became a freelance pilot and began having various adventures around the world as a civilian. The above image is of the cover of the no. 6 of the short-lived Johnny Hazard comics from the late 1940s. The strip itself continued well into the 1970s however, with Robbins at the helm till the end.
In Turkey, The 'Johnny Hazard' daily strip, as well as its Sunday counterpart, began to be ran in the daily Milliyet newspaper on Oct 1st, 1954, beginning with the 'On the Half Shell' continuity originally dated from about a year ago (*).
All online sources I came across say the The 'Johnny Hazard' strip ended in 1977. In Turkey, it indeed ended on Dec. 7th, 1977, becoming the longest running adventure strip in Milliyet. At close inspection, that particular last daily published in Milliyet appears to be originally dated from Oct. 9th, 1976, which is actually in conformity with the one year lag the strip had initially started its Turkish run. However, this daily does indeed sound, at least in the Turkish translation, as the ultimate end of Johnny's adventures. After Johnny had got rid of the episode's baddie in the previous dailies, his female companion unexpectedly bumbs him off her car, saying "We had met suddenly and we are breaking up suddenly." When the surprised Johnny calls "Stop! You cannot leave me here like this!", she retorts that "Tough guys like you shouldn't say such sad things." In the last panel, Johnny thinks that "it is time to retire..."
If anybody out there knows if this is indeed the end of Johnny's adventures or if there were one more year of subsequent adventures, please let us know.
(*) A nice overview of Johnny Hazard's adventures from the early 1950s is here: http://ipcomics.wordpress.com/2006/09/17/around-in-europe-with-johnny-hazard/