Tuesday, May 5, 2009
SUNDAY FUNNIES 1966 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
I recently obtained a complete color Sunday comics section from the Cincinnati Enquirer, dated May 29, 1966. I’ll try to post all of the strips here eventually. First up is a Batman strip meant to cross-promote the live-action TV series starring Adam West. They seem to really be pushing the strip, with the bat-logo in the banner headline of the comics section and the prime real estate of being the first strip on page one. The strip’s content is introductory, but I’m not certain if it’s the first strip or not.
The strip is signed “by Bob Kane”, but Kane didn’t draw it and likely had nothing to do with the strip. The resources I found give the strip writer as Whitney Ellsworth and the artist as Shelly Moldoff. Kane co-created Batman with writer Bill Finger in 1939. Kane, something of a hack swipe artist didn’t do much comic book drawing after 1943, leaving it all to “ghost” artists, that is, uncredited artists like Moldoff whose work appeared under Kane’s name. Kane’s ghost setup, and Batman’s origin, is thoroughly fleshed out on the excellent Dial B for Blog.
The ‘Batman and Robin’ comic strip exceeded the life of the TV series, running until 1974. There was an earlier strip in the 1940s, which has been collected in these reprint volumes. Another ‘Batman’ strip ran from 1989-91, this time cross-promoting the Batman movies starring Michael Keaton.