Recently we looked at the debut Sunday of the Batman and Robin comic strip. I came across some of my other research on the strip. As I said in the earlier post, it looked like the Cincinnati Enquirer really wanted to promote this new strip, making it the flagship of the Sunday comics section. But what about the daily strip? Well, among the two dozen strips that they had back then, one strip was printed larger than the other. The Enquirer's format was 8 columns wide. The majority of strips were printed 4 columns wide so that you could fit strips side by side on the page. Only one strip was printed 5 columns wide, and 'Batman and Robin' got that special berth on May 30, 1966 -
The 'Archie' strip was taken out to make room for 'Batman', but it wasn't 'Archie' that was in the top spot. It is with chagrin and disappointment that I report to you the strip that was displaced...none other than our venerated 'Steve Canyon'! In 1946, there were two 5-column strips - 'Terry and the Pirates' and 'Blondie'. When 'Canyon' debuted in 1947, it displaced 'Terry'. Now, I don't know this for a fact, but could it be that 'Canyon' retained it's prominent spot for the next 20 years?!?
The buzz and bluster for 'Batman' did not last long at the Cincinnati Enquirer. In a few months they revamped the daily comics section so that no strip was 5-columns wide. 'Batman' was shuffled from top of the page. Maybe it was because of goofy storylines like this one, guest-starring real life hotel magnate Conrad Hilton -
I'm not sure who drew this January 7, 1967 strip. I hope some sharp-eyed reader will comment. In February, 'Archie' returned and 'Batman' was shoved off the daily comics section and shoehorned into another page, where it was the only comic. By March 1967, the Enquirer dropped it all together.