Monday, December 6, 2010


Above is the teaser strip for 'Terry & the Pirates' from 1934. It was part of Heritage Comics Vintage Comics and Comic Art auction held November 18th in Dallas. While all the press went to a high grade, single owner copy of Detective Comics #27 which sold for about half a million, this Caniff original was no slouch. Its winning bid was $38, 837, which, according to, was "one of the highest prices Heritage ever realized for original daily comic strip art."
I was confused by the sale, because I had seen this original strip in person at the Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore last August. I contacted the good people at Heritage. They did not tell me the seller, only that it did not come from Geppi's. Perhaps when I saw it at Geppi's it was on loan from the owner. Or, maybe Geppi is quietly selling different items to recover from ongoing money woes. The strip was reprinted in 'The Complete Terry & the Pirates: 1934-1936. According to Dean Mullaney, the book's editor and designer, it was at Geppi's when they scanned it for inclusion in the book. I was going to contact the Museum, but their website was down as of this writing.
Mullaney also shed light on my conundrum from August. The first 'Terry & the Pirates' daily was on October 22, 1934. This teaser strip announces that the strip "starts in this space tomorrow." But October 22nd was a Monday, so the previous day would have been a Sunday. The Sunday paper would have its own separate comics section, not the internal pages where the strips ran Monday through Saturday. So, it wouldn't have run on a Sunday. But then it wouldn't have run Saturday for the same reasons. Mullaney's theory is that this teaser strip was for paper's who were picking up the storyline midway. It could be used as an introduction to the characters for new readers so they wouldn't be lost the following day. Thanks, Dean, for solving the mystery (which was probably only a mystery to me)!

1 comment:

Randy Reynaldo said...

Yeah, I guessed (but I think I also read it somewhere) that this was a teaser for use by the paper on the day before whenever they started using it.

Good detective work about the seller. Though it's not Caniff in his prime, it's a pretty well known and frequently reproduced strip!