Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Here are highlights from some recent Milton Caniff-related auctions on eBay. Click any picture to enlarge it. Let's start off with three strips, all from the 1940s:
This is the 'Terry & the Pirates' daily from June 27, 1940. Paper measures 8 x 24". In this sequence, the mysterious Hu Shee (on the right) has bluffed her way into a role as secretary for Raven Sherman, a philanthropist. The normally aloof Sherman is doing her best not to pine away for the heroic Pat Ryan. Shee gives feminine advice in what may be Caniff's longest word balloon!
Winning bid:$722

I'm struck by the moodiness and texture of this strip. It's the 'Terry' daily from February 17, 1945. The paper measures 22 3/4" x 7 1/4". This is the last storyline for Pat Ryan, in a sequence that punctuates his love/hate relationship with Caniff's uber-femme fatale, the Dragon Lady. Their sexual tension and repartee was a highlight of the strip's run. In the week leading up to the strip pictured, Ryan chides her, "Don't bite your lip, beautiful, you'll poison yourself!" Hu Shee shows up in the fourth panel, as well as in the strip title - "See me Shee; Then see Lee". I can almost hear Caniff's gleeful chuckle.
Pat, DL, last arc?
Winning bid:$2,245

From a late model 'Terry' to an early 'Canyon'. This is the 'Steve Canyon' daily from April 23, 1949 comes at an exciting time in the strip. Canyon has become embroiled in a fight over Communist control in the fictional Asian nation of Damma. Canyon's erstwhile employer/nemesis, Copper Calhoon, has been shot by a sniper. He's had to transport her to India, leaving his friends behind. Canyon sidekick Reed Kimberly and love interest Princess Snowflower have fallen in with Dogie Hogan, a mercenary and occasional Canyon foil.
Winning bid:$375

The piece is approximately 10 1/2 by 13 and signed by the legend "With all good wishes" Jan. 1954. This is a beautiful example of the hand-colored prints that Caniff would send out. Too often I see Caniff's prints on eBay where the seller thinks they are originals, but this seller had it right.
Winning bid:$105.50

I'd never seen one of these before. It's 'Steve Canyon’s Interceptor Station Punch-Out book' from Golden Press. It was part of the merchandising for the 'Steve Canyon' TV show in 1959. The other Golden Press item, the 'Steve Canyon' Little Golden Book, is fairly common and can be had in nice shape for about $5. The point of this Punch-Out book was to take it apart, so finding an intact one seems next to impossible, especially 50+ years after publication. There may be a little kicking of myself down the road for not bidding.
Winning bid:$65

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