Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Steve Canyon Volume 2: 1949-1950 was solicited in the most recent Previews catalog.  Two more blockbuster years from Milton Caniff at his peak.  I'm looking forward to the stellar reproduction (yes, foks, color on those Sundays does make a difference) and Bruce Canwell's introductory material that turns a comic strip reprint into an historical document.  According to Amazon, the book is due on August 7th.

I always get a kick out of Comic Book Legends Revealed, a regular column by Brian Cronin at Comic Book Resources.  Among other topics, this week asks if Milton Caniff used a real life war hero as the model for one of his characters.  As Caniffites know, the war hero is Phil Cochran, and the characters were Flip Corkin in "Terry & the Pirates" and General Philerie in "Steve Canyon." 

LIFE Magazine photographs of cartoonists drawing on 1950 bathing beauties made the rounds again, this time thanks to Retronaut.  These first surfaced shortly after LIFE made their photo archives available on Google in 2008.  Some think Caniff is among those pictured, but I don't see him.  I did see a lot of his one time assistant, Alfred Andriola, and above that must be George Wunder drawing Terry & Hotshot on a brunette's torso. 

Above is the center of a diagram created by Bruce Canwell of the Library of American Comics.  You can see the complete version here with Bruce's commentary here.  It connects Caniff to his contemporaries and cohorts.  My only concern is adding an "influenced" category, and then only including John Romita, Sr.  His influences need a chart all their own, from those others who drew in a "Caniff school" style (e.g., Frank Robbins, Lee Elias) to those who cite him as an influence, usually with the other two in the "Big Three" - Alex Raymond and Hal Foster.

There is a new update on the release of Volume 3 of Steve Canyon on DVD.  It looks like most of the technical hurdles have been crossed and the set should be out sometime in June.  Make sure you pre-order volume 3 in order to get the slipcase that holds all three volumes.

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