Monday, July 16, 2012
STRICTLY FOR THE SMART BIRDS
"Steve Canyon in Strictly for the Smart Birds" was one of two comic books from 1951 printed as a giveaway to promote the armed forces. It's one of the comics being reprinted in the upcoming "Steve Canyon: The Complete Series: Volume Two" due out soon. The idea of Steve in original comic stories must have stuck, as his appearances in Dell Four Color would start soon after these promotions.
I thought it would be fun to look at some of the original art. I assumed, as with most of the Dell Four Colors, that the art is by Ray Bailey with Milton Caniff doing the Steve Canyon faces, and it was a popular notion. However, according to John Ellis of the Caniff Estate, the art is now attributed to Lee Elias, another of the "Caniff School." 13 of the 16 pages were sold in a Heritage auction in 2007, but seem to have scattered to different owners.
ALERT! Another comics blogger says he had two of the pages and they've been stolen. Read about it here.