Thursday, August 22, 2013


This very interesting piece sold on Ebay last week for $543 (don't worry, honey, not to me).  It measures 11x13 on heavy card stock.  It seems to me to be a beautiful Milton Caniff original watercolor of Flip Corkin, with a Curtiss P-40 "Flying Tiger" in the background. 

Corkin was based on Caniff's friend, Phil Cochran, a colonel in the US Army Air Forces during WWII.  Cochran was commander of the 1st Air Commando Group, operating in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater.  His association with the strip made Cochran something of a real-life celebrity.  

The back of the picture is almost as interesting as the front.  It reads "Please return to Milton Caniff" with his address, but doesn't seem to have been returned.  Or it might have been, and Caniff gave it away later.  The recipient had "one time reproduction rights only", but for what, when and where?   

The address gives us a clue as to the "when."  According to RC Harvey's Meanwhile, the Caniffs moved to 360 E 72nd Street in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 1964.  They lived on the 12th floor, with his studio on the 19th (room C-1902).  The building was brand new when they moved in.  There they lived until 1970, when they moved to Palm Springs.  

So that narrows down the date.  As for what and where, could some of you sharp-eyed Caniffites lend a hand?


Oscar Solis said...

I can't help out with any info but I can say that is a beautiful piece of work.

Great blog.

Joel Naprstek said...

I've seen that piece printed in a book written about the history of the Curtiss P-40 fighter. I have the book but not close at hand right now. I'd say it was a promo piece for the Terry & the Pirates strip during WW2 when "Flip Corkin" was being introduced.

John Ellis said...

This is great, Matt! You know you should do a post with all the places Milt lived over the years (and how long he lived at each)…I'd buy that for a dollar! :)