Monday, October 11, 2010


Some more interesting Milton Caniff art on eBay lately. First up, a couple of works from his college days at the Ohio State University. Below was a bookmark from the college yearbook, the Makio, of 1928. Caniff had illustrations in the yearbook as well. "Ex libris" translates to "from the books of" or "from the library of" and there's a space to write your name at the bottom. Kudos to this books owner who never wrote his name, thereby leaving this now historical object unspoiled.

Next up is the cover to the 1928 football program from the October 6, Wittenberg Vs. Ohio State football game. This is a rare find, and I'm not sure if he did other programs or not. The game itself was a milestone for OSU. It was their 200th win, a 41-0 shutout against the Tigers, opening the final season for Coach John Wilce. Wilce left coaching to practice and teach medicine, and is credited with coining the phrase "intestinal fortitude."

The seller listed this as an original ink drawing which he thought was used for WWII nosecone art. Though Caniff art popped up on many a warbird, the character Delta was in the "Steve Canyon" strip and debuted in 1947.

Original strips come up fairly often on eBay. Thanks to those sellers who provide decent scans! Something usually missing from many "Terry" reprints are the little tag lines Caniff gives each strip (handwritten here in the upper right). Caniff's wit was such an essential element of the strip and in this case the one-liner adds humor to the melodrama.

"Terry & the Pirates", January 15, 1941

Finally, we have the original art for a strip the week Big Stoop was introduced. Stoop was an overly tall, mute Chinese man who quickly turned the trio of Terry Lee, Pat Ryan and Connie into an adventuring foursome. The nickname Pat Ryan gave him is based on the phrase "He stoops to conquer." I'm not sure of the origin of the phrase, but I'm guessing the Bible.

"Terry & the Pirates", July 19th, 1937

The above items sold for over $1200. Since I can't afford 'em, at least I can post 'em!


The Fan With No Name!!! said...

...from a Google search:

surferjoe1 said...

I'm sure you're aware of his beautiful cover art for the Ohio State-Indiana game- 1936, I believe.