Monday, March 11, 2013


I'm not sure how long it's been up, but it was news to me, so it gets the lead-off spot.  The website for the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum has an online exhibit on Milton Caniff.  Milton Caniff: An American Master  is a terrific introduction to Caniff's life and career in photos and artwork.  If you are a Caniff novice who has somehow stumbled on this blog, I recommend taking a look.

Hermes Press has announced that they will begin reprinting George Wunder's run on "Terry & the Pirates".  Wunder's "Terry," which ran from 1947 - 73, has only seen sporadic reprinting in comics and in low-print run magazines, such as The Missing Years.  The first volume will reprint the strips from 1946 (Wunder took over on 12/30/46) through 1948, with the Sundays in color.  Like many Caniff fans, I've never taken to Wunder's art, but then I've lacked exposure as well.  Many fans, for whom Wunder's "Terry" was the one they grew up, love it dearly.  I'm looking forward to the discovery.  This book is currently scheduled for release on July 2nd.

The February 2013 issue of Comics Revue is out.  Numbered #321-322, it reprints "Steve Canyon" from July 9th to August 5th, 1972.  Poteet Canyon gets in over her head infiltrating an anarchist group, then the action switches to Steve and Summer doing the cloak & dagger bit in Ireland.

Other highlights of this issue include "Alley Oop" Sundays in color, Al Williamson drawing "Secret Agent Corrigan" in a far out space adventure, and the first reprinting of "The Phantom" strips from 1949 when they experimented with running a continuing story between the dailies and Sundays.

A biography of cartoonist Al Capp debuted last week.  "Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary" tells the story of the successful and often tempestuous life of the creator of "Li'l Abner," one of the most popular comic strips of all time.  Capp and Caniff were lifelong friends, from their first meeting in 1932 until Capp's death in 1979.  I haven't read the book, but there are several Caniff references in the index.  The book was co-writtin by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen.  Schumacher has previously written a biography of Will Eisner, another Caniff friend and peer.  Kitchen is no stranger to the subject, having published 27 volumes of "Li'l Abner" under his company Kitchen Sink.  Kitchen was also the publisher of "Steve Canyon Magazine" in the 1980s, as well as the 1987 "Male Call" reprint book.

The Caniff/James Bond Connection - A U.S. Military website - DVIDS - recently ran a profile of Charles Russhon, a retired USAF colonel who was an adviser on several Bond films in the 1960s and '70s.  Russhon served in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater in WWII with Col. Phil Cochran.  Cochran is known better to Caniffites as the real-life analogue to Flip Corkin in "Terry & the Pirates."  Russhon was also a friend of Caniff (I assume meeting through Cochran) who also was turned into a character.  Russhon was "Charlie Vanilla," nicknamed for his quirk addiction to ice cream.  Read all about his contribution to the Bond films here.

In this copy of a classic press photo above, Charlie Vanilla is the character Caniff has circled in the picture.


Anonymous said...

LOVE "the Wunder years." It is the stuff I grew up on. Caniff's is the classic, of course. But I'll take Wunder's "second best" as well.

Chuck Dixon said...

Hey that was me! CHuck Dixon!