Flat Earth!

Congrats to ADDTF for one solid year of reading comics naked.

Also, welcome back ADD and In Sequence.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Ol' Ski Nose

"Sol, do you think this young man can draw Bob Hope?"
-Editor Murray Boltinoff on Neal Adams

As many of you already know, comedian Bob Hope has passed away. While it's usually not my practise to talk about someone who was not directly involved in the creation of comics, in this case I'll make an exception. Why? Well, from 1950 to 1968, he appeared in 109 issues of The Adventures of Bob Hope making him the star of the one of the longest running celebrity tie-ins in comic history. No mean feat in a time when the industry was choking on them.

Most information on Bob Hope's forays into the four-colour world came about during his 100th birthday a few months ago. The best is this article from the Syracuse Post-Standard, which I found by way of Journalista, who had not only linked up to Johnny Bacardi's post on the signifigance of Bob Hope's nephew, Super-Hip, which also includes a link to a Bob Hope cover gallery, but also even more on the wonder that is Super-Hip in Toonopedia, itself a tribute to Bob Hope's birthday. How's that for a run-on?

Scott Shaw's Oddball Comics also has at least two entries on The Adventures of Bob Hope, here and here, with the possibility of more to come next week. Mark Evanier contributed to the birthday honours earlier this year, naming many of the participants of the comic.

Despite being a goofy celebrity tie-in, The Adventures of Bob Hope had an impressive pedigree. Near-forgotten humour maestro Owen Fitzgerald drew the first 80 issues of the title, an impressive stay that has very rarely been matched. The link above is to an essay by cartoonist Shane Glines on the importance of Fitzgerald, and is well worth reading. Fitzgerald's assitant, Bob Oksner and famed MAD magazine artist Mort Drucker took over the strip after Fitzgerald's departure (As an aside, Bob Oksner is the artist responsible for Angel and the Ape, one of my favourite Silver Age humour titles). Though not well-known for his work in humour books, Neal Adams closed off the series, with one issue done by Carmine Infantino. Writers on the series included Warner Bros. cartoon gag writer Cal Howard and Doom Patrol co-creator Arnold Drake, among others.

Believe it or not, I wasn't going to post this entry on the grounds that simply ripping off other bloggers' hard work wasn't nearly enough. Happily, the aforementioned Shane Glines came through with this page chockfull of Owen Fitzgerald's comics, including a full-length 28-page Bob Hope comic. Don't say I never do anything for you.

"A friend of mine once asked Hope if he ever read any of the DC comics. Hope raised his eyes and asked my friend if he was missing any issues - Hope had a complete set."
-Jerry Beck


According to the front page of Comic Book Resources, there will be a week-long Bob Hope retrospective in Oddball Comics next week. Also, there are a few older entries that I missed, here and here.