Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Captain Power



Captain Power written by Gerry Brown illustrated by Stanley Pitt. Captain Power's creators borrowed freely from Rip Kirby, Flash Gordon and Superman. Power could do anything Superman could do, he had super strength, a jet pack for flying and x-ray goggles. His sidekick sported the worst nickname ever: Atommy. The atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll in 1946 made a huge impression on Australian cartoonists. The first strip appeared March 6, 1949.











2 comments:

  1. Since I used your bloag as introductory research, heres the beginning of a post I sent elsewhere:

    Captain Power was an historical Cold War Australian syndicated comic strip.

    Background (from http://john-adcock.blogspot.com/search/label/Gerry%20Brown ): Captain Power was written by Gerry Brown illustrated by Stanley Pitt. Captain Power's creators borrowed freely from Rip Kirby, Flash Gordon and Superman. Power could do anything Superman could do, he had super strength, a jet pack for flying and x-ray goggles. His sidekick sported the worst nickname ever: Atommy. The atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll in 1946 made a huge impression on Australian cartoonists.

    So, after a few stops and starts, I've downloaded the complete Captain Power thats available from http://trove.nla.gov.au/

    All, in pdf format, are at http://www.mediafire.com/?7o9g4n5ui6l74na

    If I didn't make a mistake, you'll find I numbered these as S001, S008-S126 and S156.

    Anyway, what I deduced is that the Sunday Sun (not archived at the NLA site) was Power's home newspaper and that the 2 sources with digital archives, the Sunday Herald (Sydney, NSW) and Western Mail (Perth, WA), picked up the strip in syndication. Both pick up the introductory strip (which seemingly debuted at least 6 weeks before the listed 1949-03-06 start date) and then branch off into different points in the continuity.

    The Western Mail luckily had numbered strips, which told me there were likely 6 weeks missing from the beginning of the Sunday Herald's run.

    I think I got the strips from the two newspapers aligned by S (for Sunday) numbering.

    We're then complete for S008 to S156, when the archivers of the Sunday Herald simply stopped scanning the comics!!

    Evidence of this came when I discovered a strip from 1952-01-20 (which I assigned an S156 designation). The story hadn't yet reached its conclusion in that strip, so Captain Power extended on from that point.

    For creators, I show Gerry Brown as the writer on all strips that I located. Stanley Pitt was the artist through S071, after which Peter James took over.

    I was unable to find much information on either Brown or James.

    And finally, a search at http://www.daao.org.au/bio/paul-wheelahan/ for Captain Power yields a result I can't read for a Paul Wheelahan. Which hints at some involvement as writer or artist later in the run.

    All of this raises questions about when the strip began and ended, if it was reprinted anywhere, and information on its creators (outside of Pitt).

    And, of course, this starts the hunt for the missing strips :)

    Art Lortie
    alortie4@aol.com

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  2. Thanks for all the legwork, Art, keep me updated if any new information comes to light.

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