Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Jungle Definitions by Leo O’ Mealia Feb 14, Feb 21, Feb 28 1914 in the Toronto Star Weekly. O'Mealia worked on the early adventure comic books and drew two atmospheric comic strips featuring well-known heroes, Fu Manchu and Sherlock Holmes
The Sad Sack ("sad sack of shit" in army slang) began 15 Jun 1942 in the US army's Yank magazine and his doleful phiz decorated the sides of knapsacks, tanks and planes throughout the conflict. His creator was George Baker (1915-75). The comic strip was syndicated from 1946-1958 by Consolidated News Features and Sack was carried on in the sixties in a Harvey comic book. Classics can be read online here.
I have owned numerous copies of Archie and Mehitabel over the years but this is the first time I have seen Herriman's cover and spine illustrations. As a bonus the original owner (1936) has included a short handwritten history pasted in the back. A word to the wise > if you are looking for Robertson Davies' "Mehitabel the Magnificent" Reader's Digest article make sure you search out the Canadian edition.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Red Ralph; Or, The Daughter of Night a Romance of the Road In the Days of Dick Turpin By Percival Wolfe Published for the London Romance Company by News-Agents' Publishing Company limited, 147 Fleet Street. Illustrations by Robert Prowse, 52 nos. First published Monday, 28 Nov 1864, No. 2 given away with No. 1 with a large gratis engraving.
Red Ralph covered all the bases with characters Dick Turpin, Tom King, Claude Duval, Blueskin, Jonathan Wild, Polly Peachum, Edgeworth Bess, the Yellow Boys and the Beauties of St. Giles. Red Ralph, Captain of the Yellow Band, is so-called because of his entire right hand being a blood red colour because of some mystery he would never explain. Actually a great read with some very gory scenes where Red Ralph cuts the fingers off a corpse for the rings.
The last paragraph of the 52nd number reads >
“Is, then, our story told ? Not quite. Of the strange adventures of Leonore and Laura Delane, and of the mysterious gipsy, Mina, we have more to say, but in another place. In the history of "Wild Will; or, The Pirates of the Thames," will be also found the future life of Red Ralph, and the account of the awful doom which in the end awaited him.”
Now Hounslow Heath and its Moonlight Riders, from the London Romance Company, 7, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, E.C. , also illustrated by Robert Prowse featured a large giveaway engraving. On top were the words “By Julian St. George, author of "The Withered Hand” “Red Ralph &c.” and then the words "Presented Gratis to all Purchasers of No. 14 of the London Miscellany."
Both Percival George and Julian St. George have been said to be pseudonyms of Charles Henry Ross, and there is no doubt he had plenty to do with the London Romance Company. On 16 Jan 1869 Ross novel A London Romance was published by Tinsley Bros, 18 Catherine Street.