Sunday, October 4, 2009

Peter Scratch

Lou Fine (1914-1971) once had plans to be an electrical engineer but after leaving college began writing and illustrating his own stories for comic magazines. In 1958 he was illustrating the Ellery Queen series for the American Weekly magazine and then began the superb Adam Ames soap opera comic strip from 1959 to 1962. He began Peter Scratch on 13 September 1965 with writer Elliot Caplin (Abbie ‘n Slats) and it ran until 1967 eventually being ghosted by Jack Sparling and Neal Adams.

Peter Scratch, a “slightly used private eye,” lived with his hardboiled, chain-smoking mother, who he addressed as Lucretia. The artwork was solidly in the Rip Kirby style camp but the scripts were a bit too zany for the subject matter. Fine’s hobbies were boating, gardening and drawing. He kept a 14 foot boat christened the “Adam Ames.” He died July 4, 1971.

1 comment:

  1. I always regretted Lou Fine abandoning his Eisneresque feathering, which over his superb draughtsmanship made for a beautiful, mannered style.

    But I grant it wouldn't have flown in '65.

    Slick magazine illustration had become the reigning aesthetic for newspaper story strips.