Thursday, April 7, 2016

Operation Blonde, a comic strip no one ever heard of

JACK O’BRIEN. Early this spring I discovered that Sgt. Jack O’Brien, a cartoonist I have admired for a long, long time, drew a comic strip called Operation Blonde for AFPS. These samples appeared in the The Fort Hood Sentinel, a post newspaper published at the army base in Fort Hood, Texas, between May 28, 1953 and July 8, 1960. It lasted a long period of time for a comic strip no one ever heard of. Operation Blonde is a title evocative of the popular spy novels of the 50s-60s. From the army O’Brien went on to draw the Harvey Sad Sack comic books, and freelanced as a slick gag cartoonist for the mildly risqué 25¢ cartoon digests. 

[1] Feb 6, 1959
O’Brien was last heard of in 1970 when his home and a printing shop were raided by New Jersey police and an arrest warrant was issued for the cartoonist on obscenity charges. Police seized 8 truckloads of pornographic literature, printing machines, photographic equipment and mailing lists. The outcome does not seem to have been recorded in newspaper archives. Newspapers at the time referred to him as the artist on the syndicated Sad Sack comic strip although he may have only been assisting Fred Rhoads. 

[2] May 28, 1953
[3] Aug 21, 1958
[4] Dec 10, 1953
[5] Dec 19, 1958
[6] Jan 15, 1960
[7] July 10, 1958
[8] May 29, 1959
[9] May 29, 1959
[10] May 29, 1959
[11] May 29, 1959
[12] May 29, 1959
[13] May 29, 1959
[14] May 29, 1959
[15] May 29, 1959
[16] Aug 11, 1955
[17] July 8, 1960

EARLIER O’BRIEN. I previously posted about this brilliant gag cartoonist who signed himself O’Brien HERE, HERE and HERE. Animation Resources has more on him HERE.

1 comment:

  1. What an incredibly well drawn strip! Thanks for posting this, John. I had never heard of it before.