Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Steve Roper by John Saunders

Steve Roper was written by John Saunders in mid-50s, and drawn by William OvergardThe adventure strips of "Steve Roper and Mike Nomad" began in 1936 - back then it was "Big Chief Wahoo". Journalist Steve Roper was introduced in 1940 and eventually took over the strip. Adventurer Mike Nomad was introduced in 1956. Roper and Nomad were the kind of duo that remains popular to this day, particularly in mystery novels that feature a more cerebral lead character and his quick-with-his-fists buddy. Roper was, fittingly for a journalist, the kind of guy who could not only investigate a crime but think his way out of a tight spot.

The strip continued until the day after Christmas 2004. By that time, the strip had allowed Roger and Nomad to age gracefully.

William Overgard (1926-1990) was an American cartoonist and comic artist. He was born in Santa Monica, California and graduated from Santa Monica High School. His father acted in silent movies. Overgard enlisted in the armed forces in 1944 and served in Okinawa. During this time he pursued several ideas for comic strips, including one based on the American Civil War. Overgard moved to New York City in 1948, after spending several months as an art student at Santa Monica City College. He worked on comics books for Lev Gleason and Dell Comics.

In 1954, Overgard was hired by Publishers to replace Elmer Woggon as the artist on Steve Roper. Allen Saunders served as writer for the strip. Overgard added his own character of Mike Nomad and eventually the strip became officially known as "Steve Roper and Mike Nomad". 

After drawing Steve Roper for over thirty years, Overgard left in 1982 for 'Rudy', a comic strip he created about a talking chimpanzee. In addition to pursuing visual art, Overgard also wrote thriller novels, screenplays, and scripts for animated series. 

[[ Courtesy: All Information taken from Internet ]]

Read here one of the vintage Steve Roper's stories.

Steve Roper
(Size: 40 MB)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Rip Kirby - Whom Gods Destroy (Sep - Nov, 1953)

Rip Kirby was a classy gentleman - he was like James Bond without the philandering - Sherlock Holmes without the opium. In an introduction by Tom Roberts, Raymond says Rip is "a conglomeration of all the likable qualities I have seen in men I know." Rip’s flaws? A ruggedly handsome broken nose and spectacles. Even Rip’s fictional Irish identity was stripped, as Raymond changed his surname from O’Rourke to Kirby. 

Our today's post involves an old Rip Kirby strip from Alex Raymond's era - RK025. It originally ran in paper from 7th September to 21st November, 1953. It has been appeared in the 3rd volume of IDW's reproduction.

This is Rip’s first adventure saving someone from death row. It’s a simple mystery where he discovers the truth behind the murder with some non-credited, nods to both Sherlock Holmes and Dupin. It is one of the Raymond's best foreshadowing on the strip - some exquisite panels for the suspense parts of the story makes readers spell bound.

Rip Kirby - Whom the Gods Destroy (Sep - Nov, 1953)
Working at home, Rip is interrupted by a visit from the fiancée of Royce Hunter, recently sentenced to death for the murder of her brother, and asked if he wants to review the case in an effort to establish the truth. Accepting the case despite the difficulty of overturning the verdict and with very little time before the sentence is carried out, Rip picks up an unusual clue at the scene of the death which proves to be a catalyst for a string of baffling events...

The story may be short, but it is so concentrated on the mystery, that we hardly miss Honey Dorian here. At the same time Desmond also gets more to do than in much longer stories. 

Read here the 1st part of that vintage suspense Rip Kirby strips - Happy Sunday...

   >> 1st Part (11 Pages)
   >> 2nd Part (11 Pages)