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Monday, March 30, 2009

Splash Page

The release of The Casebook of Sexton Blake has prompted me to dig out this example of a Sexton Blake spin-off strip. Blake featured in Knockout from 1939-60 and in Valiant in 1968-70. A later revival stumbled at the last minute: Blake was meant to be the lead strip in Tornado when it launched in 1979 but the failure of the Sexton Blake TV series Sexton Blake and the Demon God in late 1978 led the editors to change Blake into a new character called Victor Drago. A real shame as it was the most true-to-character Blake strip ever.

The lack of a Gwyn Evans yarn in the book reminded me about a spin-off strip featuring one of Evans' most popular creations, Splash Page, a crime-busting journalist who often featured in Evans' Blake tales. A Splash Page comic book was planned in 1949 but never appeared. He did, however, appear briefly in the pages of Comet in 1950 (perhaps using up storylines that had been written by Richard Chance for the mooted comic book).

The artwork was by Alex Oxley, a cartoonist, animator and illustrator who was an irregular contributor to comics during the 1950s. The example below is scanned from Knockout Fun Book 1956 but reprints a 1950 strip from Comet, probably Oxley's earliest comics work.

(* Splash Page © IPC Media)

6 comments:

bristle said...

When I read Tornado, I'd never heard of Sexton Blake, but I loved Victor Drago - it was dirty and grimy and gritty, and not just Mike Dorey's excellent artwork!

King Viswa said...

Steve,

Staying on with the Sexton Blake stories which were printed in Valiant in 1967-70, A Friend of Mine collected most of these Books and Gifted it to me Last Month.

Where i have a problem with that is, None of these Valaint Books have any details of the creators of the Sexton Blake stories (Even the one that featured on the Cover of the Valiant Magazine).

However, going by the Artwork and through references in your Blog, i could identify the author as Eric Dadswell (Am i right?).

Still i couldn't identify the writed for these stories.

Why am taking such a pain is currently am doing a story on Sexton Blake who featured in India (In Tamil Language) in the late 80's. Information would be great to finish the story.

Thanks in Advance.
King Viswa.
தமிழ் காமிக்ஸ் உலகம்

King Viswa said...

Steve,

My Apologies, for the Typo.

Artist = Eric Dadswell
Author = Unknown

King Viswa.
தமிழ் காமிக்ஸ் உலகம்

Steve said...

King,

The artist was, as you say, Eric Dadswell; the script writer for the Valiant episodes was the late Angus Allan.

King Viswa said...

Steve,

Thanks a Ton for the Timely Info.

May be now i can complete my post on Sexton Blake in Tamil Comics.

Will Be doing that Post by this weekend and will let you know through a Link, Steve.

King Viswa
தமிழ் காமிக்ஸ் உலகம்

Rafiq Raja said...

Thanks for enlighting on this unknown character Sexton Blake Steve. The artwork looks real classic, with a touch of comical frames. Would love to read them when I get a chance.

ÇómícólógÝ