Friday, September 05, 2008

Daily Express strips 25 January 1965

Continuing our trip through some of the newspaper strips of the Sixties we reach the Daily Express, which ran quite a few hugely popular strips. James Bond should need no introduction. This particular episode comes from 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', which is amongst the strips reprinted in the Titan series of James Bond books.

Jeff Hawke—which, again, should really need no introduction—has been one of my favourite strips for many years. I haven't a clue where I first saw it but I'm pleased to see that a couple of volumes have been reprinted by Titan. Let's hope that they continue. However, there's an alternate... the Jeff Hawke's Cosmos magazine has been published for the past few years, reprinting a couple of strips every issue. I reviewed the latest issue back in June and if you follow the link you'll also find all the subscription details.

'Gun Law' is one of the great "lost strips" that deserve to be reprinted. Fabulous artwork by Harry Bishop, based on the TV series Gunsmoke starring James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon and Dennis Weaver as his pal Chester Goode. (Weaver later got a promotion to Marshall when he starred as Sam McCloud in the TV series McCloud.)

'Four D Jones' was another western, but with a distinct twist. The cowboy hero was able to travel between dimensions thanks to the use of a 'time hoop'. The strip ran for about ten years between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s, so this must be from near the end of its run. Its creator was Birmingham-born Peter Maddocks who was taught at art school by Norman ('Jane') Pett. After serving in the Navy, Maddocks began designing movie posters for cinemas and drawing cartoons before working for the Express. He retired to Spain in 2000.

(* strips © Northern & Shell Media Publications.)

1 comment:

  1. That's a great line up of strips!

    I have (or used to have -- not sure which) a Gun Law Annual which included a chunk of the daily strip. I also have/had a Gun Law Comic Album in which American Gunsmoke comic book stories were rejigged to make them look more like a collection of newspaper strips. Odd, the things some editors will do in search of higher sales.

    David Simpson



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