This “Never Was” comic strip began in 1953 as a published comic book.
Joe Kubert’s Tor ran for 5 issues in 1953 and 1954
(one of those issues being in a then novelty 3-D format).
Joe Kubert, assisted by writer Carmine Infantino, returned to the prehistoric concept around 1959, producing two weeks of comic strips to offer the syndicates.
Unfortunately the syndicates didn’t take on the strip and newspaper readers of the era missed out on seeing Kubert’s Tor every day. (They still had Alley Oop for antediluvian adventures.)
Tor would return to comic books, along with the comic strip origin story. In 1975 DC Comics published Tor comic books and to start it off Kubert adapted his proposed comic strip into comic book format.
above: from the 1959 comic strip proposal
While Joe Kubert would return to Tor a few more times over the years,
Tor never made it onto the newspaper pages.
The two weeks of the Tor comic strip can be read in Alter Ego #10 as presented here at Comic Book Plus, with a nice introduction by Mark Hanerfeld.
From 1,000,000 years ago to 1,000 years(?) from now.
Way back in the 20th century comic book artists aspired to the riches to be had as a comic strip creator. One such aspiring cartoonist was Frank Frazetta. Around 1948 he developed an idea to break into the syndicates’ comic strip bonanza.
Frank Frazetta, teamed with Joe Greene, to present a vision of the far future. Tiga and Mari find themselves trying to survive in an environment not wholly different than what Tor lived in, though the rubble was strange.
If the comic strip had been taken by a syndicate it seems the future would have been assisted by the “wise” humans of our time, who were probably responsible for the future catastrophe.
Again only two weeks of the proposal exist, they can be read at Cap’n’s Comics. Newspaper readers would have to wait ten years for post-apocalyptic adventures, with the debut of B.C.
Though the above comics never made it into newspapers, Joe Kubert and Frank Frazetta did. Joe most famously with Tales of the Green Beret, Winnie Winkle, Big Ben Bolt, and NEA Christmas strips. While Frank did Johnny Comet/Ace McCoy, Flash Gordon (briefly), and Li’l Abner.