What Might Have Been – Buck Rogers, The Muppets

The unexpected, phenomenal success of 1977’s Star Wars set off a “Space Wars” frenzy across all media. Comic strips were not immune. Star Wars, Star Trek, Star Hawks, and Jeff Hawke rushed to join Flash Gordon on American newspaper funny pages.

Also among those strips was a revived Buck Rogers by Jim Lawrence and Gray Morrow.


But a fan of the old original Buck Rogers comic strip by Philip Nowlan and Dick Calkins thought a retro effort was the way to go. Bud Gordinier supposedly did a few strips and presented them to the Dille family, owners of Buck Rogers.

Found a couple daily samples on the worldwide web, and even what may be a Sunday page.

To be honest the internet offers different dates for when Bud did these: the late 1960s, a little after the original series ended; the late 1970s, when the Buck Rogers strip was revived; and the late 1980s, as a time he presented it to the Dille Family.

I think I would have enjoyed seeing Bud’s take during any of those times.


Around about that same time, that late 1970s time frame, Jim Henson was looking to get his popular Muppets characters into the comics sections of newspapers. Of course in 1981 it was the Gilchrist brothers who got the gig of bringing the puppets to comic strips.


Among those who tried out for the job was a trio of comic book  creators –
Roger Stern, John Byrne, and Terry Austin.

John Byrne, years later, remembered:

It would have been a couple of years before I got married, so around 1978 I’d guess. Jim Salicrup had some contact with the Muppet people, and asked Roger and me if we would like to try out for a planned newspaper strip. We did, but ours was not the work chosen.

To be honest, based on what was chosen, I cannot imagine why we didn’t get the nod.