Seventy-Five Years of Rex Morgan, M.D. – but the Rex of ’48 is not the Rex of ’23

Rex Morgan, M.D. by Nick Dallis (as Dal Curtis) and Marvin Bradley & Frank Edgington debuted May 10, 1948.

Below is the first week of dailies (the Sunday page would begin a month later on June 13, 1948).

May 10-15, 1948 – Bradley figure art/Edgington background art

The original creators would stay on the strip for around 30 years.

The last half of the 1970s saw Fran Matera ghosting the art:

October 23, 1977 – Fran Matera art?

Followed by the ghosting artistry of Andre LeBlanc.

August 5, 1979 – Andre LeBlanc art?

From late 1979 to early 1980 it was Frank Springer doing art chores and signing along with Bradley and Edgington.

January 6, 1980 – Frank Springer (signed)

After Springer Alex Kotzky (Apt. 3-G) temporarily stepped in as ghost artist.

April 5, 1980 – Alex Kotzky art?

Then Fernando Da Silva took over for a few years, also signing along with Bradley and Edgington.

It was during the Da Silva years that Dallis assistant Woody Wilson began ghosting the scripts.

February 18, 1984 – Henry Da Silva (signed)

Finally a permanent artist was found with veteran comic artist Tony DiPreta drawing from 1985 – 2000.

March 16, 1994 – Tony DiPreta art (signed)
Bradley/Edginton signatures dropped in April of 1987; Wilson sig added in 1991

From 2000 through 2013 Graham Nolan drew the dailies and Sundays.

March 5 and 6, 2004 – Graham Nolan art

Then Terry Beatty inherited the scalpel (art). Terry was handed the stethoscope (script) in 2016.

April 3, 2022 – Terry Beatty

Fairly quickly after taking on the writing assignment Terry made it clear that his Rex was not your father’s Rex:

July 31, 2016 – Terry Beatty

Rex Morgan remains one of maybe a dozen story strips still running original content.

hat tip to Allan Holtz for the artist breakdown

Rex Morgan is © North America Syndicate

12 thoughts on “Seventy-Five Years of Rex Morgan, M.D. – but the Rex of ’48 is not the Rex of ’23

  1. What WOULD be the remaining original content story stips? Rex Morgan, Judge Parker, Mary Worth, Phantom and…?

    1. Also Mark Trail and Dick Tracy are numbered among original content story strips.

    2. For what it’s worth the story comics that I do recaps for are:

      Alley Oop
      Dick Tracy
      Gasoline Alley
      Gil Thorp
      Judge Parker
      Mark Trail
      Mary Worth
      Prince Valiant
      Rex Morgan, M.D.
      The Phantom (weekday and Sunday continuities)

      I’ve also been covering Olive and Popeye, but I don’t believe that runs in any newspapers. And that’s excluding strips that, like Crankshaft or Luann, have ongoing situations that come out and develop for a week or two but that aren’t really ‘story’ strips (not just because they have punch lines; Popeye reliably had a punch line but stayed a story strip for most of its weekday continuity).

      1. I have encouraged Joseph, without success, to add Rip Haywire to his recap roster.
        Randy Milholland has, of late, taken to continuity with his Sunday Popeye
        (up now is part 7 of The Secret of Goonhalla), though it is unknown if that will continue.
        Add those two to Joseph’s ten would make a dozen.

  2. While on the subject of Rex Morgan, what ever happened to the character of old Melissa? Did she officially die? Or just fade away?

  3. Responding to Katherine Collins’ question.

    Melissa faded away prior to my tenure on the strip. I did give her a cameo appearance in a flashback story, but that’s the only time she’ll be seen in my version of the strip. She seemed to exist mostly to play frustrated matchmaker for Rex and June, and now that those two are long married, Melissa’s function in the strip is kaput. There’s also the fact that she’s the only element of the original feature that I don’t like — and never did!

    Thanks to D.D. Degg and this website for noting Rex’s 75th! On to 100!

  4. I was listening to WMKV (a public radio stations that caters to the generation before the Beatles invaded). It marked Rex’s anniversary. They said that Nicholas Dallis was in Phoenix at the time (he was working in Toledo Ohio).

  5. It’s a pity that a celebratory strip did not appear on Rex Morgan. The current storyline has been involving Hank and Yvonne on a cruise for a month.

  6. Did Rex Morgan MD ever have an old time radio show, network or syndicated? Just wandering.

  7. Best Line in RMMD history: “Parents are strange animals . . . They keep loving us when they should be thrashing us!” — 20 November 1988.

    Funniest Strip: Kelly muzzles Sarah when the latter tries to correct a thug who seems to believe that leopards have stripes, 27 July 2016.

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