Wayback Whensday – Then and Now

Scott Brown & Over 65; The Phantom 1980 & 2023; Asterix & Obelix and Goscinny & Uderzo and Fabcaro & Conrad; G. B. Trudeau and Maggie & Jiggs & Blondie & Dagwood & Lucy & Charlie

The Billy Ireland Biographical Note on Scott Brown:

Scott Brown was a cartoon artist and snowfall forecaster from Mansfield, Ohio. He was born in 1909 and graduated from Mansfield Senior High in 1927. After, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago and subsequently lived in New York City before returning to Mansfield in the 1930s. He married his wife Ann in 1934 and they had two daughters together, Barbara and Linda, and five grandchildren among them. He owned and operated his father’s, Harold M. Brown’s, pharmacy and soda shop until he sold it in 1970.

Scott Brown’s art work has been featured in The News Journal, which published his cartoon series “Over 65” for several years, The Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, and Cosmopolitan, often in annual collections of the best cartoons of the year. In addition to cartoon art, he also painted in watercolor and acrylic and had interests in woodworking and reading.

© the Estate of Scott Brown

Much more about the Mansfield, Ohio cartoonist is revealed in a recent Richland Source article by Hayden Gray.

Even more can be learned by reading Scott Brown: Cartoonist and visiting its attending Facebook page.


An Announcement from Hermes Press:

It was recently brought to our attention by a Phan via email that our most recently published Dailies reprint, Volume 29, has a significant error. Due to our error, the Phantom story “The Poachers” (July 21, 1980 – November 1, 1980) was omitted from the book. It should have been either the last story of Volume 28 or the very first story of Volume 29.

© King Features Syndicate

But the publisher is going to make it right and all will be able to enjoy it:

Because Volume 30 is already at the printer, we are going to run “The Poachers” as the first story (with notation) for Volume 31. We will also be providing a link on our website and social media accounts for a free download of the missing story so that everyone can read it as soon as possible. That should be going live early next week.

Watch this space. Here is a free download of “The Poachers” (July 21, 1980 – November 1, 1980) storyline.

Forty-three years later has Tony DePaul giving an update on the current Sunday Phantom and John X:

… That’s where we left it in 2015. And now, as of two Sundays ago, John X is back. Clearly the Phantom’s up to something; something to do with the Unknown Commander, I gather, given the title of the yarn: The Commander Will See You Now

The Commander will see you now? He’s never been known to see anybody. All he’s ever been is a note in the safe, a voice from the shadows.


In 1977 very popular European Asterix the Gaul comic was adapted to American comic strip format.

Allan Holtz tells of that failed effort:

In 1977, Field Enterprises chose to take on the daunting, and ultimately thankless, task of adapting Asterix albums to American newspaper comic form. Adapting the albums to daily and Sunday strip form required a great deal of editing and reworking…

Not only does the art suffer terribly from the postage-stamp size reproduction of daily comic strips, but the storyline gets chopped up so much that the comedic pacing is completed defeated…

© Dargaud/Hatchette

One has to wonder what if Goscinny (who died days before the comic strip’s debut) and Uderzo had tried to create new material specifically intended for the daily comic strip format.

The current creators of Asterix have done just that as a sort of preface to the newest Asterix album due October 2023 and Bleeding Cool has an exclusive look:

But first, we are getting some Special Summer Strips, original Asterix stories by Fabcaro and Conrad, translated by Johnson, to lead into the new graphic novel. These are not extracts from Asterix and The White Iris but part of a standalone story, beginning with The Chief’s Fight, and running for the first time here on Bleeding Cool. Where the rest will run, I have no idea… but when I do, I will let you know!


Paul Hébert directs us to a 1973 Garry B. Trudeau article for New York magazine about marriage and comic strips:

The title of Garry Trudeau’s contribution to NY’s look at 1970s coupledom was “Maggie & Jiggs & Blondie & Dagwood & Lucy & Charlie,” a nod to Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, a 1969 comedy by Paul Mazursky about two couples navigating the sexual revolution.

Trudeau’s essay traces how comic strips were “a pop mirror for our changing ideas about relationships.” “The sticky problems of our comic couples” had, over the course of the 20th century, reflected shifts in how Americans thought about, and built, their intimate relationships, and the larger social and cultural contexts within which they did so. 

© G. B. Trudeau

That early in the strip’s development Garry was uncertain about Mike and any relationship with the opposite sex.

These days Mike is married (twice) and settled down.

feature image by Scott Brown

One thought on “Wayback Whensday – Then and Now

  1. Back in 1973, Jerry Sinkovec and I were trying our best to make our companion to our MENOMONEE FALLS GAZETTE adventure comic-strip tabloid, the MENOMONEE FALLS GUARDIAN (which was to be devoted to humor comics), irresistible to prospective buyers. Our plan was to adapt European comics to America which had yet to appear as standalone albums in weekly single-page segments resembling old-time full-page PRINCE VALIANT comics as adapted to American English with translations by Fred Patton. As I recall, he was negotiating to do this for VALERIAN for the GAZETTE and ASTERIX for the GUARDIAN. (The UK ASTERIX translation at the time was fine for what it was, but rather impenetrable to U.S. readers, I thought. (Later translations were easier to read, though still “foreign”-sounding.) How it might have worked in single or two-page increments, I have no idea since the owners broke off talks because we were such small potatoes. But we weren’t trying to reinvent the strips, just break them up into digestible weekly portions because we wanted to represent the worldwide comics scene. Whether this would have worked better than Field’s attempt, I couldn’t say, but it would’ve happened several years before their version. We only got as foreign in our strip selection as about a dozen British strips from London newspapers, and AIR HAWK from Australia. but our plans were always more aspirational than practical which was eventually our downfall…

Comments are closed.