95 years ago today, on January 17, 1929, E. C. Segar introduced a new character to the comics pages.
Popeye had powers far beyond mortal man thanks to the Wiffle Hen and later to spinach.
Ten years later, on January 16, 1939, newspaper readers were introduced to another person with “powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.” This one was “a strange visitor from another planet.”
After failing to get their newspaper proposal sold to a syndicate Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster accepted an offer from a comic book editor, cut up their comic strip samples to fit the new format, and their Superman was published in the June 1938 issue of Action Comics #1. The following January the overnight comic book sensation got his slot in newspapers.
Tom Heintjes at Twitter BCE (before crazy Elon) provides the new twelve newspaper comic strip introduction.
Back to that January of 1929 that saw Popeye’s debut…
That same month saw the science fiction story Armeggedon 2419 A.D. adapted by its author Philip Nowlan and artist Dick Calkins to comic strip format. Buck Rogers 2429 A.D. appeared as a daily on January 7, 1929.
That same day another adventure story was adapted to comic strip format. January 7, 1929 saw Edger Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes transformed into an illustrated story for newspapers by R. W. Palmer and Hal Foster.
Buck Rogers and Tarzan were wildly successful as comic strips, so naturally more of a like nature were created.
Earlier this month we celebrated the 90th anniversary of Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim, but Alex Raymond wasn’t done with the comics that January of 1934. On Monday the 22nd his and credited creator/scripter Dashiell Hammett‘s daily comic strip, Secret Agent X-9, made its first appearance as competition to the popular Dick Tracy.
January is noted as a stellar month in comic strip adventure history.