Reemergence of Adventure Comic Strips

Adventure strips seem to be hitting high points these days with a few going for belated origin stories.

The Legend of Bill is currently reliving how Bill became a legend. Apparently Bill and Frank, his little blue dragon buddy, have been together for much longer than we thought and it has been mutually beneficial. Middle Ages’ demons and angels/gnomes and swords and sorcery. This chapter is a bit more serious than the usual. February 19 is as good a place to start as any.

Meanwhile in a different comic strip world…

Rip Haywire has been accused of destroying Los Tomatos, a reasonable assumption given Rip’s nature, but it’s a set up by a secretive organization. Rip is on the run.

Then Rip finds himself in a facility akin to Marvel’s Weapon X. Will we discover Rip’s amazing ability to absorb punishment is due to the same process that enables Wolverine and Deadpool to survive? But…

Rip’s origin(?) story begins with the February 12 installment with a few transitions to the other characters.

At Long Last – – The Parents of Little Orphan Annie!

In another plot that could be likened to an old Marvel Comics story we finally find out why and how Little Annie became an orphan as Dick Tracy and Daddy Warbucks team up to reveal the story to Annie.

The centennial tale of the “origin” of Little Orphan Annie begins in the Dick Tracy strip of February 26.

Elsewhere, way elsewhere…

Dan Schkade continues to dazzle with the all-new rapid-fire adventures of young Flash Gordon on Mongo. As the story turns to the Ice Kingdom the color scheme turns blue.

above: the full half-page Sunday for March 24, 2024 that Comics Kingdom, for some reason, decided to chop

Schultz and Yeates continue to entertain with the aging Prince Valiant (but still as agile as ever) chasing after items he needs to retrieve his Singing Sword. Action, magic, and what seems to be some kind of witch’s (Aleta?) familiar.

Splitting the difference between the future (Flash) and the past (Valiant) is the The Phantom in the Deep Woods of the current time. While the Sunday seems to a light-hearted tale the daily is turning more serious. The current daily story began on January 21 as a story about the virtue of patience. DePaul SEEMS to have wandered away from that as Walker and Son are on the trail of what appear to be an expedition of artifact thieves. An opportunity for the current Ghost Who Walks to train his inevitable successor? This part of the story began on March 11.

Anyway, DePaul and Blevins have two months to return the story to its original intent.

As long as we are in the jungle with a father and son let’s turn to Tarzan and Korak and a vintage story.

As Scott Tracy Griffin explains:

In 1995, Danton [Burroughs] contacted me with the news that longtime writer Don Kraar was leaving the Tarzan Sunday comic strip, and he intended to refer me for the job. I couldn’t have been more delighted. The Tarzan newspaper strip, launched in 1929, was one of the most successful and long-running strips in history, overseen by talents like Hal Foster, Burne Hogarth, Russ Manning, Gil Kane, Mike Grell, and Gray Morrow, who illustrated Don’s scripts. Gray would remain the artist on the strip, collaborating with the new writer.

The syndicate, however, had a different plan; the editor decided to audition several people to find the permanent hire. Each writer would submit two storylines consisting of 12-13 weekly installments.

Scott decided to partner Tarzan with his son Korak for a journey to the lost city of Opar.

ERBzine presents Griffin and Morrow’s La’s Plight from the black and white proofs and Scott’s view of the June 16 – September 8, 1996 Sunday adventure – and why it was his only story for the Tarzan comic strip.

3 thoughts on “Reemergence of Adventure Comic Strips

  1. Request from a fan: Does anyone know of an adventure webcomic with some romantic content? I’m remembering how Rip Kirby always came home to Honey, and how Johnny Hazard for a time was involved with Brandy. Is anyone doing that sort of adventure strip in which the women are not pneumatic and there is a continuing storyline with a relationship involved???

  2. I wonder if Gasoline Alley counts as an adventure strip. The current story arc deals with the fate of the Gasoline Alley name for the city.

  3. Speaking of adventure comics with romantic content…It would have been cool if you had included Mara Llave, Keeper of Time by Alex Segura and Nickolej Villiger. All the examples in your blog post are white male heroes and damsels in distress. This is 2024. Girls are players too!

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