Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Reading Room SKYROCKET STEELE "...in the Year X !"

Though best-known as the creator of Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner....
...Bill Everett's first published strip featured this Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers clone...
In this premiere chapter, the series starts "mid-stream", indicating events crucial to the plot occurred before we join Skyrocket and his buddies.
The captions and dialogue balloons are heavier than normal as expositional dialogue is used to clue the readers in on the situations in the "world of the future".
You'll also note the use of upper and lower-case lettering, unique, even then.
Everett's unique inking style is already developing, though crude in comparison to his later work.
To his credit, Bill doesn't swipe layouts from Alex (Flash Gordon) Raymond, Hal (Tarzan/Prince Valiant) Foster, or any of the already-established masters of the graphic storytelling form as so many of his comic book contemporaries do!
He's not afraid to try his own "camera angles" to tell the story...not always succeeding, but experimenting and learning!
Trivia: Though the character debuted in this tale which appeared in Centaur's Amazing Mystery Funnies #2 (1938), he was the cover feature of issue #1...
....where no sign of him can be found on the inside of the book!
No one knows why!
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