Saturday, August 12, 2006
Obscurity of the Day: Bucky
We talked quite a bit about the Pittsburgh Courier a few weeks ago, in regard to their color comics section. Here's an earlier Courier strip which actually died as a casualty to the creation of that section. Bucky first ran on July 31 1937, credited pseudonymously to 'Bobby Thomas'. Samuel Milai, the actual creator of the strip, was doing so much work for the Courier that he would occasionally sign his material with other names. This was probably at the behest of the paper. It's my guess that the Courier wanted to appear to have more cartoonists working for it than it actually did. The pseudonym didn't last for long on Bucky, though, and Milai took credit for most of the run.
Bucky wasn't particularly memorable, being yet another precocious kid strip, but Milai's artwork was of better quality than the typical fare found in the black papers.
The strip ran until August 12 1950, ending the week before the inauguration of the new color comics section. Thirteen years is a marathon run for any feature in the 'race press', where strips came and went quickly, often because the artists failed to get paid for their work. Milai wasn't out of work, though - he started the Don Powers strip for the color comics section.
Bucky was resurrected for a short while in Milai's John Henry and his Friend Bucky which ran in the Courier in 1960-61.