Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Obscurity of the Day: Charles A. Lindbergh's Life and Adventures
In the wake of Lindbergh's landmark flight across the Atlantic, every newspaper syndicate was in a race to supply the ravenous hunger for material about Lindy and his feat. The newspaper reading public could not be sated. However, as far as I know only one closed-end comic strip was created specifically to tell his life story, which I find quite surprising.
What is even more surprising is that it was syndicated by the North American Newspaper Alliance, which as far as I know never produced another comic strip in all their years in existence. NANA was a news-gathering organization, and they normally left this sort of thing to Bell Syndicate, which was aligned with them. I guess that shows the enormity of this news event and the desire to cover it every possible way.
NANA assigned writer A.J. Wilde and artist C.W. McElfresh to the task, and they produced a strip that ran from June 13 to July 23 1927* in lots of papers. It ran under the title Charles A. Lindbergh's Life and Adventures, or Colonel Lindbergh's Life and Adventures, depending on the paper. It was billed in promos as offering "fresh information ... and romantic and authentic facts about his ancestry" that will "throw fresh light on this world hero." Whether the strip did much of that is doubtful, but it did offer a decently well-rounded history of Lindbergh, his family, and of the race to fly solo across the Atlantic. Considering that the strip began running in papers a mere three weeks after Lindy touched down in Paris, Wilde and McElfresh can be forgiven for any roughness around the edges of their presentation, especially since this was an apparently one-time foray into the world of comic strips for both of them.
* Source: Lincoln State Journal