Monday, August 26, 2019
Obscurity of the Day: Air Conquests
We've covered several strips and panels that were included with the weekly Junior Birdmen of America page distributed by Hearst, and frankly most of their material was pretty dull stuff, unless you're really interested in the science behind wing shear or bios of pioneering pilots is your bag.
Air Conquests didn't exactly break that mold, but it bent it up enough to offer some decent entertainment value. The strip was written by (or at least credited to) famed flying ace Captain Frank Hawks, and it offered an account of his early days as a flier. Although the Junior Birdmen page promoted the strip as more of a grand adventure story, Hawks confined the narrative to his time as a flying student and then as a flying instructor. Although maybe not quite as exciting as the Junior Birdmen might have been hoping for, his story was interesting, it offered a lot of tidbits about learning to fly, and injected the very appealing personality of Frank Hawks, who ironically seems like a very down-to-earth guy in this narrative. The strip was enhanced by the very capable artistry of Jon L. Blummer.
Air Conquests was a feature of the Junior Birdmen page from September 8 1935 to April 5 1936*, and seemed to end a little abruptly. Since the Birdmen page would no longer run strips and panels after this I'm assuming the editorial direction had taken an abrupt turn.
* Source: San Francisco Examiner