The Comics Kingdom Blog

ASK THE ARCHIVIST: BUZ SAWYER AND WORLD WAR II

 

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Roy Crane’s great adventure strip, BUZ SAWYER began 70 years ago this week. It wasn’t the first strip about planes and the love of air power. King Features had two in this genre at the time, Tim Tyler’s Luck and Barney Baxter In The Air.  A  difference is that when World War II started, Tim Tyler and Barney Baxter left their civilian adventures and went under uniform to join the fight,  but Buz was created in the middle of that fight, starting as a Navy fighter pilot. Until that time, Crane had been working at NEA for almost 20 years on the legendary Captain Easy and Wash Tubbs.

 

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The first episode of Buz Sawyer daily, 1 November 1943, and the Sunday, 28 November 1943. Notice instead of dates, they’re assigned “No. 1” designations.

Buz was a handsome, all-American fellow. His sidekick, Rosco Sweeney, was an older man, a longtime U.S. Navy sailor, who often offered comedy situations to lighten the grim business of war.

Crane was one of the greatest cartoonists ever. His depictions of life on an aircraft carrier during the Pacific campaign, as well as the battle action and aftermath scenes, are quite eloquent. There isn’t space for a whole story, so instead we show you some samples of Roy Crane’s view of the war against Japan in those terrible, heroic years.

 

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Response to Daily INK readers:

To MR. WHOOPEE-

I believe that “Let George Do It” was a funny catchphrase a century ago. It meant, “I don’t want to bother with it- let someone else take care of it.”

Yours Truly,

THE ARCHIVIST GUY

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