February 12th, 2015

Ask the Archivist: BIG BEN BOLT

by The King

Hello, loyal followers!

Today I want to commemorate a first-class strip from the past, Big Ben Bolt, which ran from 1950 to 1978. It was drawn by the brilliant penman John Cullen Murphy, the only man who could, and did, take over Prince Valiant from Hal Foster in the 1970s.

I know real fans have seen most of the series before, so instead of showing you some strips as I usually do, I present to you a gallery of comic book covers attesting to the plucky fighter’s worldwide renown.

But first, three pages of a special promotional flyer sent to editors during a continuity that ran from 16 July  to 6 October 1951, covering a big match  Ben fought in Alaska, with original art by Murphy not seen anywhere else.  At that time, when the strip was new, it was building a client list every day. Maybe they did a lot of promotions like that — I’m always looking for more.

 The date on the paper (September 3) was in the middle of, or just before,
the fight sequence in the strip.


 “LOS SECRETOS DEL RING No. 6” ( Ediciones Espejo ,Madrid, March 1954)



 “BIG BEN BOLT O CAMPEÁO 12” (Cia Grafica Nova Mundo Sao Paulo 1956)


“BIG BEN BOLT  LA VUELTA AL MUNDO EN 80 DIAS”(Editorial Dolar 1959)

Front and back covers. I didn’t realize the term “Graphic Novel” was current then.



“BIG BEN No. 2”(Casa Editrice Astorino, Milan December 1961)



  “BIG BEN BOLT No. 27”(Gordon & Gotch, Sydney Ca. 1965)


 “VELOS” (Terzopolous, Athens 25 February 1969)


 “BEN BOLT EM O TIRANO DE BRAKOVA No.2” (Jornal De Cuto, Lisbon 1974)

 Yours truly,

The Archivist










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