I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got one new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Glamourpuss – 17
  • “Thor: Balder the Brave”
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    “Captain Easy :Volume One” by Roy Crane

    I’ve finally decided what I want to do for a living. I want to be a cartoonist who makes a Sunday comic strip in the early 1930’s. It sure seems like a lot of fun. Captain Easy and Roy Crane were both known to me by reputation but I had never read Captain Easy or anything else by Crane. Thanks to this being a Golden Age of comic strip reprints I finally can.

    These Captain Easy strips are from 1933-1935. They are all Sunday strips and are in color. The artwork isn’t spectacular but the storytelling is well done and overall is nice. The best way to describe the strip as a whole is “A lot of fun”. It breezes along at a break neck pace. That may sound like a contradiction but that’s because Crane makes it seem so effortless. And I know how hard it is to make something look effortless.

    Captain Easy is an adventurer. He goes about the Far East looking for his fortune and a fun time. I find it interesting that he is not really a hero as we know one to be today. He spends an awful lot of time getting into and running away from trouble. He seems to always have a dozen or so native warriors chasing him at any given time. Sure he’s a rough and tumble guy who’ll fight you one on one but that rarely seems to happen. Usually he’s facing a gang of guys and so is running away. Oh, and he’ll sucker punch you too.

    Captain Easy makes his way to a hidden city he spots from the air and then barely escapes it alive. As he finally flies to safety he spies a lost sunken city that he then travels to. Of course he barely escapes that one too. And during his escape from the sunken city he runs into pirates who he has to escape from. The dude is constantly on the move trying to high tail it from one place to another with whatever treasure he has found, been given, or swiped. There is never a dull moment.

    Historically these are interesting to me because they were written at a time before the world was as connected as it is now. Places in the Far East really were far away and we didn’t know a lot about them. Sure it’s exaggerated but it really was exotic. Don’t expect to recognize any of the cultures beyond a vague Chinese-ness to them but how many people in 1930’s America could recognize authentic Far East culture anyway? It’s sort of a history of early 1930’s American perception of what the Far East was.

    From the first strip the adventure started and never let up. This is a very fast paced story. Sometimes Crane skips over establishing scenes and throws you right into the action. It’s a lot of fun. Give it a read.