Saturday, July 08, 2006
Frank Robbins (1917-1994)
There's really only one degree of separation between Noel Sickles and Frank Robbins. After Sickles left Scorchy Smith in 1936 the art chores were passed to another young AP staff artist, Bert Christman. He left the strip after only 18 months and in 1939 Frank Robbins was asked to take on the now floundering strip.
Robbins returned the strip to its formerly successful state, so much so that a sunday strip was added in the 40's. By then, the artist had caught the attention of syndicate rival, King Features, and was asked to start an aviation strip for them in 1944 - Johnny Hazzard - which Robbins would continue until 1977.
It must have been after he began Johnny Hazzard that Frank Robbins created this series of ads for Dr. Lyon's and Kolynos toothpaste. One strip actually has a jet fighter scenario so there's the clue... its unlikely that this would only be by coincidence.
There are eleven strips in this series - plus one more by Adventures of Patsy artist, Mel Graff, and here we come full circle back to Noel Sickles: Graff managed to get Sickles to ghost Patsy for him in 1939.
These strips were generously contributed by Bradley Gake and can be viewed at a nice large size by clicking "All Sizes" in my Frank Robbins Flickr set.