Tuesday, April 19, 2011

1977: QUINCY Comic Book Part One


QUINCY was a newspaper comic strip by Ted Shearer. The King Features strip, which ran from 1970 to 1986, was in the tradition of SKIPPY and LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE - a scrappy kid who is pushing to better himself; sometimes falling on his face, but always philosophically optimistic. QUINCY chronicled a group of multi-cultural kids in a New York City neighborhood. 

Shearer was a cartoonist I admire, and I've previously showcased QUINCY (part one, part two). He's a cartoonist that deserves to be remembered. This giveaway comic book (there is no cover price) is numbered "R-05" and is copyright King Features 1977. I bought it last week and it was advertised as a "rare King Comics' test market comic book" that was never circulated. In the indicia, on page 3, you can see that this was part of the "Supplementary Reading Program developed and editor by Richard Guttenberg, Dr. Anne Mueser and Sherman H. Saiger." So, it may have been distributed as art of a school program. 

There are a couple of QUINCY comic books, and a TIM TYLER'S LUCK book in the series, which all seem to feature King Features properties. Each comic book also has a featured co-star, in their own, separate story. With the QUINCY books, you have HENRY and Hamlet (!), HAGAR's son. TIM TYLER's LUCK gives us a FELIX THE CAT back up. All of the art is uncredited. The stories appear to be cobbled together from Shearer's QUINCY dailies. 

I think that the "Ms. Annie" and the "Mr. G." in the All-Star Cast are in fact two of the Supplementary Reading Program editors, Dr. Anne Mueser and Richard Guttenberg. 


Next time: part two, in which co-star HENRY is re-imagined -- and I don't mean in a good way. Edit: part two is here.


Faff said...

Some stunningly good cartooning but even more suprising was the incredible colouring. Was this really 1977. I can't remember seeing any comic with such painterly colouring in those halcyon days. Any idea who was responsible?

Mike Lynch said...

It would be great, Peter, to be able to pinpoint who did what for these comics. So much of comic work remains uncredited. I am wondering if, since it is such striking coloring with a unique palette, it was done by Ted Shearer himself.

Faff said...

Hi Mike. Found a water colour sketch by the very talented mt Shearer at comic art fans.com http://www.comicartfans.com/gallerypiece.asp?piece=709262&gsub=66057

Seems to bear out your theory he did his own colouring looking at the style.

Rebecca said...

I have three copies of this comic book and on the first page the copyright date is 1973. Was this republished in 77?

Mike Lynch said...

Hi Rebecca. Yes, more than likely this book was reprinted.