Roy Crane invented the adventure comic strip with Wash Tubbs. With Wash’s buddy, Captain Easy, he perfected it.
Volume one of Fantagraphic Books’s new collection, Roy Crane’s Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips, covers 1933-1935, and, wow, is Easy busy.
In the April 8, 1934, strip for example — the image area in the colorful Fantagraphics book is nine and a half by 12 and three-quarters inches, to replicate the original Sunday page — our hero hurls his out-of-ammo machine gun at a boat of blood-thirsty pirates, knocking them all overboard; sword fights with another boat full of angry pirates; falls into the sea; swims under a third boat and tips it over; then scrambles back on shore to do battle with yet another pirate, who’s captured the winsome Rose Petal — all in one day’s installment.
“Ha-ya,” Easy yells as he does battle. “Look! Look! Take that, you buzzards!”
Make no mistake. This is great stuff. (Volume two is expected in November.)
More to come.