Thursday, 6 August 2015

Mary Perkins On Stage

Leonard Starr was one of those 'artist's artist's' that professionals follow, and study from, and fans belatedly catch up with later on with a cry of 'What was I missing?!!'
Count me among the second group there, as though as I've been hearing Starr's name for years, I've only recently wised up and checked out Mary Perkins On Stage.
Walt Simonson called On Stage 'The last great adventure strip', while others have defined it as 'a soap opera that's an adventure, or an adventure that's a soap opera.'

On Stage ran for 22 years, following Mary from small town beauty queen to becoming, at this point in the Bronze Age, a successful stage & screen star. Meaning the stories aren't always about her, but open up to concern other characters in her life.
Here's two stories that feature both approaches: In the first, Mary finds herself in a gothic romance, similar to paperback covers and DC comics of the time. Then the strip does a complete about face to tell a stunningly realistic tale that, for a newspaper strip, treads some surprisingly adult ground.
Starr's art and writing throughout, like fellow artist's artist Alex Toth's, is deceptively simple, but keep reading and you'll see the work of a master.


  1. There's a graphic novel that Leonard Starr did called Cannonball Carmody -- give it a lookout -- in the European market just before he and Stan Drake did the Kelly Green series, Kelly Green, by the way is being reprinted by Classic Comics Press in December. And Starr is known to Thundercats fans as the guy who wrote the original series bible and a few episodes as well. That doesn't even count Annie, the comic strip. In addition, I hope one day you can get some samples of Stan Drake's Heart of Juliet Jones stuff to show on the page.

  2. Thank you very much for this nice example but between 3-9 and 3-17 is lost. :)