Friday, 14 October 2016

Dateline: Danger!



Dateline: Danger! was an engaging adventure strip that ran in papers from 1968 to 1974, and that had a good run in The Menomonee Falls Gazette. It was by John Saunders, who had loads of newspaper strip credits to his name, and Al McWilliams, who did tons of stuff in the Bronze Age, like Justice Inc. for DC, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. for Gold Key, and Lomax for Atlas.
Mostly it was about Troy and Danny Raven, a couple of crusading journalists, and certainly towards the end of the strip could've also been referred to as Dateline: Soap Opera, as quietly groundbreaking black character Danny generally took over the stories, alongside his cantankerous Gramma Raven and trouble-seeking little brother Lee Roy. But as they were all more likeable than square jawed old Troy, no one seemed to mind too much.
McWilliams, meanwhile, contributes pitch-perfect photorealistic art to Saunders' tight scripts, and the whole thing's a lot of fun. Especially when you notice Al's classic newspaper strip artist's ploy of cutting to a street scene with an attractive babe walking by, every time there's a chunk of exposition to be got through.

















And here's a nice interview with Al from the time, discussing the challenges inherent in drawing what was then referred to as an 'integrated' strip:






3 comments:

  1. The strip was inspired on the I Spy TV series with Bill Cosby. However, the way it appears here it's impossible to read, unless you've got supervision, Pete.

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  2. If you right click on each page and 'open link in new tab' then left click on the image so that the magnifying glass tool enlarges the page, you should be able to read them fine, Diego.
    Honestly, I do try to make sure everything here is readable, so let me know if that doesn't work.

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  3. OK, thanks, it works that way. I'm getting too old for all this clicking left and right and zooming in stuff.

    Anther series that I'd love to see reprinted, but that will never be done.

    BTW, IDW/LOAC are reprinting Gil Kane's Star Hawks the right way: one two-tier strip per page, unlike the awful work Hermes did about 10 years back reprinting four series of two-tier strips per page, making it utterly unreadable. Hooray!

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