Robbie in the Land of Lore
Here is Robbie,
scripted by Len Brown and illustrated by Al Williamson during the 1960s. This was an effort by Brown, Williamson and Woody Gelman to create a syndicated comic strip that would bring back the epic era of such imaginative strips as Little Nemo
and Prince Valiant
. Two pages were created as samples, but the days of full-page strips had already faded into the past.
The copies I have were too big for my scanner, so I had to do them in sections and then use Photoshop to jigsaw the pieces together. I then saved the final images very large so the little details Williamson drew can be easily studied. Here's how Len Brown remembers this project:
Woody and I had talked about seeing if a fantasy Sunday page could be sold (with a tip of the hat to Nemo of course). We bucked the trend at the time, because full page Sunday strips were gone with the exception of an occasional paper that still ran Prince Valiant full size. In the early 1960s that was rare.
We commissioned Al to draw two Sunday pages as a sample for the syndicates. I know we submitted it to King Features and perhaps one other syndicate. I remember one of the syndicates gave nice feedback and suggested we redraw it as a daily. But I guess it was tough to get Al on it, as we didn't pay him a lot of money, and he was in demand during those days. The nature of the two Robbie pages didn't lend themselves to statting them down to a daily strip.
The artwork was lost when Woody accidentally left it outside his office one evening. The cleaning folks were used to thinking of anything outside an office was trash. I was heartbroken, Woody felt terribly about it, and I don't believe we ever told Al the sad truth. We paid him $75 a page for each of the two pages.
- Len Brown
© copyright 2010 by Len Brown
Labels: al williamson, gelman, len brown