Keep ‘Em Flying


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Bob Lubbers enjoyed a long and productive career as a comics creator.

Breaking into the field at the tender age of 18, Lubbers worked for Centaur (home to Bill Everett’s Amazing-Man and the immortal Eye) before settling in as Fiction House’s art director from 1942-1950.

(Barring a stint serving Uncle Sam overseas, of course.)

Lubbers left Fiction House in 1950 and entered the more lucrative field of syndicated comic strips, where he lent his talents to such features as Tarzan, The Saint, Secret Agent X-9, Big Ben Bolt and Rusty Riley.

Bob Lubbers' Long Sam (1959)

Image via Wikipedia

Working in tandem with the legendary Al Capp (and Capp’s brother, Elliott Caplin), Lubbers chronicled the adventures of Long Sam, a naive hillbilly girl whose adventures with the so-called civilized world recalled the exploits of a certain dimwitted muscle-head from Dogpatch.

(In fact, Lubbers was one of many “ghosts” who contributed to Lil’ Abner in the 1970s.)

Lubbers’ versatility brought him back to comic books eventually, where he illustrated Vigilante for DC and even lent his talents to Marvel’s Human Fly title in the 1970s.

Although Lubbers “good girl” style was flexible enough to adapt to many comic genres, my favorite examples of his work can be found in Fiction House’s Wings Comics, where the artist illustrated several adventures of the books titular star, Captain Wings.

The good captain was clearly devised as a Steve Canyon clone, which provided Lubbers the opportunity to fully exploit the influence of Milton Caniff and choreograph vivid aerial sequences.

As is the case in just about any Fiction House comic, Captain Wings often found himself pitted against gorgeous – and powerful – femme fatales who benefited greatly from Lubbers’ artistic touch.

Although the following tale lacks such sultry sirens, Lubbers does bring to life a talkative bobby-soxer who proves to be more resourceful in a pinch than one would think. (As is the case with many female characters in the Golden Age. The Comics Code did a lot more than eliminate vampires and zombies from comics …)

From Wings Comics #82, here’s “The Spider And The Fly-Guy” illustrated by Bob Lubbers.

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6 thoughts on “Keep ‘Em Flying

  1. Could you be cajoled into adding “sizes/m/in/photostream/” (medium 500) or “sizes/z/in/photostream/” (medium 640) or “sizes/l/in/photostream/” (large) to the URLs when you link to content on Flickr?

  2. It would take the visitor directly to an “All Sizes” page linked to the available resolutions, with a different default depending on whether the URL used subdirectory ‘m’, ‘z’, or ‘l’ of directory sizes.

    Right now, when I click on a link, I get the medium 640 image. If I click on the magnification iconette, I go to a “lightbox” page which is linked in a couple of ways to an “All Sizes” page.

    (I don’t know what resolution most of your visitors are using — H_ck, I’m still trying to learn what resolutions my visitors are using — but I generally want the biggest available scan of a comic book page.)

  3. Ooops!

    I tried to input the codes as you suggested but WordPress kept rejecting them.

    Something to do with Flickr’s insistence that photos they host be displayed a certain way, perhaps?

    Sorry.

    • Hey, you tried! Thanks for that!

      (I use WordPress for my own ‘blog, but I host it on my own site, and I enter raw HTML instead of using the allegedly user-friendly stuff.)

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