Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Introducing Miss Lace of 'Male Call'

I recently got another question about the illo on the masthead of Shades of Gray. Who drew it and where is it from, was the basic question.

Well, the drawing is by Milton Caniff of "Terry and the Pirates" fame, and the lovely lady in question is Miss Lace. She appeared in a WWII-era strip, "Male Call", that Caniff created initially for the weekly newspapers published on Army bases and in camps, but it also appeared on the comics pages of civilian newspapers.

Don Markstein has written a brief history of the strip, which you can read by clicking here.

Meanwhile, here are a few of Caniff's strips to brighten your day. (I've got about a dozen of my favorites that I'll be posting over the next couple of weeks.)

By the way, the strip detailing the as-of-yet unnamed Miss Lace's arrival at the Army Base is a reference to the fact that the strip initially starred Burma, a ditzy blonde from Caniff's "Terry and the Pirates" strip. However, Caniff had not received permission from the syndicate that owned the "Terry" strip, so he had to replace her with a different character to keep "Male Call" going.

As always, click on the individual cartoons for larger, more easily read versions.

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