Tailspin Tommy, Day 5

Tailspin Tommy is one of my guilty pleasures. I realize that the art, by any measure, is pretty awful, and the stories are juvenile. But there is an energy to the strip that I find powerful. The creators obviously were crazy about aviation, and that comes through in the strip loud and clear (note, for instance, in one of today’s strips their need to tell us that Tommy is working on a Hispano-Suiza engine).

The art is crude, but has a pulpish, overdrawn quality that I find strangely appealing. You can almost feel the artist laboring over it, trying to get every detail of the planes just so. The airborne sequences are especially exciting, and you can tell that they’re drawn by someone who either spent a lot of time in the air, or at least dreaming about it.

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