Obscurity of the Day: Hop Harrigan

If the name Hop Harrigan sounds familiar, it’s probably not because of this comic strip. The character debuted in comic books, All-American Comics #1 to be specific, and was a popular feature of that comic book series from 1939 to 1948. Hop Harrigan was also a popular radio show series and a movie serial. He even had a fan club that boasted a long membership list of American flying-crazy kids.

It seemed like Hop Harrigan was able to conquer any medium except for newspaper comics. The newspaper series began on May 11 1942, penned by the same creator, Jon L. Blummer, who did his adventures in comic books, and distributed by the George Matthew Adams Service. It was cancelled just a little more than a half year later. The latest found to run it so far is the Brooklyn Eagle, which ended it on  December 31 1942 (a Thursday).

I think perhaps the problem lay in the strip’s resemblance to Tailspin Tommy, which had just expired a few months earlier after a long run. Perhaps its cancellation was proof to editors that the interest in flying had leveled off among their readers. It was the start of America’s involvement in World War II, also, and domestic flying adventures, even if the occasional German saboteur was thrown in, probably seemed a little tame.

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