Thursday, August 9, 2012


Kerry Drake Detective Cases #30 [February 1952] was one of several
Harvey Comics publications featuring comic-strip characters and,
very often, reformatted comic-strip stories.  The first five issues
of this title were published by Magazine Enterprises.  When Harvey
acquired the license, it continued the numbering for 28 issues, a
total of 33 issues between the two companies.

The Grand Comics Database credits Alfred Andriola as the artist of
the cover and the reprinted newspaper story inside the issue, but
adds a question mark after these credits.  The script for “The Case
of the Mystery Mine!” is attributed to Allan Saunders, co-creator
of Kerry Drake, but, again, with a question mark. 

Of Kerry Drake, Wikipedia reports:

Originally a district attorney's investigator, Drake became a
municipal police officer when Sandy Burns, his secretary and
fiancee, was murdered by Trinket and Bulldozer. As both a DA's man
and a city cop, he battled a series of flamboyant villains,
including Bottleneck, Mother Whistler and No-Face. It gradually
became a soap opera strip focusing on Drake's home life with his
wife Mindy and their quadruplets, as Drake's younger brother Lefty,
a private eye, took over more of the adventure plots. Andriola was
assisted (and ghosted) by artists Fran Matera, Jerry Robinson and
Sururi Gumen, the last of whom shared credit with Andriola starting
in 1976.  

Andriola was the first comics professional I met.  Kerry Drake ran
in one of the Cleveland newspapers and, as I recall, the newspaper
brought him in to speak at Cleveland’s main library.  I was already
hoping to write comic books professionally, so I was probably in my
early teens at the time.  I took the bus and the rapid transit to
downtown Cleveland to see Andriola’s presentation and to meet him.
It turned out to be a disappointment.

Do not let this next bit reflect badly on Andriola.  I’ve no idea
what his situation was at this time.  But, neophyte that I was, I
still thought his presentation was dull. As if he had given it many
times before.  Which he probably had.

He also struck me as smug and more than a little conceited, which
seemed at odds with the smallness of his audience.  The small crowd
might have been a factor in his demeanor as well.

Despite all that, I was excited at the chance of meeting a comics
professional and maybe getting some advice and encouragement from
him.  Instead, he was positively snide and dismissive as I tried to
acquire some knowledge from him.  When I mentioned my interest in
comic books, he responded as if I’d handed him a bag of soggy dog
turds.  Later, after I learned he had started in comic books, that
reaction baffled me all the more.  I left the library wondering how
I had offended this cartoonist.

Today, having made hundreds of appearances myself, I know sometimes
a convention guest or speaker is just having a bad day.  Few people
are 100% all the time.  Bad days happen.

Fortunately, my next contacts with comics professionals were much
better.  I was treated with kindness by some of the biggest names
in comics and I’ve never forgotten those kindnesses.  So, as much
as anyone can, I try not to have any bad days when I’m attending a
convention or some other comics event.

Keep watching this bloggy thing for more comics from my birth month
of December 1951.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. People can have bad days like you say, I know I've had mine but overall I must say that most professionals I've met over the years have been more than kind and very nice, especially the older ones. Eisner, Williamson, Evans and yes even Alex Toth come to mind. Glad the experience didn't deter you.

  2. Agree with both of you that anyone can have a bad day, and you don't know what might have happened to cause someone's perceived poor performance.

    I agree with the 'Other' Steve that the older creators generally seem much more approachable and friendly than some of the current crop. The one chance I had to meet Alex Toth he could not have been nicer, same goes for Murphy Anderson, Tom Gill and Paul S. Newman, among others.