Francesco Marciuliano Roy Crane Sally Forth

Sally Forth – Roy Crane style

In my first stab at inking the Sally Forth daily for October 24, 2013 I did the cornstalks in the second panel in silhouette.


The silhouette wasn’t necessarily bad, but it did give it a more ominous tone than I was looking for.

Then I remembered how Roy Crane used to use a gray tone to add depth and atmosphere.

Panels from Buz Sawyer by Roy Crane
Panels from Buz Sawyer by Roy Crane

A little tweeking in Photoshop and voila.


An added bonus of the gray is that it made a clearer distinction between the second and third panels. If you click on the strip to see it larger you’ll see the gray tone is made out of vertical lines. This is so it’ll print clear in the newspaper.

And last but not least here’s the color version.


For those unfamiliar with Roy Crane’s comic work, he was literally the pioneer of the adventure strip when the artform was just getting started.

Here’s his bio from the National Cartoonist Society.


I especially like that last comment about Sundays. It was the same reason Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon) gave for not doing a Rip Kirby Sunday page – it’ll kill you.

-Jim Keefe

By Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip. From 1996-2003 he was the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.