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Artist Spotlight John Prentice

John Prentice – Tribute

John Prentice (1920-1999) was born on October 17 in Whitney, Texas. From 1940-1946 he served in the Navy. Having survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he went on to serve on two destroyers through eight major military campaigns.

Having briefly attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, he moved to New York in 1947 where he worked on everything from comic books to magazine covers. Following Alex Raymond’s death in 1956 Prentice was chosen to carry on the strip and did so for 43 years.

His work on Kirby was awarded the National Cartoonists Society’s silver plaque for best story strip three times and Rip Kirby is an honorary member of the honor legion of the New York City police department.

The following is an excerpt written by Bill Crouch, Jr. from Maurice Horn’s book book 100 Years of American Newspaper Comics.

Rip Kirby celebrates his fiftieth anniversary as a syndicated comic strip in 1996, due in no small part to the excellent work done by John Prentice, who has done the strip for forty years.

John Prentice’s work remains on a level above many other story strips. The point-of-view angles move constantly; characters make eye contact with the reader; the Raymond technique of the establishing landscape continues; and creative and unique crosshatching is used.

Rip Kirby is a mature story strip with a bright future. Many hope that King Features will realize this and give Rip Kirby the promotional and sales push it seems to have lacked from the syndicate for many years.


John Prentice bio from the National Cartoonist Society directory.

Back in 1999 when John Prentice passed away I contacted some of his colleagues in the industry. They were kind enough to share the following reminiscences.


An immense talent. A consummate craftsman with a rock-solid work ethic. A man generous with his talents, gracious to his fans and a devout family man. John’s wonderful sense of humor was capable of taking twists and turns before hitting you on the funny-bone. Being with John was knowing you were at the best party in town… and knowing John was one of life’s little perks.

Dick Hodgins
Hagar – Henry


I first heard of John on the occasion of Alex Raymond’s untimely death in an automobile accident. The question on everyone’s lips was, “Who is capable of carrying on Rip Kirby?” George Raymond, Alex’s younger brother (and my assistant at the time) told me that John Prentice had been selected as Alex’s successor. The rest is history.

John had a wonderful sense of humor and was always a very gracious and generous person. Everyone liked and admired him and his work. He liked to tell stories of his naval career and always had an appreciative audience. In his later years he was fortunate to marry Antonia who proved to be an excellent helpmate. We will all miss John.

John Cullen Murphy
Prince Valiant – Big Ben Bolt


I first met John in January of 1960. He was looking for an assistant to go down to Mexico with him to help him out on “Rip Kirby”. I learned a lot from John Prentice. It was great working with him. It was fun. We were good friends – I’ll miss him.

Al Williamson
Star Wars – Secret Agent Corrigan


John Prentice was a close and admired friend. One of the foremost black and white illustrators in the United States. He was an extremely brave man. How else can you describe a young sailor who in the middle of all the strafing and bombing at Pearl Harbor commandeered an admiral’s tender and went out into the harbor looking for a gun to fire at the attacking Japanese? From then on he was on a destroyer involved in almost every big Pacific island battle.

He approached his “Rip Kirby” strip like an illustrator. After reading a new sequence script, he researched every detail. Using his vast personal morgue, he checked costume, architecture, geography, everything. It slowed him down, but oh, it was beautiful… and it made him one of the top adventure strip cartoonists. John was a sincere, decent man. We all loved him.

Gill Fox
Side Glances – Golden Age Comics


I’ve known John Prentice for 45 years. We’ve shared a studio. I assisted him for years since he started “Rip Kirby”. We’ve been close friends all those years. I enjoyed John’s good sense of humor and knowing him was to know someone who was always kind, honest, fair and always a true gentleman.

Frank Bolle
Heart of Juliet Jones – Winnie Winkle


After John Prentice died the decision was made by King Features to discontinue the Rip Kirby comic strip. Here is the final week of Rip Kirby dailies ghosted by Frank Bolle that wrapped up the last storyline.

Examples of John Prentice’s work on Rip Kirby.

June 20, 1967
February 28, 1968
December 17, 1970
August 10, 1971
August 13, 1974

To see more of John Prentice’s exceptional work on Rip Kirby, check out Rip Kirby Volumes 5-11 from IDW Publishing – Highly recommended!

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Alex Raymod

Alex Raymond – Flash Gordon Christmas Card (1934)

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Craig MacIntosh Ramblings & Reviews

Artists’ Reception – Steeple Center

I currently have an exhibition up of my Comic Art at the Steeple Center in Rosemount, Minnesota. It runs through December. Also featured is the photography of Norm Crouch.

November 7th was the Artists’ Reception, so here’s a few pics…

Craig MacIntosh and Jim Keefe sharing a few “working for the Syndicate” stories.

Sophie Keefe, Nadine Keefe, Tessa Keefe and Anna Keefe.

Favorite pic of the night. A herd of MCAD alum spotted in the wild.

Amaya and Jim with their dueling Spider-Men.
Picture @Jack Kotz

Ben Tye, Spencer Amundson and Jaime Willems.
Picture @Jack Kotz

Craig MacIntosh giving Jim Keefe a great intro.

Jim Keefe, Christian Santos, Jaime Willems, Ian Cross, Ben Tye, Jack Kotz, Maddi Gonzalez and Spencer Amundson. (Amaya is in there too hidden behind Ben).

Joe Keefe and Teresa Keefe

Back Row: Nadine Keefe, Sophie Keefe, Linda Madson, Dan Keefe and Will Dinski. Anna Keefe seated.

Cece Keefe and Coleen Keefe.

Jim Keefe talking about art and stuff.
Picture @Jack Kotz

More talk from Jim Keefe about art and stuff.

Hot cider and chocolate!

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Last but not least, a special thanks to Mary Kay Langager of the Rosemount Area Arts Council for putting this exhibit together. Her hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated!

And for those who missed the Reception, the exhibit runs through December.

The Steeple Center
14375 South Robert Trail
Rosemount, MN 55068

Open to the public Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm

For more info on the exhibit, go to:
Photos, cartoons reflect our world in Rosemount exhibit

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Artist Spotlight Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko – Creating Spider-Man

In remembrance of Steve Ditko.
November 2, 1927 – June 29, 2018


Here’s one of the most flawless and iconic pieces of sequential art ever produced – Spider-Man’s origin from Amazing Fantasy #15. These are the originals currently residing at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

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The following pages are Ditko’s “The Secrets of Spider-Man”
from the Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.

Click on images to see larger.

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And here, in Ditko’s own words, is how Spider-Man was created.
From Avenging World – 2002

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Artist Spotlight Artists - Cartoonists Conventions Jose Delbo

Artist Spotlight: Jose Delbo

One of the first teachers I had when I attended the Joe Kubert School was Jose Delbo.

One of the exercises he would have us do every week was draw horses. The following are a few examples I kept (circa 1987). Jose’s corrections are in pen over my pencils.

“This horse is drawn so stiff it belongs on a carousel.”

“This horse is drawn so stiff it looks like a robot .”

“No one could ride a horse drawn like this.”

Jose Delbo was a great teacher because he wouldn’t let an inferior drawing slide. When you got a compliment or a good grade from him you knew it was well deserved.

I got the chance to catch up with Jose Delbo at SpringCon 2012 in Minneapolis and I had him sign the drawings shown above. I showed him some of my more recent work and he made a point of telling me I was really doing some good work – so good in fact that he would pass on a script he had just received.

A cowboy strip – lots of horses…

Jose Delbo and his wife Maybelle at SpringCon 2012.

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The following is a quick memory of a cartooning class taught by Jose.


A student was getting critiqued – during the critique Jose stated that the student needed to spend more time on his work. The student responded that he had already worked on the page for two weeks. Jose replied, “How much of that time was actually pen to paper.”

I never forgot that insight. It doesn’t matter how much time you have to work on something if you’re not putting pen to paper.

Jose Delbo - 2011 Pic by Andrew Satterfield - Cincinnati Comic Expo
Jose Delbo – 2011
Pic by Andrew Satterfield – Cincinnati Comic Expo


Jose Delbo – a fantastic artist and teacher.
For more, check out JoseDelbo.com