The Strip I Didn’t Dare Frame

The Strip I Didn’t Dare Frame 1782 651 Paul Levitz

The background of this post is a daily SUPERMAN that I wrote around 1980, during my two year run on the newspaper strip. It’s kind of a charming moment, and in its own way reflects the paranoia that every writer has about every editor (or publisher) sometimes…are they doing this because they hate me? Perry’s being his customary blunt approach to goad Jimmy a bit.

I was particularly fond of this one because it felt like a real personality piece, and George Tuska was at his best on the strip capturing human expressions like Jimmy’s frustration and shock. And it was among the handful of originals that George and Vinnie passed on to me as souvenirs of our collaboration, back in the days when most pieces of original art couldn’t be valued at more than a McDonald’s lunch. In the early days of original art being returned, I even recall Vinnie selling his by taking a ruler to the stack of returned pages, and offering a price per inch of the pile. They’d both be amazed at what some of their strips are going for now.

But this is one I never hung up. Given my role as publisher (or just the ‘business guy’ before I got that title), I had to make the decision not to publish things fairly often. Sometimes wisely, sometimes not so much (particularly with the benefit not only of hindsight but of facts not available at the time). And while I hope I never made those decisions capriciously, or in the spirit that Perry’s expressing here, I felt that hanging up the strip where it would be read by our contributors would probably be sending the wrong message…