If I had to pick a favorite moment at Comic-Con International, it’d be easy. Except it wasn’t a moment. It was more like two or three hours. I had lunch the first day and drinks later that night with a personal hero: Leonard Starr.
Leonard created, wrote and drew one of the best adventure comic strips of all time: On Stage With Mary Perkins. I don’t think a more gorgeous strip was ever drawn. The sheer beauty of the art and the fact that the main character was a stage and movie actress might have made some people mistake it as a soap opera comic.
But if it was a soap opera, you didn’t notice as soon as you started reading it. Adventure, mystery, drama, humor–On Stage was like a movie from Hollywood’s golden era. Great scenery and production values; top-notch, bigger-than-life actors; and a story that had just the right mixture of human interest, suspense and humor.
If doing On Stage for over 20 years wasn’t enough, Leonard went on to write and draw Annie (the revamped version of Little Orphan Annie) for another tw0-plus decades. But it was On Stage that changed my life…
Don’t believe me? Well, at some point during my first date with Shelagh, the subject of favorite comic strips came up. (Probably because she knew I was a comics geek.) And the one strip that we both loved was On Stage. Of course, it’s a well known fact that if you find a woman who shares your taste in comics–well, you better marry her.
(On Stage art copyright of respective copyright holder.)