Vic Flint
Created by Michael O'Malley (pseud. of Ernest "East" Lynn, and others) and Ralph Lane

VIC FLINT was one of a mere handful of hardboiled private eyes, in the tradition of Hammett, Chandler, et al., to appear on the comic pages of North American newspapers. A typical shamus, complete with wise-cracks and a perpetual cigarette in his yap, he appeared in both daily and Sunday page continuities. He was a good-looking guy, blonde (or sometimes red-headed, in later comic book collections), an ex-Marine with a taste for herringbone suits and dames in trouble, and a snappy line of patter.

According to Ron Goulart in The Encyclopedia of American Comics, the strip was full of "cigar-chomping cops, oily gangsters, blond showgirls, crooked politicians, glittery nightclubs and dark alleys...a watered-down version of the period's typical film noir setting." Sounds like they really tried to get it right, right down to the first-person narration of the strip. The very first strip began with Vic narrating,"The whole thing started late one afternoon. I was sitting in my office reading the papers about a killing. And then my door opened..."

All good intentions aside, though, the strip was nothing exceptional, never really catching fire, although the daily did manage to hang on for ten years (and the Sunday even longer), until it underwent a name change to The Good Guys and a new, humourous approach in 1965. Somebody had the mercy to finally pull the plug in March 1967.

Michael O'Malley was the house name used by NEA Syndicate editor Ernest Lynn and several other staff writers. The strip was originally drawn by Ralph Lane, who was followed by Dean Miller in 1950, Art Sansom and finally John Lane, Ralph's son.

Other comic strip P.I.s included Peter Scratch, Secret Agent X-9 and Rip Kirby.

UNDER OATH

COMIC STRIPS

  • VIC FLINT
    (1946-1956, NEA Syndicate)
    Daily
    Written by Michael O'Malley (pseud. of Ernest Lynn, others), Jay Heavilin
    Drawn by Ralph Lane, Dean Miller, Art Sansom, John Lane
    .
  • VIC FLINT
    (1946-65, NEA Syndicate)
    Sundays
    Written by Michael O'Malley (pseud. of Ernest Lynn, others), Jay Heavalin
    Drawn by Ralph Lane, Dean Miller, Art Sansom, John Lane

COMIC BOOKS

  • AUTHENTIC POLICE CASES
    (1948-55, St. John Publications)
    38 issues
    Some featured reprints of the Vic Flint strips
    .
  • VIC FLINT, CRIME BUSTER
    (1948-49, St. John Publications)
    5 issues
    Reprints of daily strips
  • (August 1948, #1)
  • (October 1948, #2)
  • (December 1948, #3)
  • (February 1949, #4)
  • (April 1949, #5)
  • FUGITIVES FROM JUSTICE
    (1952, St. John Publications)
    5 issues
    Issues 2-5 featured reprints of the Vic Flint strips
    .
  • VIC FLINT
    (1956, Argo Publications)
    2 issues
    Reprints of daily strips
  • (February 1956, #1)
  • (May 1956, #2)

COLLECTION

  • Vic Flint, Comic Detective Strip (Clark Classic Comics)
    A nice, possibly POD collection of two complete stories from the 1946 strips, available from Ken Pierce Books which offers hundreds of books reprinting favorite comic strips of the past, including Rip Kirby, The Spirit, Dick Trac, and Krazy Kat.

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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