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.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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