Roy Crane created the adventure comic strip with Wash Tubbs, and many a
superhero owes a debt to Crane’s square-jawed, hard-hitting adventurer Captain
Easy. But during World War II, he left the Captain Easy strip to create
a more realistic fighting man, a Navy pilot named John Singer Sawyer, who
fought in the Pacific Theater from 1943 until V-J Day in 1945.
This book, the first in a series reprinting the Buz Sawyer strip, reprints all of the daily strips published during World
War II. Buz serves aboard an aircraft carrier, flies combat missions against the notorious Japanese Zeros, crash lands
behind enemy lines, and is captured by a Japanese submarine.
The book also includes a selection of the best of the Sunday strips, which featured Buz Sawyer’s pal and gunner,
Rosco Sweeney, presented as full-color fold-out pages.
Everywhere Buz goes, he finds high adventure and beautiful women — in fact, his fellow flyers kid him about his
ability to find romance on even the most hostile Pacific island, where he meets a dangerous spy named Sultry (!). And
when he goes home on leave, it is only to be caught up in a rivalry between rich heiress Tot Winter and girl-next-door
It features some of Crane’s most atmospheric drawing, aided by his expert use of Craftint tones, luscious romance, and
exciting action scenes. These stories amply illustrate why Peanuts artist Charles Schulz called Roy Crane “a treasure.”
Also featured in this handsome archival volume: an introductory essay by comics historian Jeet Heer and a selection letters to and from Roy Crane (including one from "Al Toth").
“[Roy Crane] is a treasure. There is still no one around who draws any better.” — Charles Schulz
“Every time I thought I had come up with something that I had thought no one else had done, damn it,
I’d find that Crane or Foster had already done it!” — Al Williamson
“Roy Crane did adventure with a beautiful combination of cartooning and storytelling. Every panel
was an entertaining panel, with something to look at. When you combine his storytelling ability, with
or without balloons, with his action and those great panels, you can’t fail.” — John Severin
"If I had to pick a favorite [classic comic-strip reprint] right now, I’d say the Fantagraphics reprints of Buz Sawyer by Roy Crane. I just love the energy, humor, adventure and charm of them." – Kurt Busiek
"Although the wartime setting of the strip makes it inherently more serious than Wash
Tubbs — the Japanese troops, even as racially caricatured as they are here, are a deadlier foe than the often-buffoonish antagonists of the earlier strip — Buz Sawyer features the same seamless blend of derring-do
and humor, both in its story lines and in Crane’s economical, slightly cartoonish artwork, which had made
Wash Tubbs one of the most popular strips of the era and which would keep Buz flying for more than four
— Gordon Flagg, Booklist