This second of four volumes reprints in full color the rare Captain Easy Sunday pages from the 1930s. Roy Crane’s Soldier of Fortune, Captain Easy, fights for gold in the frozen north, is mistaken for a bandit, protects a formula for artificial diamonds, is stranded on a desert island, visits the tiny Balkan country of Kleptomania, and faces a firing squad. Captain Easy hobnobs with millionaires and bums and beautiful girls (of course), and winds up in the middle of a full scale war. In short, it’s another rousing series of adventure and humor encapsulating the gallantry, derring-do, and rough-and-tumble innocence of a bygone era and a bygone genre, written and drawn with panache, and practically painted in a vibrant spectrum of colors that you have to see to believe.
Special features of this volume include a foreword by series editor Rick Norwood, an illustrated introduction by fellow cartoonist and Crane aficionado Paul Pope, an essay by the late Bill Blackbeard, and a gallery of rare Captain Easy comic book covers.
Long before the first superhero, Roy Crane’s courageous, indomitable, and cliff-ganging rough guy served as the template for characters that later defined comic books, and set the aesthetic standards for the newspaper strip. Crane’s mastery is why Peanuts creator Charles Schulz said of him (circa 1989): "A treasure. There is still no one around who draws any better."
"Crane to this day is an influence. He was the true comic artist. I love the way he did characters in action, running around, jumping." — Jules Feiffer
"Freed from the tiny
confines of the black-and-white daily strip, Crane brilliantly exploited the vastly larger canvas of the full
newspaper page, wildly varying the sizes, shapes, and arrangement of the panels. His distinctive drawing
style, an appealing blend of simplified realism and broad cartooniness, also set Easy apart. While not quite
as large as the original newspaper broadsheets, this volume’s oversize pages fully convey the strip’s
formidable visual impact."
– Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"...[O]ne of comics' purest entertainments... Combining cartoony figure drawing and considerable humor with rousing adventure, Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips, Vol. 1 exceeds even Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones films in exuberant action and breathless pace." – Cliff Froehlich, St. Louis Post-Dipatch