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Alley Oop

Entry updated 27 May 2024. Tagged: Comics.

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US Comic strip, created and drawn by V T Hamlin from 5 December 1932 for Bonnet-Brown, a small firm which soon collapsed, then from 1933 for the NEA syndicate; Hamlin retired from the daily strip in 1968 and from the Sunday strip in 1973, when it was taken over by his assistant Dave Graue (1926-2001). Drawn in a style more comically exaggerated than usual in adventure strips, though with clear affection, Oop is a tough and likeable Neanderthal warrior, half Popeye, half Buck Rogers (see Buck Rogers in the 25th Century). His adventures were initially restricted to his home territory of Moo – the echo of the legendary sunken continent Mu (see Atlantis; Lost Worlds) clearly being deliberate – but he soon began to visit various eras of historical human civilization, and the Moon, after Professor Elbert Wonmug (a joke coinage from "Albert Einstein") introduced a Time-Travel device into the series on 5 April 1939. The 1949 trip to the Moon is undertaken in a convincingly realistic Spaceship, which uses booster stages to achieve escape velocity; presciently, the subsequent landing is viewed, by the entire world, on television. For Alley Oop book-length fictions and newspaper strip collections, see the Checklist below the entry for V T Hamlin. [JC]


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