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Brick Bradford

Entry updated 3 January 2017. Tagged: Comics, Film.

US Comic strip created by author William Ritt and artist Clarence Gray for King Features Syndicate. Brick Bradford appeared in 1933 as a Sunday page and daily strip, with the Sunday strip the more fantastic and futuristic. Gray's clean, economical style, together with Ritt's imaginative, purple prose, made Brick Bradford more than just an imitation of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, which probably inspired it. Ritt was fired in 1948 for failing to keep deadlines, and died in 1971; Gray developed cancer in 1949 and died 1957. Artist Paul Norris (1914-2007) took over the daily strip in 1952, and the Sunday page in 1957, writing as well as illustrating. The strip ended in 1987.

Bradford was a red-haired hero with a lovely sidekick, April Southern. The poetic imagery of Brick Bradford was pure Space Opera (futuristic cities rise out of lush jungles, flying ships battle with giant butterflies, etc.), while the scenarios were just as exotic as the contemporary sf appearing in the magazines: the discovery of lost races, a descent into the microcosmic universe within a coin, a journey by drilling vehicle to the Earth's interior world, and travels through time and space in the Time Top or "Chronosphere".

Brick Bradford additionally appeared as a Serial Film from Columbia (1947, 15 episodes) starring Kane Richmond, an sf comic book (Brick Bradford [1948-1949], containing no original material; it reprinted strips) and two Big Little Books. The latter are revisions of the strip's first two storylines: Brick Bradford and the City Beneath the Sea (1933-1934 Brick Bradford; rev graph 1934) and Brick Bradford with Brocco the Mountain Buccaneer (1934-1935 Brick Bradford; rev graph 1938). [JE/PN/DRL]


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