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John Tranter: Cartoons

Dan Dactyl panel

[»] Dan Dactyl and the Mad Jungle Doctor

A 95-frame black and white comic strip that traces the adventures of adventurer Dan Dactyl and his pals as they explore the South American jungles in search of the mysterious French poet Doctor Verlaine. Noted in my Journal.

Note from John Tranter:
In late 2000 I began experimenting with cartoon narratives. My drawing skills are primitive, so I searched for raw material which I could adapt. I settled on a one-volume compilation of daily comic strips (1 June 1945 to 16 May 1946) featuring “Johnny Hazard”, written and illustrated by Frank Robbins [1]. The volume is 60 pages long; the material I purloined came to 12 pages. I threw away the original story with its dialogue (a tangled Second World War tale of fighting the Japanese and later the Vichy French in the tropics) and constructed my own story with new dialogue. I also chose the panels I needed from different places in the original volume, and altered all of the drawings with an image-editing program. The result has nothing in it of the original save the brilliant chiaroscuro ink drawings of the original artist, Frank Robbins, and a handful of the characters — their appearance, but not their names, identities, relationships or dialogue, all of which I reinvented.

‘Dan Dactyl and the Mad Jungle Doctor’ has been published in:
1. Southerly vol 61 no 2, 26–37. Sydney: Halstead Press, 2001.
2. Chain 8 Summer 2001. pp.272–83. Philadelphia: English Department, Temple University, 2001.
3. Poetry Review vol 92 no 2 Summer 2002. London: Poetry Society, 2002. pp.29–40.
4. Internet (this page): 2007.
[1] Robbins, Frank. Johnny Hazard: Side Pocket Sam: daily strips 1 Jun 45 to 16 May 46. U.S. Classics Series volume 2. Long Beach CA: Tony Raiola, 1984, and Park Forest IL: Ken Pierce Inc., 1984. Johnny Hazard Copyright © King Features Syndicate.

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