Roy Powers, Eagle Scout

By Frank Godwin

Tales From the Ledger Syndicate
The Philadelphia Public Ledger was for a time Philadelphia’s best-selling paper. It was publlished from 1836 to 1942. As with many big city papers of that era, they syndicated many of their columnists and features. Among the comic strips the Ledger syndicated were:
Marjorie Henderson Buell’s pre-Little Lulu strips from the 1920s
Hairbreadth Harry, 1906-1940
The Shadow, by Walter Gibson and Vernon Greene, 1938-1942
Connie, by Frank Godwin, 1927-1942
Roy Powers, Eagle Scout, by Frank Godwin, 1938-1942
War On Crime, 1936-1938, ostensibly by Rex Collier, but Frank Godwin is credited with assisting.
Heroes of Democracy, 1942, credited to Stookie Allen, but again Frank Godwin is suspected of having in hand in this strip

Frank Godwin (October 20,1889-August 5,1959) was an American illustrator and comic strip artist. He was one of the top draftsmen of his day. His ink work with pen and brush was, in the opinion of many who are familiar with his work, superior to that of his better known contemporaries, such as Charles Dana Gibson, Howard Chandler Christy, and James Montgomery Flagg. He is best remembered for his book illustrations, which include those for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe, and King Arthur. He is also known for his work in comic strips, notably Connie (1927-1944) (some sources indicate 1929 as the start date for Connie) and Rusty Riley (1948-1959). In the 1930s, Godwin took up painting. Godwin also took over the daily 'Roy Powers, Eagle Scout' comic from Kemp Starrett in 1938. The strip was called "the official strip of the boy scouts of America" and credited to a certain Paul Powell (presumably the writer). It appeared until 1942. In 1943 Godwin was drawing Wonder Woman for Sensation (issues 16 and 19). For Comics Cavalcade 3, Godwin's style was striped down (simplified) yet recognizable as his work. Godwin also drew for Lev Gleason s crime comics in the mid 40s. In 1945, Ayn Rand supervised and wrote a syndicated version of The Foundtainhead, for which she personally selected Godwin as illustrator. The Foundtainhead began publishing in 24 December 1945 and appeared in 55 major newspapers. An amazing part of Godwin's legacy is that even as his comic strip work increased, he was still very much in demand for traditional illustration. In addition to his fame as a comic work, his work appeared in such major slicks as Cosmopolitan, The Youth's Companion, Photoplay, Ladies' Home Journal, Collier's, and especially Liberty. He also had advertising accounts diverse clientele: Prince Albert Tobacco, Snider's Packing, Holeproof Hosiery, Lazell Perfume, Armstrong Cork, and Coke-Cola. His comic strip work is little known or appreciated today. Contemporaries such as Hal Foster, Milton Caniff, and Alex Raymond continue to be reprinted with regularity, while Godwins two strips are difficult to find. He receives more attention in Europe, specifically France (where Connie is usually called Cora), though even there it is quite sparse. Part of the reason for the obscurity of his comic strip work may be that during his lifetime, his work, especially Connie, was distributed by smaller syndicates than those of his better remembered contemporaries. In contrast to this, original book editions featuring his work are avidly sought and traded. He was also a prolific editorial and advertising illustrator.

Presented here by Comic Preserves is one of those latter examples, Roy Powers, Eagle Scout. Originally, attributed to Kemp Starrett, and later credited to Paul Powell, there can be little doubt that on Roy Powers the art was performed by Frank Godwin. Nevertheless, these strips have been printed here based on their merit alone and as a part of the preservation of our comic strip history. Due to the rarity of these strips they are reproduced as completely and with the best source material possible.

Roy Powers Roy Powers, Eagle Scout
Credited to Paul Powell, Roy Powers, Eagle Scout reprints strips from 1938-1942. Roy Powers, Eagle Scout is the official strip of the Boy Scouts of America remains an exciting adventure strip.

Volumes 1-5 are available on Complete Inventory USB, 328 black & white pages.

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