Sunday, January 23, 2011

Balbo the Boy Magician-Bert Whitman-1943

BALBO THE BOY MAGICIAN was a mainstay Fawcett back-up strip notable not only for some clever plots and fairly good storytelling from creator Bert Whitman but also for the title character's assistant, one John Smith. In spite of his generic name, Smith stood alone in the forties as perhaps the only non-stereotyped black character. In an industry where THE SPIRIT's Ebony White and THE YOUNG ALLIES Whitewash Jones were accepted as the norm, John Smith was consistently portrayed as an erudite, sensible adult man who's smart enough and brave enough to often save the star of the strip as seen in this example.

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