We began this year by launching a new occasional feature, “What Came Next –?”, in which we display the strips that came immediately after the last ones printed in some of our Library of American Comics volumes. The inaugural installment offered a look at Bert Christman’s Scorchy Smith; this time we thought we’d return to another of our favorites. So journey back with us to the mid-1950s as we check in once again on Jack Kent’s whimsical King Aroo.
Here is the last daily from our second King Aroo volume; the strip concludes a dilemma faced by the good citizens of Myopia over a large mural, and it’s dated November 13, 1954:
What Came Next –? Here’s the next week of dailies, as a new story launches — click each thumbnail to see that strip in a larger size:
King Aroo fans know that events in Myopia tend to occur at their own gently-meandering pace, and this story is no exception — in fact, it extends through the rest of 1954 and into early 1955! Suffice to say that Wanda Witch’s efforts don’t turn out exactly as planned (at one point she turns a third of the kingdom’s population into chickens!); King Aroo, Drexel, and Yupyop begin a quest to hunt a Screaming Meamy (of course, they don’t know what a Screaming Meamy looks like!); and by Christmastime all three end up on the couch of that roving psychiatrist, Dr. Beanbag, before the hunt goes on (well, after a fashion …).
Jack Kent’s creations carry with them a light-hearted charm that represents a change of pace from the tense, gritty characters who are common coin in these hectic days of hurly-burly. It was a pleasure to be able to bring four years of his exceptional comic strip back into print, and this year marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of our King Aroo, Volume 2 …
Please keep watching this space for the next “What Came Next –?”!