Terry and the Pirates

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Terry and the Pirates

A popular and highly influential adventure strip, Terry and the Pirates was set in China and began in the autumn of 1934. It was written and drawn during its heyday by Milton Caniff. The cinematic layouts and the impressionistic inking style that Caniff perfected influenced a whole generation of comic strip and comic book artists.

Terry Lee was a kid of 12 when he arrived in the Orient, accompanied by an avuncular adventurer named Pat Ryan. Almost immediately the pair was tangling with an assortment of pirates on land and sea. Among them was the quintessential femme fatale, the Dragon Lady. During World War II, Caniff, who had been dealing with the Japanese invaders since the late 1930s, turned Terry and the Pirates into a fairly authentic chronicle of combat activities in the China-Burma-India theater. He left his strip at the end of 1946 to do Steve Canyon. Terry and the Pirates, taken over by George Wunder, continued until early in 1973.

—Ron Goulart

Further Reading:

Harvey, Robert C. The Art of the Funnies. Jackson, University Press of Mississippi, 1994.

Marschall, Richard. America's Great Comic Strip Artists. New York, Abbeville Press, 1989.

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Terry and the Pirates

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