Monday, May 29, 2017

Tour of Duty

Sad Sack was a wartime comic strip about the misadventures of a well meaning goofball in the U.S. Army.  The strip was originally published in the military magazine Yank before becoming a comic book published by Harvey Comics.  I don't have a lot of info but at some point in the 70's Harvey published "Sad Sack U.S.A." featuring issues that focused on individual U.S. states...including Texas!


Again, I don't have a ton of info on the series.  I'm not sure how long it ran or how many states were featured.  Texas was issue #4 and other states like New York, Illinois, Washington and Michigan got their own issues.  I'd like to think they got around to all 50 states but for today we're just focused on their Lone Star State road trip:


Their isn't much of a story.  The premise seems to be that Sack, Sarge and Sadie have car trouble in the middle of Texas and need to walk to Dallas.  They weren't sticklers for geography in this book since they seem to start in the dessert and after a brisk hike end up in Big D:


I guess they showed up in October because Big Tex is out to welcome them.  No mention of the rest of the State Fair but from this point the locations are fast and furious, many of them only getting one panel.  After a quick stop to ride a nondescript roller coaster at Six Flags, the gang takes in the Fort Worth Convention Center and then decides it would be a good idea to head to Denison:


If you've never visited, you should.  Mainly because it's an important piece of Texas history but also so you can decide for yourself how good the likeness from this issue is.  Or you can just check out the pic from my last visit:


Not too shabby.  For some reason the crew heads right back to Fort Worth to see the Log Cabin village and then off to the panhandle for some Palo Duro Canyon sightseeing.   While they're up there they stop by Lubbock, Muleshoe and Happy, TX before heading south to San Antonio:


Like many of us do, Sack and his pals took some time to relax on the River Walk.  Now did this 1972 comic book inspire the filmmakers of the 1984 Dabney Coleman/Henry Thomas film Cloak & Dagger to set a scene on the River Walk?



Probably not, but I'd like to think so.  After a few drinks and some mariachi music, our intrepid explorers were finally willing to brave the humidity of Houston.  Along the way they pick up a hitchhiker who lets them know that Houston has a few surprises in store for them:


After a quick stop at the Battleship Texas it was beach time!  Sun, surf and sand greeting our weary travelers.


These guys just can't seem to sit still though because after a few beach shenanigans they began the long trek towards West Texas.  Anyone who's done that trip knows what a long haul it is.  Luckily, the gang found some interesting stuff along the way:


Just like Big Tex, the World's Largest Jackrabbit is colored all white in the comic.  I assume it's some weird publishing thing or a cost cutting measure or maybe they just mistakenly thought it was white.  For the record, here's what it looked like on my last trip:


Galveston, El Paso, Glen Rose and on and on.  Our trio or sightseers weren't slowing down and the cities, landmarks and attractions were piling up.  What could possibly bring this trip to its conclusion, you ask?


Yep, apparently Texas is so big that they ran out of pages before the gang could see it all.  I guarantee you don't see that kid of thing happen in New Hampshire comics.


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