32¢ Gasoline Alley
Comic Strip Classics
Issue Date: October 1, 1995
City: Boca Rotan, FL
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Gasoline Alley is the oldest strip being distributed by the former Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. Created in 1919 by Frank King, the strip began as a single panel devoted to the country’s then-new fascination with automobiles.
However, comics focusing on the family were also becoming extremely popular, and so on Valentine’s Day, 1921, the infant Skeezix appeared on Walt Wallet’s doorstep. Although meant as a passing story line, Skeezix became a permanent character, and “Uncle Walt,” as he became known, went on to marry Phyllis Blossom. The rest, as they say, “is history.” Rather than employing the comic license of perpetual youth, King enhanced the reality of the strip by allowing his characters to age.
A genius with his pen, King was a political cartoonist, as well as the creator of several fantasy strips reminiscent of the style of Winsor McCay, before he found success with Gasoline Alley. Although the daily adventures were pure Main Street, King continued his fantasies in the Sunday pages with Uncle Walt and Skeezix’s dreams of flying, visits with gnomes, and excursions into the world of paintings. Among King’s successors were Dick Moores and Jim Scancarelli.