32¢ Terry and the Pirates
Comic Strip Classics
Issue Date: October 1, 1995
City: Boca Rotan, FL
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Never has a strip inspired more reader involvement with its characters and stories than Milton Caniff’s Terry and the Pirates, which appeared in 1934. Using strong contrasts of light and shadows and cinematic graphic techniques, he revitalized newspaper adventure strips, creating dynamic compositions that supported his bold, realistic narrative.
Along with Hal Foster and Alex Raymond, Caniff, who was known as the comics’ “great realist,” set the standard for adventure strips. He achieved national fame with his kid strip Dickie Dare, before his work came to the attention of Captain Patterson of the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. In response to Patterson’s request for a “blood and thunder” suspense adventure strip “with a juvenile angle,” Caniff created his popular strip, Terry and the Pirates.
A founder of the National Cartoonists Society and two-time winner of its illustrious Reuben Award, Caniff had many imitators during the decade he drew Terry. When he left the syndicate in 1946, it was to create another adventure strip, Steve Canyon, which he continued to draw for the remainder of his career. Terry and the Pirates, drawn by George Wunder, survived until 1973.