Anyone who's followed this blog knows I admire the work of Ray Bailey, a Caniff-school artist who worked both in comic books and newspaper strips.
Bailey started developing his personal style on a contemporary Western strip, Vesta West, in 1942. In 1945 he launched an aviation-themed adventure strip, Bruce Gentry. In 1951 he drew Tom Corbett, Space Cadet for a couple of years. After that he went into comic books. He did some of his best work for Dell, including TV tie-in's, movie adaptations, and several issues of Steve Canyon. After Dell spun off from Western Printing to become a separate company, Bailey continued with Western's Gold Key line doing stories in weird titles like Boris Karloff. His last comic work seems to have been for Tower (Undersea Agent) circa 1967.
Biographies always say Bailey assisted Milton Caniff on Terry and the Pirates. I've wondered just what he did and when. Bailey's personal style looked so much like Caniff's that spotting his assistant work is a tough job. But while leafing through a pile of 1945 Terry Sundays, I found what I believe are Bailey backgrounds.
It's all in the Rocks. Nobody inked rocks exactly like Bailey, and he put them in every strip he drew. Bailey rocks were based on Caniff's rocks from his Sickles stage, the mid- to late-1930s. But Caniff rocks were Caniff rocks and Bailey rocks were Bailey's.
This rockin'-out Sunday is dated 3 June 1945.