Big Ben Bolt
|Big Ben Bolt|
John Cullen Murphy's Big Ben Bolt (July 26, 1978).
|Illustrator(s)||John Cullen Murphy (1950-1977)|
Gray Morrow (1977–1978)
|Current status/schedule||Concluded; Daily & Sunday|
|Launch date||February 20, 1950|
|End date||April 15, 1978|
|Syndicate(s)||King Features Syndicate|
Big Ben Bolt is a comic strip that was syndicated from February 20, 1950 to April 15, 1978. It was drawn by John Cullen Murphy, written by Elliot Caplin, and distributed by King Features Syndicate. The strip followed the adventures of boxer and journalist Ben Bolt.
King Features Syndicate launched Ben's daily strip on February 20, 1950, and the Sunday version on May 25, 1952. The character's name was probably taken from Thomas Dunn English's poem, "Ben Bolt", which has remained popular since it first appeared in 1843.
Murphy was the artist of Big Ben Bolt from 1950 to 1978. He occasionally used assistants, including Al Williamson (Flash Gordon), Alex Kotzky (Apartment 3-G), Neal Adams (Deadman), John Celardo (Tarzan) and Stan Drake (The Heart of Juliet Jones). In 1971, Murphy took over Prince Valiant, and Gray Morrow stepped in to draw Big Ben Bolt, eventually signing the strip starting August 1, 1977. Big Ben Bolt ended on April 15, 1978.
Characters and story
As Markstein writes,
Ben himself ran against stereotype. Instead of a big, dumb hitting machine, he was an articulate college graduate who had chosen a boxing career because he enjoyed and was good at it (winning the world heavyweight championship early on), not because other fields weren't open to him. In fact, when, in 1955, an injury took him out of the ring, he went into journalism. For decades, his adventures revolved around writing about, rather than practicing, his chosen sport.
- Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 72. ISBN 9780472117567.
- "FFF - Fumetto, Big Ben Bolt". www.lfb.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-10-10.
- Guida Fumetto Italiano. "Guida Fumetto Italiano". www.guidafumettoitaliano.com. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
- Big Ben Bolt at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on August 27, 2015.
- The Archivist (February 12, 2015). "Ask the Archivist: BIG BEN BOLT". Comics Kingdom.
- Koenigsberg, Moses (1941). King News: An Autobiography. F.A. Stokes Company. p. 511. ISBN 0836999177.
- "Newspaper Strips — See Winners → Story". National Cartoonists Society. Retrieved October 10, 2018.