History

Remember Alley Oop, The Cave Man? He’s a Texan.

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Remember Alley Oop, The Cave Man? He’s a Texan

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In the daily strips, Oop and Oscar visited many eras in history, having adventures in ancient Egypt–where they met Cleopatra–to ancient Greece to accompany Ulysses on his adventures, to Arthurian England to assist King Arthur, and into the American West. These adventures, though, were only in the daily strip. The Sunday strip usually was a one-gag or a continuing story that lasted only two or three weeks, nearly always set in Moo. Many newspapers published two editions, a morning and an afternoon paper. The papers carried different comic strips. If the Sunday strip carried portions of an adventure that was ongoing in the daily strip, subscribers to the daily paper that didn’t carry Alley Oop couldn’t follow the story.

Remember Alley Oop, The Cave Man? He’s a Texan

Image: crosswordcorner.blogspot.com

Hamlin drew the strip from 1932 until 1971, when he retired and his assistant, Dave Graue, took over. Graue both wrote and drew the strip until 1991, when he hired Jack Bender as illustrator. Graue wrote the strip until he retired in August, 2001. Bender then took over as primary illustrator, while his wife Carole began writing the strip.

At its peak Alley Oop was carried by 800 newspapers. Today, more than 600 papers carry it. In Oop’s birthplace, Iraan, Texas, the city park is known as ‘Alley Oop Fantasy Land.’ There are concrete statues of Oop, Dinny, Ooola, Dr. Wonmug, and Oscar Boom, and a mural depicting Moo.

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