Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I can't tell you much about this comic book series.  It was a monthly title -- most likely the only title -- published by Captain Silver Syndicate, Inc.  of New York.  One source says that only two issues of Captain Silver's Log of the Sea Hound were ever published but that claim is doubtful.  This issue is #3 and an issue #4 was offered on e-Bay.

Captain Silver was presented as an educational comic.  It's Educational Consultant was Frank Kolars, an Instructor in Journalism at Hunter College and the stories were "wholesome entertainment" that "have been approved by leading educators."  Each month Captain Silver visits a different South American country and relates some things about "our wonderful neighbors down here in South America."  The Captain kindly drew a map of whatever country he and his crew were visiting for the edification of all the boys and girls who read the comic.

By now you can tell that this Captain Silver is not Long John Silver.  This Captain Silver is a "master mariner, scientist, soft spoken but power foe of tyrants the world over."  The Sea Hound is an 80-foot ketch that has been taking Silver and his crew all over South America for the past three years.  The crew includes his fourteen-year-old ward Jerry (what a great and noble name), Ku Kai (a Chinese scientist working in the Sea Hound's below-deck lab; Ku Kai can outdo Charlie Chan for aphorisms), and the ex-cowboy jack of all trades who is equally handy with a lasso as with his fists, Tex.  And there's Flecha, Jerry's dog who looks like a German shepherd or maybe a wolf.

In this issue, the Captain and his crew are in Ecuador.  First, in a story by Philip Santry, they stumble on a gang of thugs looking to take over the Panama hat business.  Really...Panama hats were a main product of Ecuador; one large shipment smuggled into the US could net $100,000.  We learn a lot about hats and how to escape from a wooden crate pushed over a cliff into the sea.  The latter involves a bunch of physics because this is an educational comic, right?

In the second story, also by Santry, the Captain and Jerry are having dinner with Senor Barras, a (police?) department official in Quito.  Barras is trying to stop a permanent floating undercover lottery that is draining potential income from Ecuador's coffers.  The undercover man Barros has assigned to the case has disappeared.  Jerry (what a great and noble name) and a young friend use their wits to solve the case and rescue the missing man.

We also have a five-page story (written by Educational Consultant Kolars) about the history of the Conquistadors search for gold, a two-age text article by Kenneth Manion McDowell (who he?)about superstitions, "Undercover Docket File Number s 13 A" (a two-page mystery story related by Senor Barras' young colleague, Senor Estevas), and three pages of cartoons (drawn by Small) with Louie the Llama relating strange but true facts about South America.

Oh, I can't forget the map of Ecuador.

And there are hints that issue #4 will take place in Chile.

Enjoy your cruise to danger, excitement, and education aboard the Sea Hawk.

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