Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, April 20, 2019

CURLY KAYOE #2 (1946)

Once upon a time there was a comic strip named Joe's Garage, created by Vic Forsythe and there was no Curly Kayoe.

Once upon a later time Joe's Garage changed its name to Joe Jinks and there was no Curly Kayoe.

Once upon a time in the late 1920s Joe Jinks became a fight promoter and there still was no Curly Kayoe.

Then, in September 1944, Joe Jinks hooked up with Curly Kayoe, a fresh-faced powerhouse boxer and the rest is history.  Vic Forsythe had left the strip which was then taken over by the Brothers Neff.   Sam Neff did the writing while his brother Mo did the artwork. 

Sam signed the strips while Mo remained anonymous, mainly because Mo was penciling Joe Palooka for Ham Fischer at the time and Curly Kayoe looked suspiciously like Joe Palooka.

By 1945 Curly had become so popular that the strip's name was changed to Curly Kayoe.  By 1947 Joe headed west and ws dropped completely from the comic book roster.

Things went well for curly for quite a while, then history repeated itself as a secondary character became more popular than the title character and the strip was renamed Davy Jones in 1961 and the strip continued until 1971, but without Curly.

From 1946 to 1950, United Feature Syndicate produced eight issues of a Curly Kayoe comic book.  Later, in 1958, Dell would produce a single issue of the title.  Curly fared much better in Australia where 56 issues of a Curly Kayoe  comic book were issued through 1955 by New Century Press Pty. Ltd.

Recapping the first issue, we learn "Curly Kayoe, son of boxing immortal, the late 'Killer' Kayoe, has won his first fight.  On his way home, Curly met 'Times Square" Tessie and offered her a home.  Curly's manager, Joe Jinks, has lined up his next bout..."  And so we segue to issue #2.

The fight is scheduled for Madison Square Garden against Phil Zablo, a good fighter with a powerful right.  Curly and Zablo are scheduled to go on right after the main bout, after most of the crowd has gone home.  The sports reporters, who were scheduled to leave at the same time to write up the main bout, lingered when they saw the impressive Kayoe-Zablo fight had begun; the also suddenly realized that the powerful blond kid was the son of the famous "Killer" Kayoe.  The battle lasted only three rounds with Curly getting a knockout. 

The next morning, the newspapers were proclaiming a new boxing star on the horizon.  (In one panel, we see clips of three different news reports, one of which was by-lined Oscar Fraley, the real-life sportswriter who made Eliot Ness famous with his book The Untouchables.) 

Curly and Zablo were scheduled for a rematch at a benefit event, but Zablo's doctor convinced him to retire from the game for his health.  With the benefit match about to be cancelled, contender Charlie Tann offered to take Zablo's place.  Charlie is a nasty piece of work who insults Time Square Tessie, which angers Curly.  By the time they meet up in the ring, Curly is so mad he begins to make mistakes.  Is Curly's boxing career over?  (I think not.  After all, he does go on in the strips and the comic books for quite a while.  But you'll have to read this issue to see if I'm right.)


1 comment:

  1. Loved your post today. I'm guessing that Sam Neff and/or his brother had a friend with the last name Zablo. As you can imagine, I'd love to know the backstory. Any ideas on who to talk to?