The story you are about to read is true.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
It was Thursday, October 13.
It was warm in the city.
We were working the day watch out of Narcotics Division.
My partner's Frank Smith.
The boss is Captain Kearney.
My name is Joe Friday.
For some reason I am drawn to look like Jack Webb.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Enjoy this blast from the past.
Details on the strip are sketchy. One source has it beginning on June 23, 1952, although a one-week preview evidently ran before that date. The artist was initially Joe Sheiber, followed by an uncrdited artist, then Bill Zeigler, and finally Mel Keefer. The writer is uncredited and may well have been Jack Webb himself, perhaps edited television scripts by James Moser. Webb was notoriously possessive about his creation, wanting to control every aspect; comic historian Ron Goulart wrote that the frequent change of artists was Webb's search for "one who could draw him as good looking as he thought he thought to be."
A personal note: Dragnet was the favorite television program of Minnie Brown, our eight-days-older-than-Jesus babysitter when we were young.