Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, June 27, 2020

CLAIRE VOYANT #2 (undated, 1946)

Claire Voyant was a newspaper comic strip that ran from May 10, 1943 to November 23, 1948.  Created by Jack Sparling for the New York newspaper PM and distributed by the Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate, the strip featured the self-titled heroine who was not a psychic.

From Don Markstein's Toonopedia:

"[She] just happened to hear someone use that word [clairvoyant] in she woke up after being rescued at sea, drifting unconscious in a lifeboat, and gave that as her name because she could't remember the one she had before.

"...[Cartoonist Jack Sparling] gave her amnesia because World War II was going and he wanted to keep his options on her background open, pending how things would sort themselves out when it ended.

"The war did end. and Claire learned a lot about her earlier life.  She was Lyn Hall, a chorus girl who had been touring with the USO, when the ship she was coming home on was torpedoed by the Nazis.  She was given up for dead but, two years later, mysteriously turned up in that lifeboat.  hkints about those missing years tantalized her, but she never did fill them in.  She became a popular singer in her new life, and kept "Claire Voyant" as a stage name.

"During the war years, she busied her offstage hours with adventuring, especially at sea.  Afterward, with her usual villains now engaged in peacetime pursuits, she got more interested in soap opera plotlines...

"[T]he strip last until 1948.  Claire Voyant hasn't been seen since."

Standard Comics reissued some of the strips in a comic book, which lasted just four issues.

Issue #2 begins with Claire just missing a contact who might have shone light on her missing years.  Disappointed, she goes to talk to her friend Rodger Timberly.  She finds Roger shot dead.  Unwittingly she picks up the gun as she calls to report the crime to the police.  But the police come just then with claire standing over the body with the murder weapon in her hands.  Claire is arrested for the murder.  While Claire lingers in a cell, her friends (including mobster Hairy Harry) are compiling a lo-o-ong list of persons who may have wanted Rodger dead, including Laura Dane, Rodger's ex-girlfriend.  Showing up is Tex Huston, one of the three men who were with Claire during her missing years but Claire doesn't remember him.  Finally, Claire's alibi is proven and she is released, only to be kidnapped by the real murderer.  And so it goes.

As eye candy, Claire is a raven-haired beajuty with a Veronica Lake hairdo and a rather sexy fashion sense.


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