Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Screwball Dinky Dinkerton and Art Huhta

Hmmm... studying the panel at left, one wonders what the "surprise" is in the pocket of world famous detective Dinky Dinkerton's rotund, loyal woman-chasing assistant Sniffy.

Presenting... another dose of high-octane screwball from the pen of Art Huhta, including a nice selection of Dinky Dinkerton dailies, as reprinted in the pages of Heroic Comics. Dinkerton is a fun screwball comic parody of Sherlock Holmes that ran as a daily and Sunday from 1939-1944). It was distributed by the Jones Syndicate, The name comes from "Pinkerton," a famous detective agency that operated in the early 20th century. The strip is filled with visual and verbal humor. Even though the concept is not new (see Gus Mager's Sherlocko the Monk here), Huhta's sense of play is refreshing and, as with many 1930s and 40s screwball comics masters, you get a super high GSI (gags per square inch). I consider this strip to be a lost screwball gem.

For more on Dinky and the career of screwball master Art Huhta, see my earlier article: Art Huhta and Dinky Dinkerton.

Be sure to stop by Ger Apeldoorn's Fabulous Fifities blog for a nice big scan of a great, zany Dinky Dinkerton Sunday strip. Here's a juicy panel:

A panel from the high-octane screwball Dinky Dinkerton Sunday
recently posted at Ger Apeldoorn's blog.

Before we dish out your delightful daily dose of Dinky dailies, here's a dazzling dollop of Art Huhta art from later in his career that I ran across in my microfilm mining:

As far as I can tell, this piece was a reprint from a magazine called Practical Builder. In any case, Huhta's delight in compressing as much as he can into his cartoons that we see in Dinky Dinketon is certainly evident in this dense cartoon. There's some pretty good gags built in:

And while I'm pulling out some recent finds, here's a 1941 Simp O'Dill ghosted by Art Huhta:

Simp O'Dill ghosted by Art Huhta in 1941

And now, drum roll please. 

Here's a selection of Dinky dailies from the pages of Heroic Comics #1 (August, 1940). This issue featured the debut of Bill Everett's Hydro Man. I'm not sure, but I think this sequence could be a reprinting of the very first Dinky Dinkerton daily strips. The opening episode is a nice introduction to the characters, which is how strips of this era often debuted. In any case, it's a pretty wonderful adventure as Dinky and Sniffy madly pursue the "dinky" mystery of a telephone call...

And, of course, the call turns out to be nothing more than a cat knocking the receiver off the hook. Never mind that Dinky has destroyed half the city and called out the militia in a mad race to trace the call! Great stuff!

By the way --- if you like this blog, please plug it -- your support makes a difference!

Yours in Screwball Excellence,
Paul Tumey


  1. Boy, these really remind me of Jack Cole. Did he ever mention Dinky?

  2. Now that you mention it - I may have seen his signature on some advertising comics...