Raise The Titanic Newspaper Comic Strips
By Bruce Kenfield
Raise The Titanic! was adapted for use in a Sunday comic strip that ran in over 130 newspapers across the country. This provided a combined circulation that reached over 42 million people through the Universal Press Syndicate of Mission, Kansas.
All of the originals were penciled drawings that were later “inked” by the artist. The original pencil lines are faint, but can still be seen, even after being inked. The Sunday drafts were 13.25 inches by 19.5 inches on heavy paper. The drafts of the dailies were 4.2 inches by 15 inches. The text “BEST SELLER SHOWCASE…” seen at the top of the upper left and “©1977 Universal Press Syndicate” seen in the lower left panel were added later, after the drawings were completed.
The original illustrations by Frank Bolle used 8 panels, but the Los Angeles Times cropped the top 2 panels from the comic.
The eight Los Angeles Times Sundays feature 6 color panels and are 5.88 inches by 13 inches (not including title text). The 48 dailies feature three black and white inked panels and were 2.1 inches by 6.25 inches (Not including title text). The Raise The Titanic comics were first seen on Monday, August 15, 1977 and ran through Sunday, October 9, 1977 making for a grand total of 56 strips and 192 panels.
There is a low survival rate for newspaper comics because of their odd size, fragile nature, difficulty in storage, and many other factors. They were commonly discarded who sell and stock Sunday pages from the 1970’s. Most dealers consider it too much difficult to stock papers later than 1950. Garage sales and your grandma’s attic may be the best places to start your search.