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Buz Sawyer
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Buz Sawyer was a popular comic strip created by Roy Crane that ran from November 1, 1943 to 1989. The last strip signed by Crane was dated 21 April 1979.

John "Buz" Sawyer was initially a fighter pilot for the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. A chivalrous adventurer, he became a troubleshooter for an oil company when the war ended but rejoined the Navy in the 1950s.

Rare use of vertical image in a horizontal comic strip. Buz Sawyer for 12/07/43
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Rare use of vertical image in a horizontal comic strip. Buz Sawyer for 12/07/43

Roy Crane was one of the innovators of the adventure comic strip. Wash Tubbs began in 1924 as a humorous story about the romantic adventures of Washington Tubbs, but increasingly Tubbs became involved in exciting adventures in exotic places. With the creation of the popular soldier of fortune Captain Easy in 1929, the strip became, along with Tarzan of the Apes and Buck Rogers, one of the first adventure strips. However, Crane was an employee of the Newspaper Enterprise Association syndicate, which owned the rights to the Tubbs and Easy characters. Crane approached King Features Syndicate with an idea for a new strip, and when they offered him ownership, he abandoned Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy strips in 1943, giving full concentration to launching Buz Sawyer.

Roscoe Sweeney, who was Sawyer's comic-relief sidekick, largely disappeared from the dailies after the war. Instead, Sweeney became the central character of the Buz Sawyer Sunday strip, a comedy about rural and suburban life. Beginning in the late 1940s, Crane turned the writing and drawing chores for that strip over to cartoonist Clark Haas, who was a pioneer jet pilot. Later, Al Wenzel did the Sunday strip.

Eventually, Crane turned most of the writing and drawing of the daily strip over to assistants Edwin Granberry and Hank Schlensker, who began signing it after Crane’s death in 1977. When they retired a decade later, John Celardo drew the daily until it was discontinued in 1989.

Buz Sawyer for 1/11/47
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Buz Sawyer for 1/11/47