In Artists in Weird Places, we'll look at times when artists have stepped out of their comfort zone to do something different. Click here for the archive!
Today we look at Harry Lucey's Sam Hill, Private Eye!
Harry Lucey is best known for being one of the most important Archie artists of all time, and is known for his ability to communicate without words as well as his mastery of gesture, perfect for a humor comic.
So it's a bit of a surprise to see him working on Sam Hill, a detective strip that's a little more understated in terms of physical action and gesture. Sam was a private eye with a girl Friday named Roxy, and a friend on the police force named Lieutenant Dugan. Certainly his stuff at the time wasn't anywhere near as hard-boiled as today's crime stories, but it is interesting to see MLJ (now Archie) producing relatively (to their usual output) serious comics, and also quite interesting to see Lucey handle Sam Hill, an almost Humphrey Bogart–like protagonist in the sense that he doesn't seem to be very expressive or move around so much as other actors/characters.
Sam Hill lasted for seven issues. A revival was mentioned in 2010, but if anything ever came of it, I didn't see it and can't find it anywhere. He did show up in Archie: Night at the Comic Shop, though.
To read a full Sam Hill story, click here. Also, all the Sam Hill issues are available, free and legal, here at ComicBookPlus.
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