Boy Wonder: Tailspin Tommy’s Machine Romance

“Boy!! That’s the life for me. Gosh…” The first of the major aviation-themed strips, Tailspin Tommy (1928-1942) embodied many of the essential qualities of the genre. From its start, the strip had an infectious, boyish wonder…about the air, about technology, about modern progress itself. Like most in the category, it was drawn by a pilot and flying enthusiast (Hal Forrest) in a rough style that fetishized planes and flight images yet fell flat in depicting characters and earthbound life.

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