Ace Mifflin

Created by Ted Slampyak

“Private eyin’s what I do. It’s a dirty job. That’s why I like it.”

He ain’t scuzzy–he’s just drawn that way.

Here’s another private eye spawned during the 1980’s comic book/graphic novel boom/renaissance. In the “jazz age” of 1926 Boston, ALEXANDER C. “ACE” MIFFLIN is a scruffy private detective who appeared in a series of excellent, well-researched adventures in creator Slampyak’s fondly remembered Jazz Age Chronicles, alternating with stories about a hoity-toity Harvard archaeology professor (and Indiana Jones wannabe) Dr. Clifton Jennings.

Ace is no prize — he’s a rude, vulgar, and frequently drunken lout in need of a shave, and is constantly getting his P.I. ticket revoked. He works out of his dump of an office on Boston’s notoriously seedy Scollay Square — when he’s not sleeping one off — and has rarely shown any evidence of professionalism or respect for authority.

Lord knows what his long-suffering sweetie and secretary, Rita Burns, sees in him.

Lord knows what his obligatory long-suffering sweetie and secretary, Rita Burns, sees in him, but it is an intriguing look at a 1920s private eye–meaning he’s not a imagined contemporary of Philip Marlowe, but of The Continental Op and Race Williams.

A great but woefully-neglected series, full of pulpy energy and light-hearted humour, featuring a cheerfully imperfect hero, the series never quite caught on, and it finally petered out in the early 1990s, only to return in 2002, as part of the short-lived subscription-based webcomics anthology Adventure Strips.com, edited by Christopher Mills, co-creator of the online comic Femme Noir and former editor of Noir.  When AdventureStrips crashed and burned, Ace — A persistent little bugger that he is — dusted himself off and soon found a new home — at least for a while — at JazzAgeComics.com, Slampyak’s own site.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ted Slampyak was born in Philadelphia and is a graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Besides creating The Jazz Age Chronicles, and worked until 2010 as the long time artist on the syndicated Little Orphan Annie comic strip. He has also worked on Neil Gaiman’s Mr. Hero from Tekno Comix and contributed to Paradox Press The Big Book of… . The Jazz Age Chronicles was nominated for an Ignatz Award in the category “Outstanding Online Comic,” and was named one of the best webcomics by The Webcomics Examiner.

UNDER OATH

  • “…a very good period private-eye story… an excellent mixture of the realistic and the fantastic… pick up a copy. Grade: A.”
    — Don Thompson
  • “Jazz Age Chronicles is an extremely well-crafted detective series…. Jazz Age Chronicles’ creator, Ted Slampyak, has filled his comic with references to the era. That’s the sort of touch that I appreciate…”
    — Cliff Biggers, Comic Shop News
  • “[Ted Slampyak’s] backgrounds give a strong feeling of credibility to the plot. I really feel like the characters are in a city that exists. The story comes alive because of it….”
    — Gene Colan

COMICS

  • JAZZ AGE CHRONICLES
    (1989-91, Caliber Press)
    3 issues
    Art and Text by Ted Slampyk

    • “The Case of the Beguiling Baroness (Part One)” (January 1989, # 1)
    • “The Case of the Beguiling Baroness (Part Two)” (March 1989, # 3)
    • “The Case of the Beguiling Baroness (Part Three)” (May 1989, # 3)
  • JAZZ AGE CHRONICLES
    (1989-91, Caliber Press)
    Volume 2, 6 issues
    Art and Text by Ted Slampyk

    • “Vote Early and Often (Part One)” (March 1990, # 1)
    • “Vote Early and Often (Part Two)” (May 1990, #2)
    • “The Flowers of San Pedro (Part One)” (July 1990, # 3)
    • “The Flowers of San Pedro (Part Two)” (September 1990, # 4)
    • “The Flowers of San Pedro (Part Three)” (November 1990, # 5)
    • “A Stranger in Bryn Mawr” (January 1991, #6).
  • CALIBER PRESENTS
    (1990, Caliber)
    Anthology
    Art and text: Ted Slampyk.

    • “Jazz Age Chronicles” (February 1990, #9)
      Includes two short stories, intended at test runs, one featuring Mifflin, one featuring Jennings, from 1989.
  • THE DETECTIVES
    (April 1993, Alpha Productions)
    1 issue, colour cover, B&W inside

    • “Ace Mifflin Pin-up” by Ted Slampyak

COLLECTIONS

  • THE CASE OF THE BEGUILING BARONESS | Buy this book
    (1991, Caliber Press)
    Art and text by Ted Slampyak
    Includes the complete story from 1st three issues, plus “Café Noir” (a prose piece), “Ace Mifflin’s Mini-Mystery,” and “The Jazz Age Chronicles” (the two test runs, eventually run in Caliber Presents). and “Vote Early & Often”
  • THE CASE OF THE BEGUILING BARONESS | Buy it from the author  | Buy this book
    (2011, Transfuzion Publishing)
    Art and text by Ted Slampyak
    Includes the complete story from 1st three issues, and “Vote Early & Often”
  • THE FLOWERS OF SAN PEDRO | Buy it from the author Buy this book
    (2011, Transfuzion Publishing)
    Art and text by Ted Slampyak
    Includes the complete story, plus “A Stranger in Bryn Mawr,” “Hiaus,” “Desert Assassins of Egypt,” “Ace Mifflin’s Mini-Mystery,” and “The Big Case.”

WEB COMICS

  • THE BIG CASE
    (1993; also 2003, JazzAgeComics.com)
    Written by Marc Gacy
    Art by Ted Slampyak
    An inept wannabe P.I. follows Ace around.
  • THE POWER OF SILAS ROURKE
    (2002-03, JazzAgeComics.com)
    Art and text by Ted Slampyak

THE DICK OF THE DAY

FURTHER INVESTIGATION

  • JazzAgeComics.com
    Beloved shamus Ace Mifflin had his own site (that he has to share with that Jennings character), and used to even offer a weekly strip. Now it’s mostly a place to order the collections.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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