Created by Doug Wildey
E.V. “EDDIE” RACE was the handsome, square-jawed private eye hero of a detective strip that appeared in the short-lived (two issues!) Sojourn, Joe Kubert’s tabloid-sized comics anthology magazine, which was done to support the Joe Kubert School of Comic Art and its students.
It was written and drawn by Doug Wildey, probably best known for creating the much loved cartoon adventure series Jonny Quest, which, come to think of it, had a similiarly handsome, square-jawed, heroic character in it called Race Bannion.
Hmmmm….maybe Wildey just liked the name…
Anyway, the art was absolutely fantastic, reminiscent at times of (and possibly influenced by) Steranko’s Red Tide which had come out just the previous year. Not that’s it’s as ambitious, design-wise, but with its clean, bold lines and nuanced, well-developed characters and noirish playing of light and shadows, I have to wonder.
Meanwhile, the plot, from what I could tell, was definitely going places. A simple burglary, the death of a photographer’s assistant, an Israeli spy, a Nazi in hiding… and smack dab in the middle of it all, a smart, tough gumshoe trying to make sense of it all.
Unfortunately, although Wildey completed the story (some of the unpublished pages have appeared for sale over the years on various online auction sites), it was never published in its entirety–Kubert pulled the plug on Sojourn after just two issues, leaving readers hanging.
Sadly, affordable issues of Sojourn may be even harder to track down than affordable copies of Red Tide.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally a comic book artist and writer, Doug Wildey was a self-taught artist who had his first professional publication, Buffalo Bill, in 1949. He subsequently freelanced for a variety of comic book publishers (he once joked he’d worked for every comic publisher–Marvel, DC, Gold Key, Archie, etc.–except “EC, the good one.”). He worked primarily on westerns, war and adventure comics, although his wide-ranging portfolio included everything from romance to superheroes.
He had a good run on The Outlaw Kid for Atlas (later Marvel) in the late fifties and drew The Saint newspaper strip until 1962. In the early sixties, he moved to television, and worked on several Saturday morning cartoons over the next decade or so, including Return to the Planet of the Apes, Jana of the Jungle, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos, Godzilla and, of course, Jonny Quest (1964-65), but he continued to do comic work into the seventies, contributing to Weird Western Tales, Our Army at War and his own western, Rio.
(1977-78, White Cliffs Publishing)
Black & white
Text and art by Doug Wildey
- “Eddie Race, Investigator (Part One)” (September 1977, #1)
- “Eddie Race, Investigator (Part Two)” (1978, #2)
- Show and Tell Joe Kubert’s Sojourn
Cartoonist Kayfabe takes you on a visual tour via YouTube of the short-lived comic, including pitstops for Eddie Race and Sergio Aragones’ T.C. Mars.
THE DICK OF THE DAY
- September 17, 2021
THE BOTTOM LINE: Smart, tough, and suitably square-jawed, totally obscure comic book private eye Eddie Race was the brainchild of comic master Doug Wildey, who also created… JONNY QUEST! My ten-year-old self is very impressed by this.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.