Spike Spaulding is a very Tintin-like series, marred irrevocably by extremely racist art. Spike’s best friend, Pincus, looks more like an animal than a human being. It’s truly unfortunate, because aside from the art, the two boys deal with each other as equals – in fact no one treats Pincus any differently than they treat Spike.
The series has only long story, a Prisoner of Zenda tale that sees Spike kidnapped by Count Alex and Ruppo and brought to Patrania as part of a plot to overthrow King Philip (who looks exactly like Spike, if you aren’t familiar with the Zenda plot). Pincus follows, and stows away on the ship to help his friend, and an unnamed sailor in a red and white striped shirt helps the boys get to shore, disguise themselves, make it to the castle and destroy Count Alex’s plot. He even manages to get King Philip’s sister to fall in love with him, and stays behind, presumably to marry her, when the boys leave to return to the US, all without ever getting a name.
Spike and Pincus are rewarded with $10,000 for foiling Count Alex’s plans, and return home to their relieved families. In the last instalment, as the kids head to school (and it appears they attend the same school, which I didn’t think was done at this period in the US), Spike’s uncle George receives a letter he finds surprising, but as the series ends here, we never know what that was about.
Still, at least the series ended on a positive note, and Spike wasn’t sacrificed like poor Midshipman Dewey.
Spike Spaulding: New Fun 3 – 6 (Mar – Oct 35)
More Fun 7 – 30 (Jan 36 – Apr 38)