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Dick Calkins, Co-Creator of Buck Rogers Comic Strip, Dead at 67

May 13, 1962 - Dick Calkins, who helped to create the Buck Rogers comic strip, died in Tucson, Ariz., today after a long illness. His age was 67. He was an editorial cartoonist for The Chicago American until 1929, when he began to draw the Buck Rogers strip. Readers of Buck Rogers were not caught unaware by the explosion of an atomic bomb over Hiroshima in 1945. They had seen similar weapons used in a Martian attack on the U.S. in a strip that appeared in 1939. The Rogers strip marked the entry of science fiction into the world of newspaper comics. It was also one of several realistically drawn series that marked a turn from the clownish “funnies” of earlier years to the adventure thrillers of the 1930s and afterward. As a radio star, Buck Rogers sold mountains of breakfast cereal to a generation of young Americans.


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