Otto Binder And C.C. Beck’s ‘Mr. Tawny’ Captain Marvel Newspaper Strip Spinoff That Never Was
As weird as they are, Otto Binder and C.C. Beck‘s Captain Marvel comics hold up better than just about anything else from the Golden Age. They’re full of amazingly bizarre concepts and adventures, and few are stranger than the idea that Captain Marvel hung out with a talking tiger who stood upright, wore a suit and got into trouble: Mr. Tawny. That’s pretty common knowledge, but what you might not know is that in 1953, Binder and Beck tried out a newspaper comic strip starring Tawny as a solo act, completely without his superheroic pal.
Now, thanks to CA favorite Jon Morris, we’ve got a look at the six strips they created to pitch the strip. Check ‘em out below!
For those of you keeping score at home, the strips above are essentially an adaptation of a Captain Marvel Adventures story from 1951 called “Mr. Tawny’s Diet Dangers,” with the Big Red Cheese swapped out for Tawny’s new pal, Joe. Unfortunately for Binder and Beck, though, the series was rejected by the syndicates on the grounds that comedy had gone out of style in favor of more dramatic, humorless soap opera strips, and was never printed until it appeared in Roy Thomas’s Alter Ego.
If it hadn’t been rejected, though, it makes me wonder what would’ve happened with Binder and Beck — specifically Binder, who would go on to become one of the greatest and most influential Superman writers of all time. On the other hand, this project was probably doomed to failure from the start.
I mean, a daily newspaper strip about a fat orange cat who talks to people? Who’d want to read that?