Wednesday, January 6, 2010

GASOLINE ALLEY

Created by Frank King in 1918, the pioneering comic strip Gasoline Alley is a long-running family saga noteworthy for allowing its characters to age over time. In the early days, the star of the series was confirmed bachelor Walt Wallet -- who, on Feb. 14, 1921, found an abandoned baby on his doorstep. Over the years, the baby Skeezix (slang for "motherless calf") was adopted, grew up, and served in the armed forces during World War II. The other characters aged as well -- today, Walt Wallet is well over a hundred years old. His wife Phyllis died in 2004 (at an estimated age of 105), leaving Walt a widower after some 80 years.

Today, Gasoline Alley is in the capable hands of Jim Scancarelli, who continues the good-natured tale of four generations of Wallets. And little baby Skeezix is now a man in his 80s -- an elder to a whole new generation of young cast members.

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