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Dave King

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Dave King is the titular star of King of the Royal Mounted. As such he is a larger-than-life member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Initially a Corporal, he was promoted to Sergeant early on in the newspaper run. It is likely that only a few stories of "Corporal King" ever made it into the comic books that (incompletely) reprinted the newspaper run.

The Zane Grey connection
Zane Grey himself had little to do with the newspaper strip that bore his name. While there is some evidence that his son, Romer, indeed collaborated with newspaper strip promoter, Stephen Slesinger, Zane himself was largely disinterested in the project. The elder Grey may have provided rough outlines for the first story, but beyond that, the initial writer at the helm was Slesinger himself. For this reason, it would be more apt to call the series that featured Dave King, Stephen Slesinger's King of the Royal Mounted.

The other Corporal King
Oddly, there are two Kings of the Royal Mounted. The first came from another Mountie-themed newspaper strip called Men of the Mounted. It ended on the day before King of the Royal Mounted debutedóbut not before being the subject of a Whitman Big Little Book. It is at least plausible that this Corporal King was based at least in part on the earlier version, because the creator of the more famous King, Stephen Slesinger, did regular business with Whitman. As the preceding Corporal King never made it to comics per se, he won't be catalogued by this database.

Images of the North
At right are some images of the character as he evolved over time. From top to bottom, the first two are "classic" images by Jim Gary. Gary was the third artist to have worked on the series, but he was by far the most prolific. He defined the character for most of its run, and was certainly the artist on duty at the height of the strip's popularity. They date from the late 1930s and early 1940s. At bottom is work by an as-yet unknown artist, from a period when the newspaper strip was long cancelled, and King only existed in the original work of Dell Comics.

First appearance
This character's first appearance deserves a little explanation. The first time sequential art involving this character appeared was in Feature Book #1 in 1937. However, a year before that, some portions of the syndicated strip had been seen in Big Little Book #1103, making this the true first in a long series of newspaper strip reprints.

First Appearance: Big Little Book (1932) #1103

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Better Little Book (1938)

Big Little Book (1932)
Feature Book (1937)
Four Color Comics (1942)
King of the Royal Mounted (1956)
Large Feature (1938)
Phantom-Heft (1992)
Red Ryder Comics (1941)
Zane Grey's King of the Royal Mounted (1952)

Group Affiliation(s):

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