05 January 2022

Mandrake the Magician in the Comic Book Bin

You may remember that the Museum of Surrey hosted a "Mandrake the Magician" exhibit  last year.  You can still visit the online tour at the Museum.


From the January 1st article "Mandrake the Magician: The first Superhero in Comics and Life" by Hervé St-Louis  at the Comic Book Bin:

Born in 1911, Canadian Leon (Gioglio) Mandrake was a stage magician based in Vancouver, Canada who starred on stage under the label Mandrake the Magician as early as 1927. He travelled North America and performed as Mandrake the Magician across North America. Ironically, according to Don Markstein, Falk had created the comics strip Mandrake the Magician in 1924 but only submitted it for print years later. The comic strip character that looked eerily like Gioglio.

The resemblance between the fictional character, and the stage magician was acknowledged early on, and the King Features creators and Gioglio would play with meta-narrative crossovers over the years, without any conflict involving copyrights nor trademark. These were the days! Both the stage magician wore tuxedos, were skinny and had fine moustaches. Both enjoyed a living entertaining guests and audiences for years.

Read more.

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