Sparkler Comics was a United Features vehicle for generating additional revenue via comic sales from previously published newspaper strips. This book (#13) was printed in the war era of August 1942.  It features the venerable Tarzan and superhero The Spark Man – whose skill was the ability to absorb and eject electricity (although this ability was not used in the inside story).  The inside Spark Man story is actually unapologetically graphic by today’s standards – rather Quentin Tarantino-esque.    An insightful view into the sensibilities of Americans during the war with Germany and Japan.

The cover features motorcycle riding character Hap Hopper. The corresponding inside story is scripted by Drew Pearson (signed) and Robert E. Allen (signed), with artwork by creator Jack Sparling (signed) – later of syndicated comic Claire Voyant fame.

Jack Sparling's Claire Voyant (1948)

Jack Sparling’s Claire Voyant (1948) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hap first appeared in newspaper strips on Monday, January 29, 1940. The character was a newspaper reporter with a girlfriend named Holly Woode. His editor was Rushmore Newes. His original location was Washington, DC, where the strip could add in to the stories colorful characters from the real front pages. Soon, like many characters of the era, Hap joined the war effort became a journalist for the military. Hap last until roughly 1947 when his character was gradually replaced by a private investigator named Barry Noble.

The entire Sparkler series was successful, lasting to the 120th issue November-December 1954.