By: Dave Astor
“Steve Roper and Mike Nomad,” a comic with roots that go back 68 years, is ending Dec. 26.
The story strip currently runs “only in a couple of dozen newspapers,” according to a King Features Syndicate spokesperson.
What’s now “Steve Roper and Mike Nomad” started in 1936 as a Western parody called “Big Chief Wahoo,” according to King’s Web site. Big-city news photographer Steve Roper later joined the cast — and the comic was retitled “Chief Wahoo and Steve Roper,” then “Steve Roper and Wahoo,” then “Steve Roper.” In 1964, Mike Nomad was introduced.
The comic was created by Allen Saunders, and passed down to his son John Saunders. Artists over the years included Elmer Woggon and William Overgard. The current writer/artist is Fran Matera.
A number of story strips are struggling these days for several reasons — one being that their art and text work better with more space than many humor strips require. But space for all comics is shrinking.
Some strips — such as “For Better or For Worse,” “Funky Winkerbean,” and “Luann” — have carved out reputations as story/humor hybrids.