When Frank O’Neal created “Short Ribs” in 1958, his idea was to write and draw a comic strip without a set cast of characters or a single historical or geographical setting. Once he settled into the routine of actually producing the strip, however, O’Neal quickly found he could not resist returning to certain stock situations and periods — the old West, for instance, or Medieval Europe — bringing back certain characters, and indulging in short bursts of continuity. When he retired from the strip in 1973 to concentrate on advertising work, O’Neal generously handed “Short Ribs” over to his assistant, Frank Hill, who managed to wring another nine years out of the concept. Truth be told, I’m not really a big fan of “Short Ribs,” but when the following pair of amusing and attractive strips from 1980 came up for sale recently at a low, low price, I couldn’t resist:
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Frank Hill’s final “Short Ribs” strip appeared Sunday 02 May 1982. Did anyone notice when the strip ended? You might think not, but my experience reading and arguing about comics on the Web tells me that every comic strip, “Short Ribs” included, is (or was) somebody’s favourite.