I read very few comic-books in the 60's. They tended to be a rare, "special" item. My parents would get me one here and there, and I'd treasure it-- reading it over and over and over.
However, newspaper comic-strips were a whole different animal. Since were already getting the paper 7 days a week, THESE comics were "free"! And so it was that my introduction to BATMAN in the comics was not a comic-book (that would come a few months later), but when the BATMAN newspaper strip started up. It would be decades before I found up it was actually being revived (about 20 years after it had been stopped). Or that the artist on the strips I read-- indeed, my very first BATMAN artist-- was Sheldn Moldoff! Shelly could be a real chameleon, doing "realistic" (swiping Alex Raymond's style for HAWKMAN) or very cartoony, and anything in between, including... "Bob Kane".
The 1st story featured Catwoman as the villain, only a couple months she'd appeared on the TV series. And, whatta ya know, in the newspaper strip story, she was wearing Julie Newmar's costume!
Coming from that perspective, I thought there were a few odd things about the strip. For one thing, Alfred and Commissioner Gordon didn't look anything like they did on TV. Turns out this was my first exposure to the "real" (comic-book) versions of the characters. On the other hand, Chief O'Hara-- a character created for the TV show-- looked exactly like actor Stafford Repp. You also had Bat-ropes instead of Bat-poles (which must have been a real hassle to slide down!). And the Batmobile, which only somewhat resembled the one on tv, was actually the comic-book version, on which the TV version had been (loosely) inspired. I guess you could say the newspaper comic was a version about "halfway between" the comics and the TV show.
Anyway, I was so thrilled by the strip, I started collecting it right from the start, and actually managed to glue the entire 1st story down in a scrap book, which I've kept with me intact all these years. I decided to scan the entire story in WAY back in 2004, but never actually got around to processing it until now. Just as well-- I've gotten so much better using Photoshop in the last 9 YEARS. Enjoy!
Story by Whitney Ellsworth / art by SHELDON MOLDOFF
001 / 5-30-66
Distributed by The Ledger Syndicate, Inc.
Copyright (C) DC Comics Inc.
Scans from my personal collection,
clipped & collected from The Courier-Post, Cherry Hill, NJ
Scan of strip for 5-30-66 from Steve Thompson (THANKS, MAN!!!)
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa