On this day 85 years ago the first syndicated science fiction comic strip appeared in newspapers around the country. Buck Rogers, 2429 A.D. told the story of a World War I veteran and mine inspector who became trapped in a Pennsylvania mine after a cave-in. Rendered unconscious by an unknown gas, Rogers emerges from the mine 500 years later in the midst of another war. Utilizing his war experience, Rogers helps the Americans defeat the Mongol Reds that had previously conquered Asia and Europe. The strip was created by writer Philip Nowlan and cartoonist Richard Calkins. Buck Rogers, 2429 A.D. introduced and popularized such science-fiction paraphernalia and concepts as ray guns, robots, and rocket ships that previously had been written about only in pulp magazines.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
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