Skyroads (comics)

Skyroads (comics)

Skyroads is a serialized aviation based comic strip that was published from 1929 to 1942.

Following Charles Lindbergh's crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, numerous comic strips began to appear whose topic was aviation. Tailspin Tommy was the first, but it was soon followed by others, including Skyroads.

Skyroads was created by Lester J. Maitland, an important figure in aviation history, and Lt. Dick Calkins, an ex-Army Air Service pilot who would go on to be the first man to draw the Buck Rogers comic strip. Maitland and Calkins final work on Skyroads appeared in 1933, afterwards Calkins' assistant, Russell Keaton took over the writing and artwork duties until the series' end.

The series was different from other serialized comic strips; it didn't have a single focal character over the course of its printing run. Instead it focused on aviation as a whole, telling different stories with a different set of characters every few years.

Publication history

Four distinctive periods appeared over the publication history of Skyroads, each with its own defined set of characters. The first characters to be featured in Skyroads were Ace Ames and Buster Evans. This pair would be followed by periods where the focus of the series would be Hurricane Hawk, Speed McCloud and finally Clipper Williams, who was depicted as a member of a group called the Flying Legion. Toward the end of Skyroads' publication run the Flying Legion as a whole became the focus instead of Clipper Williams himself. This remained the status quo until the series' end in 1942.

A brief return occurred in the 1960s in comic book form courtesy of publisher Edwn Aprill, but only one volume was ever published.

Appearances in other media

Mutual Broadcasting began a radio version of Skyroads in February 1939. The series proved to be a failure in this format, only lasting until May of the same year.

Two Big Little Books were published, in 1936 and 1939, using character featured in Skyroads.


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