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Thursday, January 03, 2013

Nipper 1967-1968

It's a brand new year, which means a new Nipper book hits stores. 1967-1968 were peak years for Doug Wright's creative output, a time when his weekly Saturday strip reached the height of its popularity, just as it moved under the umbrella of a new publication. Take a look at this beauty of a strip:

And while I'm on the subject of Nipper, I've been meaning to write about the official opening of the Doug Wright Park in Burlington, Ontario a couple of months back (I did run photos of the "unofficial" opening in the summer, but this over here is the real thing).

How good is this? They even brought out a whole marching band for the opening. It's the Burlington Teen Tour Band, and apparently Wright had designed the insignia for their uniforms back in the 1970s.

Seth was, of course, on hand for the festivities. He's shown here with Carol D'Amelio, a former Burlington city councilor who played a vital role in the park's creation, as well as the dedication of the nearby street in Wright's honor. Carol actually goes way back with the Wright family: as a girl, she grew up down the street from the Wrights when they lived in the Montreal suburb of Lachine (where the comic strip was set from 1949 to 1966) and, also like the Wright family, she moved on later in life to the nearby Toronto suburb of Burlington.

Here's the jewel of the new park: a die-cut Nipper figure on an iron park bench. Yes, that's a reflection of Seth in the background.

At left is youngest Wright son, Ken (he's now a police officer), with Phyllis Wright at center (I guess that bag sort of does have the Nipper color scheme going for it, if not Wright's actual lettering finesse). Next to them is current city councillor for the neighborhood, Blair Lancaster.

Here's the lucky kid who won a Nipper book in the raffle...

And finally, I had to include just one more Nipper strip here, in part because the weather outside reminds me of this scene and also because the sheer "Canadiana" of it may be enough to bring a tear to Seth's eyes:


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