"My first encounter with Houdini was at about age 13 when I discovered his name and claim to fame in the Tarbell Course of Magic to which my father had subscribed and unsuccessfully hidden away. One of those lessons opened a door to a very idiosyncratic type of performance that I found particularly compelling—and that ignited a fire in my imagination.
Additional fuel was provided by the public library—and the only biography of the escape expert available at that time. The final third of my Houdini education was the 1953 film starring Tony Curtis. I immersed myself in lock picking (handcuffs and pin-tumbler padlocks) and bodybuilding (to facilitate rope and chain restraints).
And one other pursuit enhanced my psychological connection with Houdini—a comicstrip for my high-school newspaper. If you can get past the amateurish drawing, you may be able to perceive an awareness of the juxtaposition of images for maximum comprehension and drama. At 16, I had no idea where such ventures would lead, but the escape theme ultimately became a predictable thread throughout my subsequent comicbook work." - Steranko, May 2021
The strip ran for seven consecutive weeks in the Reading Senior High
School 'The Red and Black' student newspaper from January 14, 1955
(v57 #12) to February 25, 1955, (v57 #18)
Thanks to John Mozzer, Manny Maris, Andrew Chinicci, Tom Fox, and John Gandour.