With The Explorigator so fresh in our minds, it makes perfect sense to turn our attention to another Sunday comic involving boys hurtling through space in an odd looking airship: The Exciting Adventures of Bill and Budd the Bird Boys in the Good Airship Flying Fish! With a title like that, you know this one's a gem! This strip ran from September 1909 to August 1910 and while again we wish we had color samples to share as they are just plain gorgeous (luckily the indispensable Stripper's Guide blog posted one recently), we simply will have to console ourselves with being able to read the entire yearlong run. Bill and Budd are a couple of ne'er-do-wells who, while skipping school, happen upon an inventor fine tuning his creation, The Flying Fish. After a scuffle involving their teacher, the boys take off with the ship, leaving the poor inventor in the dust. Naturally Bill and Budd use the airship to steal some apples, go fishing and, of course, rescue a damsel in distress, all before taking it off-world for a visit to the moon. Don't worry, the boys manage to make their way home, and even save the inventor's bacon from some hostile "redskins," after which all is forgiven. Sadly the full page adventures end in mid-January, when the strip's real estate is halved (as well as the title, becoming The Bird Boys and Their Airship, The Flying Fish) to allow another feature to run on the same page. But that doesn't mean the fun stops, Bill and Bud still manage to make time with some mermaids, watch their pal Bulgy get spanked by a talking polar bear, and explore the heavens again with an old friend. This one is a lot of fun, I especially like the sketchy sneak previews for the next week's adventures found in the final panel of each episode. It's too bad that the artist did not bother to sign his work, we may never know who gave us this wonderfully kooky piece of comic strip history.