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Baker, Alan. Alan Baker was created by the Mexican creator Eduardo Carpinteiro and appeared in a number of comic strips and comic books from 1938 to the early 1970s, beginning with the comic strip “Corazón del Norte” (Pepín, May 31, 1938-May 20, 1948). “Corazón del Norte” is an unauthorized adaptation and sequel to the film Heart of the North (1938).

Alan Baker is a Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who patrols Canada’s western frontier with his plump bewigged sidekick Sam Hawking. But soon enough he is forced to deal with situations much more complicated than fur and liquor smugglers. Baker becomes a Sherlock Holmesian Great Detective and defeats an international criminal conspiracy. In China Baker defeats the Yellow Peril known as the Black Dragon. In Alaska Baker and Hawking stops plans by an unnamed foreign power to seize the uranium deposits of the Klondike. And Baker and Hawking are thrown back centuries to help the knights of King Arthur defeat a giant Cyclops created by a Mad Scientist.

* I've included Alan Baker in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of the strip's ideasplosions. Like Arizona Jim's adventures, “Corazón del Norte” took a genre--Mountie stories--that rarely mingled with other genres and shattered it so that tropes and plot devices and even plots from a wide range of other genres could take up space in it. The result was great fun--I find the conjunction of very disparate genre tropes appealing, what can I say?--and sent Alan Baker into unusual and entertaining situations. Look, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who find Mounties helping King Arthur's knights fight a Mad Scientist-created Cyclops splendid, and those who do not. I'm in the first category, and can only stare dumbfounded at those in the second category. Those in the first category will enjoy “Corazón del Norte." 

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