Boxing announcer revives ‘Joe Palooka’ comic strip

Feb 29, 2012, 10:13 PM

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) – Joe Palooka has come out of retirement for one more fight _ or several.

The beloved comic strip featuring a big-hearted boxing champion ended in 1984 after a run of more than 50 years. Now boxing announcer Joe Antonacci has acquired the trademark rights to “Joe Palooka” and is resurrecting the character as a mixed martial arts fighter.

With help from a comics writer and artist, Antonacci, a Ridgewood, N.J., native, is pushing a new Palooka series, with two fresh strips already published online and a hard-copy version expected to be available within months.

Created by Wilkes-Barre, Pa., native Ham Fisher, the daily strip once appeared in more than 900 newspapers and was among the most popular comics of the 1940s and the most successful sports-based strip ever.

Antonacci’s version has been updated to reflect the growing popularity of mixed martial arts, with planned cameos by real-life Ultimate Fighting Championship stars.

But Antonacci, who read “Joe Palooka” as a boy, said the message remains the same.

“In a way, it’s similar to what Ham Fisher tried to do,” he told The Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre. “My Joe Palooka character is a guy with a heart of gold, who gets into trouble and gets out. It’s family-friendly _ the character is not full of gratuitous violence or sex or cussing.”

Fans already appreciate Palooka’s ring reemergence, overwhelming Antonacci’s stand at a recent convention.

“If it’s popular and God blesses us with a good reception, we’re going to keep doing this,” said Antonacci, who also does some of the writing for Joe Palooka.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock campaigns on Sept. 2, 2022, in Atlanta with other members of historica...
Associated Press

In Georgia, how sports explain a political battleground

SMYRNA, Ga. (AP) — The reception area of a metro Atlanta office suite is a veritable museum of Herschel Walker’s football success for the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the NFL. The office is part of the Atlanta Braves’ real estate development in the Major League Baseball franchise’s new suburban home. This headquarters for Georgia’s […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, ...
Associated Press

Supreme Court weighs ‘most important case’ on democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is about to confront a new elections case, a Republican-led challenge asking the justices for a novel ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers over elections for Congress and the presidency. The court is set to hear arguments Wednesday in a case from North Carolina, where […]
9 hours ago
FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...
Associated Press

No OPEC+ oil shakeup as Russian price cap stirs uncertainty

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Saudi-led OPEC oil cartel and allied producers including Russia did not change their targets for shipping oil to the global economy amid uncertainty about the impact of new Western sanctions against Russia that could take significant amounts of oil off the market. The decision at a meeting of oil ministers […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Vandalism suspected in North Carolina power outage

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina believe vandalism may have caused a power outage that affected thousands of customers Saturday night. A mass power outage in several communities beginning just after 7 p.m. Saturday “is being investigated as a criminal occurrence,” the Moore County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “As […]
9 hours ago
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, plays with children who have been d...
Associated Press

US intel chief thinking ‘optimistically’ for Ukraine forces

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The head of U.S. intelligence says fighting in Russia’s war in Ukraine is running at a “reduced tempo” and suggests Ukrainian forces could have brighter prospects in coming months. Avril Haines alluded to past allegations by some that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisers could be shielding him from bad news — […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

State news: Iran executed 4 people it says spied for Israel

CAIRO (AP) — Iranian authorities executed four people Sunday accused of working for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, the state-run IRNA news agency said. Three others received lengthy prison sentences. IRNA said the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard announced the arrests of a network of people linked to the Israeli agency. It said the members had previous […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Boxing announcer revives ‘Joe Palooka’ comic strip