Mandrake the Magician not only gestured hypnotically, he also dreamt hypnotically.
Mandrake creator Lee Falk spent his early World War Two years dispensing disinformation as Propaganda Director for radio station KMOX in Illinois. Aside from creating The Phantom and Mandrake, he was apparently nuts about theatre--he owned five of them. Falk wrote a couple of plays, produced more than three hundred and even filled the directing chair when he felt like it. His dedicated ensemble included Basil Rathbone, Shelly Winters, Victor Jory, Marlon Brando, Ethel Waters, Chico Marx, James Mason, Paul Robeson, Paul Newman, and Eva Gabor.
Falk wrote the script for Mandrake from 1934 until his last days hospital-bound in New York City in the spring of 1999. Tearing off his oxygen mask, Lee would dictate Mandrake's latest adventures to an attentive assistant.
One time Falk remarked:
"Each artist, out of his own interests and imagination, creates his own world in his strip - this is true of Peanuts, Beetle Bailey, Popeye, all good strips. And you accomplish this not by imitating others - you come up with your own idea. To me, The Phantom and Mandrake are very real - much more than the people walking around whom I don't see very much. You have to believe in your own characters."
This is my favorite Mandrake strip. It was one of the last strips that Falk wrote. I remember the rest of the week as being pretty stellar as well.