ALLEY OOP FANTASY LAND - IRAAN, TEXAS
Painting his pictures on sheer rock walls, the first Texas artist was a prehistoric man—perhaps a cave dweller.
—Texas, A Guide To the Lone Star State (WPA, 1940)
Prehistoric comic strip hero Alley Oop was created by V. T. Hamlin in 1932. In the late ‘20’s, Ira and Ann Yates discovered oil on their ranchland, and the resulting boom led to the creation of the town Iraan (named after—and pronounced as in—Ira and Ann) and drew Hamlin to the area, where he was employed during the boom. Local lore says that Hamlin’s comic strip was inspired by the prehistoric artifacts discovered during this period. Though Hamlin was only an Iraan resident for a brief period, Alley Oop is nevertheless remembered in a city park that features characters from the comic strip.
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Brenna Brock is a State Guide to Texas who grew up in the western part of the state, but soon left for Austin in search of trees, hills, and occasional precipitation. When she’s not shooing varmints out of the garden, trying to cook native plants, or indulging her cats’ every whim, she’s probably chasing after something with a camera. She posts a photo nearly every day on Tumblr at Mr. Cake’s Photo Adventures.