The Sage Sentinel, 11 February 1944

Paul Berlin was an employee for Hanford Engineer Works in the 1940s, who made a comic strip called 'Sandy Sage' for the company newspaper The Sage Sentinel.

Very little is known about the artist himself. Before coming to Hanford, he was working as a commercial artist and illustrator in Denver and Salt Lake City, according to the introduction article in the Sage Sentinel of 4 February 1944. While in Denver, he also designed the International Rotary Convention poster in 1941. By 1944 he was working in the Material Control Office of Hanford, while also serving as staff artist for The Sage Sentinel together with Anne Mason.


The Sage Sentinel, 14 July 1944

The Hanford Site was a nuclear production complex in Hanford, South-Central Washington, established in March 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project. The site housed the first full-scale plutonium reactor in the world. The company's plutonium production was used in the first nuclear bomb, and in the "Fat Man" which was dropped over Nagasaki, Japan, in the morning of 9 August 1945. Hanford Engineer Works was operated by the DuPont Company until 1946 when operation was transferred to the General Electric Company.


Berlin drew this cartoon when the paper's format was enlarged in September 1944

The Sage Sentinel was the company newspaper for Hanford's nearly 45,000 employees, wich appeared weekly from at least late 1943 until 9 February 1945. Berlin's comic strip began publication on 4 February 1944 and appeared weekly until the character literally climbed back in the ink bottle in the issue of 9 February 1945. The character was an originally unnamed cigar-smoking employee of Hanford Engineer Works, whose adventures illustrated everyday life in the company. The name 'Sandy Sage' was introduced on 21 April, following a contest among company workers to submit name suggestions. The winners were Avis Forsyth and W.F. Coors, who both received a $25 War Bond.

It is unknown what happened to cartoonist Paul Berlin after he bid his character farewell.


Final episode of Sandy Sage on 9 February 1945

Full issues of The Sage Sentinel at Hagley Digital Archives

Series and books by Paul Berlin in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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