Some continuity strips dealt with romance, but most were adventure oriented. There were Africa strips such as Tarzan, the Phantom, and Jungle Jim. There were science-fiction strips such as Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. Among a number of other categories was the aviation-centered comic strip.
One such aviation strip, "Scorchy Smith," brought together some artists who evolved or practiced a distinctive, representational, chiaroscuro style of drawing for comic strips. Yes, there were other comics in the key mid-1930s to mid-'40s era that also were artistically superior. But the aviation strips are worth examination in their own right.
Although he didn't initiate Scorchy Smith, it was Noel Sickles who transformed its visual style as I posted here.
A co-worker at Associated Press and good friend of Sickles was Milton Caniff, who at about the same time began the famous "Terry and the Pirates" comic strip. Influenced by Sickles (who quit drawing Scorchy in the fall of 1936 to become an illustrator), Caniff slowly evolved the strip's style from thinly lined images into lushly brushworked, strikingly composed scenes that made him one of the most honored conic strip artists of his day. His skill at plotting and characterization added to this.
After World War 2, Caniff left Terry and the Pirates, being replaced by George Wunder, who I wrote about here.
One of the many artists who drew Scorchy Smith was Frank Robbins, active 1939-1944. In the summer of '44 Robbins launched the "Johnny Hazard" strip that in appearance and content was not far removed from Terry and the Pirates.