Thursday, May 29, 2014

Comic Art in America

Now I'm scanning pages from a book called Comic Art in America, a survey of the comic strip medium as it was up until the time it was published in 1959.

Strangely, though animation is covered, it doesn't mention all aspects of the medium. Comic books are notably absent, probably because although they were popular, they still had the stigma of only being for children, and over all we have to admit as a whole they were cruder. There are plenty of “respectable” books solely about comic books, so that makes up for it.

I'm only scanning the strips but not the text from Stephen Becker, and only the strips that are whole and not just excerpts and not pictures that are animation stills. The main problem with the book is the eyestrain and bad reproduction from some of the earlier strips, so I apologize in advance for that. Also being a black and white book, it sucks that color strips included can't be in color. Well, it's like that saying about a gift horse or something.

These are all taken from the first chapter, Comics:The First Draft

The caption for this cartoon is

The cartoonist's daily labors, depicted by an old master, Chip Bellew, in Harper's Weekly of January 17, 1891.
A full page of James Swinnerton's Tigers, about 1897, in the New York Journal

Again, I apologize for the book's bad reproduction.
Back to the book's captions:

One of the first Yellow Kids by Richard Felton Outcalt, from the World of February 16, 1896. “The Great Dog Show in M'googin Avenue”.
A tumultuous Yellow Kid, September 20, 1896, when Outcalt was still with the World
A rare Sunday page, from The New York American of May 25, 1902. Here on the page were Happy Hooligan, Gloomy Gus, Alphonse and Gaston (Opper), Tumble Tom (Swinnerton); Foxy Grandpa and his two young friends (Bunny Schulze); and the Katzenjammer Kids with Mama (Dirks) –each character drawn by the creator.
A Billy Mariner Sunday page, May 7, 1905. Wags was a regular feature. ©1905 by C.J. Hirt
. (I'm not sure if the copyright reverted to the creator or not)
Ed Carey's version of the Charlie Chaplin Sunday page. It was also titled Pa's Imported Son-In-Law, From the Philadelphia Press of June 18, 1916.
Rube Goldberg strikes a blow for Franco-American solidarity. He drew this in Paris in 1919.

These are from the second chapter, The Beginnings of a Big Business

The first Mutt and Jeff by Bud Fisher, from the San Francisco Chronicle of November 5, 1907. A landmark: the first appearance of a successful daily strip.
Bud Fisher's Mutt and Jeff in 1921. Little Cicero has already joined the cast.
Mutt and Jeff in 1925, demonstrating the gap between appearance and reality
Mutt and Jeff in 1958, by Al Smith. The same old Jeff, obviously.

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