Thursday, June 19, 2014

Comics: Here to Stay

These were all the illustrations for Comic Art in America, a 1959 book by Stephen Becker about the medium up to that time.
The last strip in the chapter The Beginnings of a Big Business. As per the accompanying caption:
One of RUBE GOLDBERG's famous Foolish Questions, with the old sports cartoonist showing through.
From the chapter Comics: Here to Stay:
The Gumps, 1935, by SIDNEY SMITH. The horizontal line near the bottom was for the benefit of newspapers—even then—which economized on space by trimming their strips.
Another Gumps of 1935. The preoccupation with lost financial opportunities is typical of Andy.
Somebody must have moved this strip while shooting it with a stat camera.  
The first Gasoline Alley, a classic panel, dated August 14, 1919. Walt Wallet is instantly recognizable.
Frank King's Skeezix in a typical scene of army life—griping and deploring officers. 1942.
More army life by FRANK KING. These strips were authentic; what Skeezix went through, we all went through. 1943.
A Sunday Gasoline Alley by FRANK KING. A domestic comedy of errors. 1949.
HAROLD GRAY's Orphan Annie with her Sandy, in a formal pose, backed by a partial gallery of Gray's characters.
A Sunday page of Little Orphan Annie, full of good drawing, suspense, and pathos. Switching from Annie to Daddy Warbucks and back again is highly effective; conceiving and laying out such a Sunday page is no easy task. 1956.
The ageless Harold Teen. This strip is dated 1951, and there are Harold and Shadow at the same old soda fountain, still dreaming.
FRANK WILLARD's beautiful slapstick in a Moon Mullins of 1941. Emmy, as usual, bears the brunt.
A rare technique for WILLARD—a whole daily Moon Mullins in one panel. The dialogue and expressions—especially Willie's—are Willard at his best.
WALTER BERNDT's Smitty. Adults underestimate Smitty, who often makes exactly the same mistake with little brother Herby. 1952.
GENE BYRNES's Reg'lar Fellers, with Jimmy Dugan, Puddn'head, and Pinhead.
AD CARTER'S Just Kids, in 1931. Mush Stebbins and Ignatius Conway were often at sword's point.
One of PERCY CROSBY's war sketches. 1918.
An early and great Skippy, by PERCY CROSBY in 1925.
A superb Skippy by PERCY CROSBY from 1934.
Another great Skippy by PERCY CROSBY, from 1935.


  1. love the blog, glad i found it. check out our ongoing project - the ilovecomix Archive. "" or the 200,000 saved comic images

  2. "The horizontal line near the bottom was for the benefit of newspapers—even then—which economized on space by trimming their strips."

    Interesting approach there (even if it seems to remove the syndicate's copyright in the process). Recall my local paper had this long-standing tradition of removing the copyrights from it's daily strips that lasted a century and only ended around 2000.