Thursday, August 7, 2014

Comics: No blog complete without them

People seem to like the classic strips more than when I find someone older more obscure ephemera. I'm back with more excerpts from Comic Art in America, a history of the medium from 1959, so therefore stops at that point.

The book is mostly text but is illustrated profusely with the strips they're talking about. Herewith are those strips with captions underneath which say:

Enter Steve Canyon. Suspense was created in the very first Sunday page, on January 19, 1947.

Like I said when reprinting some reprinting some strips last week, Steve Canyon was something Milton Caniff created when he lost the rights to Terry and the Pirates.
The Sunday Steve Canyon of November 18, 1956, a high point in verbal and visual wit. The strip of tape in the last panel is a superb touch.

Unlike most of the strips that were taken from newspapers, you can tell this was taken from the original by some of the images going out of the margins.
BILL HOLMAN's panel Nuts and Jolts. Notary Sojac creeps in even here.
A Sunday Smokey Stover, by BILL HOLMAN, 1952. The puns are as outlandish as ever, and so are the characters.
Another Smokey Stover, HOLMAN's invention never flags. The man has been perpetrating these outrages for a quarter-century.
Slats Scrapple in action. By RAEBURN VAN BUREN.

The book doesn't say so, but this is from Abbie 'n' Slats.
Action and fine draughtsmanship in this NOEL SICKLES strip of Scorchy Smith. Sickles' influence on his contemporaries—e. g. on close friend Milton Caniff—is obvious.
A daily Chief Wahoo of January 1941 showing Wahoo with Steve Roper as he looked in those days.
Steve Roper, 1959. Long shot; close-up; medium close-up; slick chick and handsome hero.
A Sunday Mary Worth. Apple Mary has risen from the slums to the height of modernity and fashion. ALLEN SAUNDERS' continuity is sophisticated and KEN ERNST's drawing is in the best illustrator's style.
CARL ANDERSON's Henry. This was done three years after Anderson's death, though signed with his name. Henry hasn't changed a bit.
Nancy once more. ERNIE BUSHMILLER's strip is one of the half-dozen most popular strips in the world.
The Gumps again—GUS EDSON's Christmas strip, 1939. Andy, Bim, and Tilda are as homely as ever, but Min has become a bit prettier.
A daily Dondi, created by GUS EDSON and IRWIN HASEN in the aftermath of the [Korean] war. Its circulation has risen steadily.

I had Hasen as a cartooning teacher at the School of Visual Arts. As far as I know, he is still alive at 97.

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