Thursday, August 14, 2014

No American Home etc.

Another slew of excerpts from the book Comic Art in America By Stephen Becker, which was a history of the comic strip up until 1959 when the book was published.

These are all from the chapter Comics: No American Home Complete Without Them. The caption are all from the book accompanying each strip, so remember any reference to anything current refers to then.

A Sunday Pete the Tramp by C. D. RUSSELL. Pete is as popular abroad as he is in this country.
Buck Rogers in 1934, when PHIL NOWLAN had taken over the continuity.
Secret Agent X-9, by DASHIELL HAMMETT and ALEX RAYMOND, in the early days. Note the straw hats.
A Jungle Jim by ALEX RAYMOND, 1940. Superb drawing—note the light and shadow, and the change of pace in “camera angles”.
One of the early Flash Gordon pages, 1936, by ALEX RAYMOND. Less light and shadow here, but more action. The combination of narrative and dialogue in characteristic.
A Rip Kirby of 1953, by RAYMOND, with Desmond, Kirby's Man Friday. The lighting effects add eerily to the obvious mood of the suspense.
Another Rip Kirby, by RAYMOND, this one of 1954. The man is an unashamed intellectual—pipe, typewriter in use, spectacles.
A Rip Kirby of 1958, drawn by JOHN PRENTICE. The illustrator's style is still brilliant, the facial expression excellent.
V.T. Hamlin's Alley Oop. A recent strip, but happily the same old prehistoria, complete with caveman carrying off sweetheart.
A <"">REX MAXON Tarzan. Danger, action, and the ever-present jungle. The strip is now done by JOHN CELARDO and DICK VAN BUREN.
A full page of HAROLD FOSTER's Prince Valiant. Note the variety of some of the literate narrative, the accuracy of medieval detail.
A broad panorama by HAL FOSTER. The succession of long shots, close-ups, and interiors in Prince Valiant is very effective in maintaining pace and authenticity.
CLIFFORD McBRIDE's Napoleon, making trouble for himself and Uncle Elby, 1935.
The British import, Pop, by J. MILLER WATT. The artist liked to run his scene across more than one panel. The drawing is not as simple as it looks.
OTTO SOGLOW's famous Little King, probably the most put-upon monarch extant.
More next Thursday. Save the date.

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