Friday, February 24, 2017

Early Days, Big Dreams

Thursday Story Strip Day.

Two leftovers. The two Famous Fiction Sundays were scanned when I was doing the Famous Fiction stories by Chad Grothkopf. Although these are credited to him as well, he had already left the strip by then and was replaced by someone with a duller, more common style. The three Vesta West strips after that are more interesting. Vesta West was started by Fred Maegher, who would later find comic book fame as the artist of Straight Arrow. He was followed by Ray Bailey, whose work on this strip, Bruce Gentry, Tom Corbett and on to comic books has been documented on this blog exstensively. In these three samples, we can see his progress as an artist in the early forties. Baley started out as an assistant to Milt Caniff (and as such even contributed a lot to his work and style in the mid forties). If I ever do a book on Caniff followers and imitators it will be to give artists such as Bailey their moment in the sun.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Wednesday Illustration Day.

A couple of weeks ago I shared some of Frank Godwin's illustrations from Liberty magazine in the forties. For more of these and samples of his comic strip work, follow the link.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Orange Peril

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

He is the head of his empire, has the tendency to say the weirdest things, tries to hold together his gang but he can't, his face is a weird shade of orangy yellow and people call him some kind of dick. No, it's not who you think it is, it's Mort Walker's late sixties captain Boner. Started in 1968, Boner's Ark was the lastest adventure from the comic strip factory that had brought you Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois, Mrs. Fitz' Flats and Sam's Strip. It told the adventures of a clumsy captain and his animal crew, adrift at sea like Noah once was. But instead of two animals of every kind, on this ship there was only one of each. Sounds like someone had ordered some kind of ban. Oh - and the name Boner was chosen in a period when it still meant what we now call a blooper, not the other thing you are thinking of.

Anyway, Boner's Ark was a delightfull strip which I have always liked. Especially the first few years, when Mort Walker was still doing (most of) the drawing. It provided an outlet for his weirder (and even more poetic) sense of humor. It stated in March 1968 and ended in 2000. After a couple of years the strip was continued by studio regular Frank Johnson. According to the Lambiek Comiclopedia he ghosted the comic from 1971 to 1982, and then continued it for another eightteen years, this time credited. Until 1982 at least, the gags were provided by the Walker writers, maybe after that as well.

And maybe it is good to note that the self-obsessed female pig with star ambitions appeared here 8 years before miss Piggy.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Yo Be The Judge

Monday Cartoon Day.

From 1944 to at least 1948 Henry Boltinoff was a regular at Judge magazine. He was in every issue with several gags as well as a full page to himself (which I am keeping till later). SInce I have a near complete set of those magazines, I can share all of them with you, starting with these first few months.