Sunday, July 05, 2020

The Illustrator's School

Sunday Additional Material day.

I have shared some selfmade scans of Stan Drake's illustration work for Bluebook in the early fifties, just before he started The Heart of Juliet Jones. Here are some more I picked from an online resource. Of course, some of the pages were double and should be seen that way. For the others, you can click the link.

Another frequent contributor to Blue Book was later Big Ben Bolt and Prince Valiant artist John Cullen Murphy. He started out as a sports illustrator, working mainly for Collier's but he turns up here as well.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Something Afoot

Saturday Leftover Day.

In the latest issue of the Dutch Quarterly StripGlossy Fred de Heij and I have a new episode of our Victorian detective series Fflint. Can you see what the 'sentational' subject is this time? We are still looking for publication sor publishers abroad. Although there is some interest, no sales have yet materialized. This story is from the second album.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Design Icons

Sunday Additional Material Day.

h main attraction for Disney's Merry Menagerie is that fact that it is the cutest collection of Disney style animal caricatures you can find anywhere. In an erea wheere most design ften is the same, these keep surprising me. There is more when you folow the links.

Connect The Plots

Saturday Leftover Day.

I love the various game features that ran in the Sunday Newspapers. I remember how I read some of them when I was a kid (translated into tabloid format in one of my Dutch comics magazines). Some are better than other sof course. Here are a couple of one of the less attractive ones. Pixie Puzzle Adventures tried to combine the puzzles with an ongoing story. I made the art sort of the ame every week. If you want to see other samples, please followe the links. Pixie Puzzle Adventures was in quite a few papers, inlcuding the New York Herald Tribune. I will be selling a lot of stuff from that paper on Ebay in a couple of days. It will include many more samples of this feature than I scanned.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Ghost of Coogies Past

Sunday Wait I Have More Day.

Not long after I started this blog I discovered Irv Spector's Coogy. Spector was a fromer animator and cartoonist, who developed the Indian Bears strip in the late forties as a one tier filler for the Herald Tribune. The similarity to Pogo was intentional, although it must be remembered that the nationally syndicated version of the Pogo newspaper strip still had to start at that point. But Walt Kellys opossum was of course already a hit in the comics before that and had started a limited run in a leftwing New York paper. Coogy was soon upgraded to a weekly (Sunday only) half page strip, allowing Irving to show his terrific art and funny ideas in all their glory. Like most Nerald Tribune strips, it was to good for the general public (or maybe they just had lousy sellers) and it only stayed in the Trib section until deep into 1954.

In the later years he started doing spoofs of comics, literature and movies as well. Included here is one episode of a four episode take-off of The Maltese Falcon. Accoridng to the family, he was contacted by Harvey Kurtzman to join Mad early on (my guess would be around #6, when Harvey had to move the succesful comic from two-monthly to monthly), but declined because he needed all his time for Coogy.

I loved this strip and I was lucky. There was an Ebay seller selling loads of Tribune sections and pages. I wish I had gotten more, but it did leave me with huge runs of Tom Corbett, Sherlock Holmes, The Saint, Jeannie and other unique Herald Tribune series. In cluding Coogy, of course. I shared many of those with my audience here and you can still find them if you follow the link below.

And that's not everything. The posts got me a reply from Irv Specor's son, who told me he still had all of his father's originals (excluding one whole box that got lost in a move). he sent me some scans of those and I started lobbying for a Coogy reprint book. As far as I am concerned it was a shoe-in for Fantagraphics (who also do the complete Pogo). Saly, I never got through to them. Spector's son fell off the radar and despite my many requests on the blog page he once opened for his father, I never heard from him again. I hope he is alright and still has the originals. If he ever wants to oart with them I am sure they will make him a lot of money (even if he donates them to the Billy Ireland Museum in return for a hefty tax deduction - they are the appropriate choice because they have a complete set of Herald Tribunes).

I also kept on looking for more tearsheets. Unfortunately, they are hard to come by. Due to the fact that the strip is so unknown, it is never clipped. On Ebay these days, hardly anyone sells whole sections anymore. All people want now is quick samples, so it's tearsheets everywhere. But when choosing whoch strips to clip and which to ruin, most sellers never choose the unknown Coogy.

Last week I got a set of half page 1952 Jeannies from one of those sellers (sent about six weeks ago, but packages are slow these days). On the back I found three new Coogys, which I am sharing here. I also found one cut-up one tier Coogie, showing it was not deemed clippable by the seller.

I still hope to be able to get a complete five year run somewhere, put them together in a book along with loads of scans from the original. If there is anyone out there who can get me closer to this gaol, please contact me. And tell me what you think. Is Coogy as good as I say it is? I should have more episodes in the backlog, which I will try and add later.

Well there turned out to be one more, so here it is: I was reminded in the comments that I have one of the one tier strips in microfiche form...

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Crime Must Pay The Punishment

Saturday Leftover Day.

Alex Kotzky is one of my favorite realistic artists of the fifties (and beyond). Until recently I was not aware that he did a story for Lev Gleason's company. Crime nd Punishment was the second crime title, started after the success of Crime Does Not Pay. I looked around at the Digital Comics Museum, but this seems to be the only one he did. Although there is an uncredited story four issues later, that might be his as well. The spalsh page has the same feel as the horror stories he did with Jack Cole for Quality.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Does A Bear Type In The Woods?

Sunday I've Got More Day.

It will be no surprise to regulars of this blog that I have a thing for Virgil Partch (VIP). I particulary like his earlier style and it was never more on dsplay than in the illustrations he did for Arthur "Bugs" Bear's column in King Features' Pictorial Review (a sort of illustrated column magazine section for newspapers). I have shown more of these before (some of them even from my own scans). These are fom an online source, but they are quite large, so I can blow them up and read the text as well. I am not quite sure if you can. I expect that Blogger will be downsizing them. If anything is due for a reprint of these, although I am not quite sure how much of the text should be reproduced. Maybe it could be edited so the illustrations still make sense.