Friday, October 28, 2016

A Hitler A Day Keeps The Hopper Away

Thursday Story Strip Day

As promised more of Jack Sparling's Hap Hopper. These are the last of his stand alone Sunday gags. After this, the Sundays went into an unging storyline, just like the dailies. I don't have the dailies to go with these, so I can't check if the daily and Sunday storylines were seperate, but it does seem that way.

With that I have a set of dailies from November 1941, where the girl meets Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito in a dream sequence, just like she does in the later Sunday shown here. A remarkable sequence, all the more because it appeared in the month before Pearl Harbor - so before America entered the war.


Wednesday Advertising Day.

I showed a couple of sets of illustrations from 1953's Story-A-Day magazine, one from Mel Lazerus and one from Jack psarling. These by Gill Fox were what I actually bought the magazines for. I like his versatile style and have showed work from many phases of his career. Here he channels the then current 'modern' look of kid's illustrations.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Couleur Royale

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

In every bio or Jack Kent it is always stated that he selfsyndicated his strip King Aroo for many years after it stopped in the late fifties. But they never show any. I couldn't find a lot of them, but here at least are some from 1960. Along with two from the mationally syndicated years 1951 and 1956 - just for a bit of color.

Seven Degress of Dementia

Monday Cartoon day.

Milton Berle knew his cartoonists. Or at least, he used some for his television show. I think it was Virgil Partch. Anyone out there who can help me on this?

And then there was this one time he worked together with Henry Boltinoff. Or at least, he chose a few of his gags for this page.

General Rules!

Sunday Meskin Measures.

Untangling the collaboration of Mort Meskin and George Roussos can be tricky. There is nothing George Roussos (or anyone) added to Meskin's work that he could not do or at least imitate himself. Even the worse aspects of Roussos' inking seem to be present in stories Meskin clearly did himself. Also, Meskin's working style (going from sparse lay-out to more detailed line art to inking and sometimes skipping any of the first two phases) doesn't really help us get an insight into where someone else could have fitted in.

George Roussos' own career does provide some clues. If you look at his development as an artist, he has a couple of weaknesses, whose solutions sometimes turn into his own stylistic tricks. Like the weird small chinned faces on many of his characters or the use of heavy black to eliminate detail in the inking (and drawing).

But there are questions there too. First of all, Roussos development as an artist is huge. Towards the end of the fifties, he starts to find a style of his own, that is similar to Meskin's but lighter. Clunkier, but better executed. And of course, then there is the GE Adventures series he did for more than 15 years for the Electric Company's informational giveaways. A better paying client he apparent spend a lot more time on those and I am sure he was paid enough to have people help him out when needed. On the third one, for instance, experienced spotters have seen the pencilling of Harry Anderson. And some Meskin spotters have seen him in some of the later ones.

Me, I am not so sure. I am certain Roussos was a capable enough artist by then to take Mort Meskin's tricks and make them his own. He also was a pretty good storyteller. In fact, he had always been. And if Mort Meskin had done some part of these, would they not have looked more like his work than this? I think I should try and show the whole run of these (now that I have reached the end of my Headline series) using the scans available on the Comic Book Museum and some from my own collection (which I can then donate to them). But let me start with a single later one so you can see for yourself if Meskin had anything to do with it or not.