Thursday, October 09, 2008

Girls are a Diamond's Best Friend.

Thursday Story Day

Like many of the very special and interesting strips the Herald Tribune Syndicate produced, Jeanie never got off the ground. After a good start as a Sunday only one tier strip, it struggled to find it's voice. Although the humor of Selma Diamond was legendary, it never showed properly in either the Sunday gags or the daily story lines. Gill Fox was very good at drawing pretty girls, but they were never integrated into the mix and almost always seemed superfluous. There is a secret to making a mix of daily and Sunday story lines work together and they apparently hadn't found it. In early February of 1953 someone decided that a change was needed. This may have been Fox himself, who seemed to have rushed his art more and more. Compare last Sunday to one of the earlier single tiers and you'll see what I mean. Starting from somewhere in March or April the art was taken over by Leon Winick, signing his name Win. Like Fox, Win was an adaptable artist, who ended up doing a lot of work for the Archie titles. Nothing special, just serviceable. He started out making the strip look like Fox', but he quickly developed his own style, based on what was needed. I only have Sundays for some of the remainder of the strips life, so I can't really see what was going on in the dailies, but I get the impression that an effort was made to start a new storyline, involving Jeanie 'going on tour' and the whole 'girls adrift in the big city' was abandoned. The tag line of the strip changes to reflect that. Maybe it was decided that the gag approach didn't work and more story was needed (which would have been right). Earlier that year, Fox had already dropped the unusual practice of having the bottom tier (instead of the top tier) of the half page version being the one that could be cut to create a third (which most papers preferred). Here we see him sending Jeanie off. I don't have samples form late March, but it seems to me that the March 8 Sunday could very well have been Fox' last. The first one I have after that (and will show later) is by Winick. If the signing wasn't so prominent, I would say that the March 8 strip could be by Winick as well, imitating Fox' style and March 1 Fox' last farewell to the character he had been drawing for almost one and a half year.

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