Thursday, March 05, 2009

Boody Time

Thurday Story Day.

I have never been attracted to the work of Boody Rogers. He was included in several anthologies the last couple of years and even managed to get a book of his own remarkable superhero work. Now a new book has been announced about his more intentionally funny and satirical comic bok work, including that of Sparky Watts and Babe. It always seemed to me that his 'weird' mstyle may have been weird for comic books, but it wasn't that rare or even remarkable in terms of newspaper strips. Rogers clearly was of a certain school of bigfoot cartooning and his style ows more than a little to that of Zack Mosley (for who he assisted for a while) and even Dick Tracy's Gould.But now that I have read some of his stories I must confess that he has a funky writing style completely his own as well and that may be the real attraction. This week one of Sparky Watts fans, Pappy, has put up two later comic book stories of Sparky Watts and it seemed like a good time for me to show you the newspaper strip version of that strip. According to most online sources, Rogers started Sparky Watts as a newspaper strip, which ran from 1940 to 1942, when Rogers joined the army. It seems that as soon as he left for the army his syndicate included Sparky Watts in a weekly comics page syndicated to smaller (weekly) papers. My samples are all from that period. I have here the start of what seems to be Sparky Watts' first sequence, in which the hero is given a serum by a professor whih makes him superstrong, superfast and a lot more. Some of the newspaper dailies were also used in the first comic books of Sparky Watts, but other collectors wil have to say if these were inlcuded in that as well. I tried to put these strips in the right orde after I saw the scans I downloaded didn't have dates on them. Storywise it seems to fit, but I think it is strange that there seems to be a monday episode after the first seven but not after the first. And two of the strips have their original publication date still on them and there is a one date gap there as well.












4 comments:

Booksteve said...

Just recently discovered Boody Rogers myself and I'd have to agree it's his quirky writing that really makes him special. The art is, as you say, very much of a standard comic strip style (even with some SMOKEY STOVER style visual gags from time to time)but it was miles ahead of most of the still fairly crude work being done in comic BOOKS of the day.

Smurfswacker said...

This is the first time I've seen Sparky Watts, though I've heard of him. I enjoyed the story but I just can't get into the art. Reminds me too much of his mentor Mr. Mosley, whom I don't care for either.

Funny how Rogers even adopted Zack Mosley's quirk of shortening "the" to "th'" in th' dialogue.

Wolffie said...

Dang! My Mom tossed all of my comics during our many moves of WW II years. My two foot high stack of various Marvel comics went as well.
Sparky comics are really neat in those days.

Wolffie said...

Dang! My Mom tossed all of my comics during our many moves of WW II years. My two foot high stack of various Marvel comics went as well.
Sparky comics are really neat in those days.