Saturday, January 16, 2010

April Foolishness

Saturday Leftover Day.

I promised you more of George Tuska's work, so here it is. Going back to my collection, I found I had a couple of early samples that had been filed away as being either by Tuska or by his predesessor on the strip, Murphy Anderson. Looking closer, I saw that they were probably by Tuska, either inked in such a way that it resembled Anserson's work, or inked by Anderson himself. That whole first month is not signed by Tuska or Anderson and the paper I took my samples from automaticly credits Anderson. This is not very strane. sometimes papers would leave the name of the previous artist on the strip tererally for years. Tuska still wasn't signing in July. I have nothing yet from August, but in Semptember he did have his name on the strip. This may be related to the fact that he was still doing Scorchy Smith (which I accidentally named Secret Agent X-9 yesterday, one of my more frequent mistakes), which was sometimes running in the same paper and would have seemed odd. It could also be because the hand-over wasn't leasant or amicable. It certainly is the weirdest I have ever seen. Tuska takes over from Anderson in the middle of the week in the middle of a storyline, on April the first. If that means Anderson's contract ran out or if he was fired, I don't know. In any case that would make it seem less likely he would have helped Tuska out as an inker.

To make things even weirder for the reader, Anderson hands over the Sunday page three weeks later. These Sunday pages were often made on a closer deadline than the dailies, but it does make a cae for the idea that Anderson left in a hurry. If it had been planned, he would have coordinated the two a bit better. Part of the problem (to complicate it even further) is the fact that in Anderson's case the Sunday page had a seperate storyline. As soon as Tuska takes over the Sunday with a new storyline (the day after these strips end, on April 26) the two start running together.

So enjoy these. After this one, I will certainly do another one, with a complete and integrated storyline. As for George Tuska's art, it is great as ever. In the first weeks we see him emulating Anderson, but towards the end of this story his own drawing ad nking style emerge.

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