Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Did He Or Didn't He?

Wednesday Advertising Day.

The Colgate comic strip ad campaign was a peranial in Sunday Comics. It appeared for the mid-forties to well into the sixties with almost the same set-up for most of that period. It wasn't very funny or very special, but the main reason that I am showing some more of them together is that it seems to have had the same artist for over a long time. In fact, I could have added some samples from the late fifties that seem to have een done by the same hand. Also significant in this earliest incarnation of this strip, is the wash paint figure that opened all strips. I don't know who the artist is, but it must have been one of the more important ones. The drawings are in the 'illustration' style that was popularized by Stan Drake, among others, at Johnstone and Cushing. In fact, I would say they were by Stan Drake as some of them really look like they could be, if not for a few things. In general, my art spotting rule is that a style usually is clearly identifyable, which means that a strip that looks 'as if it might be drawn by Stan Drake' usually means it isn't. Secondly, Drake left Johnstone and Cushing in the early fifties to do his own newspaper strip The Heart Of Juliet Jones while this series went on in much the same style (with some changed which are so gradual that they might be due to something growing in the artist himself). And thirdly, I have read somewhere that Drake was one of the few Johnstone and Cushing artists who signed his work - even though I have never found even one of his signed pieces.

So if there is anyone out there who can give me a more positive ID, I'd love to hear it. In the meantime, enjoy. I think the color illustrations may be by someone else, though.

The old time radio lovers may also enjoy the link to Dennis Day, who started out as a singer on the Jack Benny Show, but soon got his own radio show as well.

Update: poster Fortunato alerted me to the fact that the artist could be K. Gunnar Peterson. This lead me to the website, which shows samples of his advertising and illustration work that show a remarkable likeness to both the wash and the line work of this strip. In fact, they even include the Colgate series in his official credits. Some of the work is even signed, so it seems pretty clear to me that this is my mystery artist. Since I come from the comic side of it, I was not aware of the illustrators involved in comic strip advertising, but I stand corrected. I will try to find out more and see if I can report on it.

Feb 10 1946:

July 7 1946:

Oct 6 1946:

Oct 20 1946:

Nov 3 1946:

Nov 17 1946:

Dec 1 1946:

Dec 15 1946:

Jan 12 1947:

Jan 26 1947:

March 9 1947:

March 23 1947:

April 13 1947:

Sept 1 14 1947:

Oct 18 1947:

Dec 9 1947:


fortunato said...

I think he's K. Gunnor Petersen.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I think you are right. I didn't know the name, but it lead me to this site (, which claims he is the artist for this series and provides samples (some of which are signed) which seem to prove it. Thanks!