Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This dude is no dud

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

If you come here for the odd and the forgotten, today's a good day. Dudley D. is a forgotten strip by New York artist David Gantz. Gantz is know among comic book fans for his inking work on horror stories drawn by Ben Brown. The team of Brown and Gantz worked for several companies and not always the most highbrow ones. Before that he had worked at Martin Goodman's variously named series of Atlas companies, drawing kids books. Around that time he worked with Al Jaffee, who remained a life long friend. In the seventies he got attention for his satirical newspaper strip Don Q., wherein a Don Quichote type guy took on veiled caricatures of then current politicians. A remarkable strip, which unfortunately didn't run too long.

I don't know most of what he did in between (although I hope one day to find out), but in the early fifties he briefly did another newspaper strip, about a little guy and his dog. Never a very clever or remarkable strip, it was similar to Fred Basset by Alex Graham (which coincidentally started in 1963). It was syndicated by the same syndicate that handled Al Jaffee's Tall Tales and appeared in the same paper from which I got my color Tall Tales samples.

Dudley D. ran until April 3 and I have added the first few as well as the last few strips. I have also added a couple of Don Q. strips from 1975, which I enjoy a lot more. But both the dailies and the Sunday pages of Dudley D. have a cartoony charm, that sums up all that I like best about this period of newspaper art.

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