Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Burne, baby, Burne

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

In the late forties Burne Hogarth was teaching sequential art at the New York Art School. One of his more famous pupils was Al Williamson, but there were many more, most or all of which were taking this night school on the GI Bill. Hogarth did not only draw the Tarzan strip at that time, but also tried two times to make it ig with a new, more personal offering. The first one was a pretty serious strip called Drago, the other a more funny outing called Miracle Jones. Hogarth was known to use his students as assitants for a little money or credit and one of them was later comic book giant Bernie Krigstein. His style is not to be found here, but apparently he assisted briefly on this strip. The scans I have, come not from the comics section, but the magazine section of one of the papers on NewspaperArchive. That means they were a bit hard to find, so I ahven't got all of them (and on eonly partially, but I didn't want to leve it out). But it also means that most of them were reprinted in black and white. I don't think there would be a book in these (although I am still trying to get hold of the Drago bok done years ago), but this surely is a candidate for a complete reprint section of the Comic Journal. If they can find a good run somewhere, of course.

Anyone have some color sample to share?


Smurfswacker said...

Thanks for once more presenting a strip of which I'd seen only one or two samples. Finally I can see if my impression of Miracle Jones was accurate.

Unfortunately it was. I tried very hard to like something about this strip, but (in my opinion) it's awful. The jokes are often embarrassingly lame. In the art Hogarth's theatrical "realistic" style clashes hopelessly with his uneasy attempts at cartooning. And over everything is spread Hogarth's heavy inking style.

I think Frazetta could pull off this sort of hybrid approach in Li'l Abner because he always had a flair for caricature and exaggeration. Hogarth on the other hand was all about idealism and uber-classical fantasy. He just wasn't a cartoonist.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Agreed... and the balloon palcement in some of these gags is horrible as well. A curiosity, that's all.

Oscar Solis said...

Some of the gags were one panel too long. The staging was off in some panels, the setups were dull. And, oddly enough, it's not an attractive strip. And the hero was just too damn odd looking for me, like a grown man with a baby's face.

It's an odd duck of a strip.

Luckily, Hogarth is revered (rightfully so) for the Tarzan strips which were everything this odd excursion into humor wasn't. The adventure strip was his true medium.