Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We Pause For A Brief Message

Wednesday Advertising Day.

I have been doing some scanning today and gathered a couple of interesting early comic strip ads from the thirties. First of all, I have another of the Postum ads Milt Caniff and Noel Sickles produced under the Paul Arthur pseudonymn in 1936. I think I have already shown the black and white version of this ad, but her it is in all it's glory.

Next up is an ad that is all the more impressive if you look at it's date. It is in the same style as the Fireball Twigg series of ads that were probably done by Chic Young's assistent and later successor on Blondie Paul Fung Jr. But is is dated ten years earlier than those ads. I am not even sure if Fung Jr. was drawing at that point, or if he hae to look at his dad, Paul Fung Sr for these ads. Fung Sr. had died when the Fireball Twigg ads appeared, so he was out of the picture for those. The fluent style of this add is all the more remarkable if you compare it to the style of the concurrent Blondie strips. It's almost as if this ad (and it's artist) was pointing the way for the swinging style of Blondie in the forties.

The next ad is an early one, as well. It's signed K. Gunnor, which means it is by K. Gunnor Peterson, who did ads for soap products all through the forties and fifties and became famous as magazine illustrator. This early ad (and it's quality) show how important Peterson was for the so-called advertising realism style. This ad is a unicum as well, because it is one of the first full page comic strip ads, I have ever seen.

Finally, I am sharing a great ad by a surprise artist. I have never been a fan of Harry Haenigson's work. His strip, Penny, was well distibuted and I have a lot of samples. I have never been tempted to scan them, though. The humor of the strip was flat and the art stylisticly rigid. The characters and the ink line seem to have no life to them, even while Haenigson seems to stick them in a repetative set of poses. That was already bad when it was at the top of it's fame in the late forties, but it became even worse when the strip wound down towards the late fifties and early sixties.

Haenigson did seem to have his fans, though and some of them may have been among my favorite advertising strip ads. While Dik Browne and Gill Fox were building their own style for their ad strip work, I noticed that theyseemed to have pciked up some trick from Haenigson. I even came across a couple of ads, that seemed to have been drawn either by Haenigson or by someone aping his style (and putting it to better use).

Here we have a signed ad by Haenigson, that shows a totally different side to his talent. No stiff poses here and the inkline is positively alive. I will be on the look-out for more by this previously hidden talent. To compare this 1939 ad with his later style, I have added two Penny strips from 1951 and 1953. Interesting note about those strips. Haenigson seems to have been the first artist who found a new way to transform his three tier version of the gag to a smaller one - either in two tiers or, as we can see here, in three shorter tiers.


Smurfswacker said...

For some reason the design of Penny's face (and her mother's, since they were identical) appeals to me. However I agree with the rest of your critiques of Haenigsen. Sometimes (like panels 1 and 3 of the first Penny Sunday) you'd swear he pasted up stats. But there are enough small differences to indicate he really drew each (boring) panel.

His Life-Saver ad is interesting; do you agree that it shows strong influence from Otto Soglow?

Nice to see a name attached to K. G. Peterson. I've seen several ads by him (or someone like him). He certainly laid the groundwork for later illustrational-style cartoonists.

Don't know if you saw the full-page Camel Cigarettes ad comic I posted:

It's about halfway down the posting. Until you posted your example the Camel ad was the only full-page advertising comic I'd seen.

Ger Apeldoorn said...


I you google Gunnor Peterson, you will find a site somewhere where someone posted a whole load of his illustration and advertising work. He had an impressive career and I was surprised I had'nt heard about him before.

If you google Gunnar Peterson, you get some fitness guru.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Smurf, some great stuff you have there! I urge everyone who likes this sort of thing to go and have a look.