Saturday, August 14, 2010

You'll Never Strike It, Rich

Saturday Leftover Day.

This week, John Kricfalusi linked to my Jack Kirby posts (which meant a lot of new visitors). He has given his own blog a new look and while I was rummaging around there, I found a an interview with Hank Ketcham's replacement on the Dennis the Menace Sundays that was quite interesting. In his commentary, John mentioned what he believe were some of the assistants working for Ketcham while he was still alive. Most of the names were familiar to me, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the name Bob Bugg among them. Bob Bugg was an comicly inclined illustrator who worked in a style pretty similar to that of Jack Betts, whose work I have shown here before. I don't think he worked for Johnstone and Cushing, as Betts did, but he did get a lot more magazine work than him. I often ran into Buggs work while I am looking for Betts and when they are nog signing, it can be hard to tell them apart. Next to each other there styles are different, but they are very similar. If antything, Bugg's style is more like that of Ketcham. Funny thing, it even is so in the earliest samples I have of it, from the first year of the Dennis the Menace strip. If Ketcham influenced Bugg, it was through his cartoon work. Or they may have similar starting points. Anyway, it must not have been a stretch fo Bugg to join Ketcham's staff. He may have percieved it as a letdown after many years of magazine work, but hey; a man's gotta eat.

I also think Bugg was the artist for the terrific series of Sgt. Bilko ads for Camels in 1956. I have about all of them in various papers, but like the 'Duke' Handy ads for Philip Morris by Alex Kotzky, they still have to be scanned in. So what I am showing here are three of the black and white jpg's I have from NewspaperArchive. I think you will agree, they warrant a complete collection (at least here). As for why I think these are by Bugg, look at the fingers in the fourth panel of the second one and then follow the link to the second Mort Weisinger peice he illustrated.

After that two unsigned pieces from This Week, a fluffy magazine insert in Sunday Comics in the style of today's Parade Magazine. Hank Ketcham and Mort Walker drew cartoons for This Week, Jack Betts turns up as illustrator. But these two are typically by Bugg.

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