Sunday, January 31, 2010

Clearing Out The Old Paper

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

I finally have my new scanner, so now I can show you all the terrific new stuff I have bought in the last half year or so. Unfortunately, I am going away on my honeymoon tomorrow, so I had to try and get Blogger to take scheduled posts. This didn't work out as well as I would have liked, so I have chosen the next best opion. I have saved a couple of posts as drafts and will 'activate' them from my holiday adress in Florida as often as I can.

So there is little time for new essays, as I am concentrating on quanity rather than quality here. This means more of the same, but at least it's from a period when the same was pretty damn good every week. Just look at those last B.C.'s. When was the last time you saw Johnny Hart do an ant gag without using it as a way to do less drawing?

July 5 1959:

Oct. 4 1959:

Oct. 11 1959:

Oct. 18 1959:

Dec. 13 1959:

These last thre are from the Canadian Winnipeg Sunday. They had the unfortunate habit of recoloring their Sundays and not always in the most attactive palette.

Oct. 16 1960:

Oct. 22 1960:

Oct. 30 1960:
Day For Night

Sunday Leftover Extra.

In the past, I have shown a couple of rarities from the great artist Noel Sickles. Today, while looking at illustrations by comic book artists for army newspapers and manuals, I ran cross these illustrations I believe are done by Sickles as well. They certainly are in his style and om some of them you can barely see a scribbled signature that looks like Sickles'.

These rare illustrations are all the more interesting, since they show Sickles doing what he does best: indicating the difference between day and night with his remarkable facillity in creating chiascuro shadows. The illustrations come from army manual FM 21-45: Protective measures,individuals and small units,March 10, 1942, which can be found here:

Color Me Quick

Sunday Quick Fix.

I wish all my Johnny Quick scans were as clear as last week's. Still, if you look through the muddy images, you'll see Meskin still growing as an artist. John Quick was like a television version of the big screen hero Flash. But in Meskin's han's he is stll exciting. To make up for the poor scan, I have added an early DC story by Meskin from House of Mystery #52 in 1956. It has been reported to me that Meskin sometimes had a bit of trouble facing the blank page and had to work from lay-outs provided by others. Harry Mendrick also noted that there was a period in the midfifties he did less work for Prize and more for other companies. This story might fall in that period and is looks sufficiantly un-Meskin-like for me to suggest he may have been suffering from another anxiety period and someone may have helped him with this one.

The Slick Of It

Friday Comic Book Day.

Last Sunday, I showed a Mort Meskin story from 1956 that looked quite different from his other work at that time and I asked the question if he might have been helped by someone else on it. Today I have another story from the same year, that seems much more like his own style, while still not as loose or even rushed as his work for Prize. So maybe the other story was his too and was he only trying to find a style slick enough for his demanding bosses at DC.

But while it is slicker than his usual work around that time, it is still as adventureous as his other work. Most DC artists kept to a rigoreous six panels a page grid, but Meskin adepts the panel size to the story needs through the whole story. I particulary like the wide shots on the second to last page. Nowadays they are all the rage, but Mesking knew how to use them as well.

This is from Star Spangled War Stories #49.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

All In Color Except It's Black And White

Saturday Leftover Day.

I am still waiting for my copy if Bringing Up Father to arrive, so in the meantime let's feast our eyes in these...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Planes, Strains and Autopilot

Friday Comic Book Day.

The response to last week's Mort Drucker war stories was pretty good, so here's another one he did for Bob Khaniger before deciding he had had enough. It's from Star Spangled War Comics #66. as was usual, the best is saved for the splash page...

Small Wonders

Thursday Story Strip Day.

I was all set to continue the run of George Tuska Buck Rogers strips lifted from NewspaperArchive I had started earlier (follow the tag for the first half month), when I found I already had a complete set of Tuska's strips, including color Sundays. I got them a couple of years ago from collector Alex Lane, a real science fiction fan who shared lots of googies with others years before I started my blog. I contacted him and asked if he would mind my sharing some of his hard work with you and he agreed.

His set starts with George Tuska's first full story and that is just where I had gotten. As you may know from the previous post, Tuska had taken over the strip rather abrubtly (in the middle of the week) from April 1st 1959. All through April the previous artist (Murphy Anderson) finished up the seperate Sunday storyline. Since Sunday stories were usually done in adnvance, he would probably have done those before quitting the daily strip. In fact, if his departure wasn't amicable, he may even have started a new Sunday line, but George Tuska or whoever wrote it or maybe even the syndicate decided that from Tuska's start the Sunday and Daily storylines would be combined. In the end Tuska only managed to do that for about a year, Alex informs me and even then he sometimes miscounted and had the Sunday run ahead or slow a week.

So here it is for you to enjoy. As with all artists shown here, I believe that George Tuska deserves a better place in the history of comic strips and books and I hope this series of posts will contribute to that.