Saturday, October 30, 2010


Sunday Meskin Measures.

Crimeville as a concept had been done a lot better by Will Eisner, the Rainbow Man was no match for Simon and Kirby's Crazy Quilt and seems to have no reason for conducting his cimes by color. Furthermore, for a color motivated story this is pretty dull looking stuff and leaving four big track switches out in the open seems like a pretty stupid trap for a villian, even if you believe in the whole idea of trapping your opponent for a violent death rather than administering it yourself. And Charley Paris is back to this unimpressive light inking style. All in all not one of the storie that made Meskin's reputation, but still. It's all part of the whole thing that makes Mort Meskin the great artist that he is...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Peet What You Sow

Saturday Leftover Day.

If you stick around long enough in any profession, you get to know people. I don't know if I can call Wilbert Plijnaar a friend, but he certainly has a special place among my aquaintances. He once told me a story about Disney lay-out man Bill Peet, which I hope he won't mind my repeating here. While he was working on a new Goofy short (How To Hook Up A Big Screen Television), he was asked to have a look in the Disney Archives to see if there was any old usable Goofy material there. Sniffing around in the boxes of stuff, he came across what must have been the contents of Bill Peet's desk when he left the studio in the early sixties. Peet had left the studio quite quickly, after a disagreement with Walt Dsney over the direction f The Jungle Book and apparently had not tidied up his desk. So everything there was shoved into a box and put in storage. Wilbert told me everything was still there, bits of paper, any old junk and of course lots and lots of sketches. But no one had made any effort to sort it out. It was just labeled Bill's Stuff or something like that. Makes you wonder what else is still out there.

Bill Peet was one of the best story board artists isney ever had. It has been said that most of wht you see on the screen of the 101 Dalmtions, was his work. I have to side with Walt Disney on The Jungle Book, if only because it is my favorite film (and in fact the first film I ever saw in a movie theatre)m, bt I agree that it is always a pleasure to see Peet's work.

So it was a big surprise to me when I came across some of Peet's illustrations in online copies of two Mickey Mouse Club magazine. as you can see from the numbering, there must be more of this sort of stuff out there. Dsney artists such as Peet (and Kinney, who also has a feature in one of the issues) must have been alowed to make an extra buck by working for the magazine.

So this is for Wilbert. May all your sketches be saved.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Between A Rock And A Hard Man

Friday Comic Book Day.

Another look at the work of the best Milt Caniff imitator/contributor, Ray Bailey. In the late fifties he started working for Deel, for whom he drew several western books and assorted others. I have chosen a story from Have Gun Will Travel #4 with one of those trademark rocky things he liked to add to everything. I wonder if he lifted them from Caniff's work in the late thrties or if they were added there by him as well (when he was Caniff's background assistant). But first a inside backpage he did for Four Color #1220 (the only page he did in that book).

Long Time No Sam

Thursday Story Strip Day.

If I would have to make a list of reprint books I would buy, Long Sam would be very high on it. If the Sundays were included in color, it would be on top. I can't understand why this delightful strip started by Al Capp, but for most of the time written by his brother Eliott Caplin and drawn by the best good girl artist ever, Bob Lubbers (fresh off his run on the Sunday and daily Tarzan) has not yet been claimed by one of the major reprint houses. My guess is, that good proofs are missing, so it would mean a hell of a lot of retouching. But Classic Comics Press is now working on The Cisco Kid and that must be even harder to do.

But it is true, this very funny and sexy strip was almost never printed well in the papers and the Sundays (which started from the first week and must have been part of the reason this strip sold so well at first) are so colorful, that nothing but a grey blur remains in the mcrofiche copies. I happen to have quite a long run of this strip, which remained one of the longest running tabloid strip until it folded in the early sixties (when Bob Lubbers was already working on Secret Agent X-9, after having done a stint of The Saint, as shown here earlier). But most of my Sundays are from 1956 and later, so I have been trying to get a good run of the start of the strip together. So here, not in the best condition, it is. Consider it a taste of beautiful things to come.