Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Master Class

Thursday Story Strip Day.

I am a sucker for attention. When a visitor asked me to do another Adam Ames story by Lou Fine, I replied that that would take some time because my previous entries about this forgotten strip from the early sixties had been taken from a collection that was taken from NewspaperArchive by an enterprising member of the Yahoo Comic Classics Group. Taking down these strips one by one, is quite a bit of work and after having shown three Adm Ames stories already I thought another strip deserved the attention first. But I did have one full month from 1961 which I had prepared myself before finding this stash of the three first stories. So I decided to see if I could track them back to the start of the story and present them as such. Well, of course that would take me back two more months, so I decided to add the four or five strips that lead to the end as well.

And here it is, more than three months worth (and I am still not sure if I really reached the beginning. Seeing how the story really ends, I suspect there may have been a meeting with the widow and her son before this. But I am not sure how many weeks more that would take me back and I want to share this story now (actually yesterday as I type this).

Because it is a beauty. I have already told you about my love for the later work of Lou Fine. He was rightly known (and very influential) for the lyricism of his figures and brush work in the early forties. Many people still find that his best work. But I prefer the more relaxed and yet still masterful work he did in his 'advertising style' in the fifties and onwards. He is a master of composition and choosing just the right moment. His advertising work is always fully executed, no short cuts taken, but still you know where to look in every panel. As this story shows, Lou Fine is a consumate storyteller, always just choosing the right moment to depict, keeping his work interesting by varying his shots like the best movie directors. It is too bad that his later strip Peter Scratch and his work on Space Conquerors in Boy's Life is more often mentioned than Adam Ames, because with this style he is supremely at his place in a pure soap opera strip. His characters are very much alive and drawn you in. This story is a perfect example, whose writer I can't tell you because amazingly Adam Ames isn't mentioned in Jerry Bails' Who's Who. It is an emotional story, which not every artist could have pulled off as well as Fine. It is also very well told, which I guess would be the writer's contribution, with every strip taking the story just a little but further without too much obvious repetition.

Alan Holtz of The Strippers' Guide says the strip ran from 1959 to 1962, all of which deserves to be reprinted.


jay said...
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jay said...

What a feast! Can't thank you enough Ger for that and the other goodies you put up on your site. I agree his late work is looked over most fans prefer his earlier flashy work short comings and all. If you ever need help touching up some strips (they don't have to be Fine) for your blog all you have to do is ask.
Did you ever get a chance to read the two write ups Toth did on Fine? I think it was for his "before I forget column, very interesting stuff.

Ger Apeldoorn said...


I must have read those Toth columns, I saw most of them. What I remember most, Eisner's longer piece about Fine in his Shop Talk series.

tim557188 said...

Lovely stuff. How about some of the Sunday pages?