Monday, August 29, 2011

Gravy Train

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

Chester Gould doing a funny strip?

Well, not really. It seems somewhere in the early sixties he allowed his asiistants to create a funny strip, which was added as a topper to the Sunday page in very few newspapers. He may have been involved himself as well, since they signed it all together. An amazing gesture in itself. The gag a week strip is weirdly funny, as you would expect from someone like Gould. It ran for more than a year and it reminds me of the time he used a parody of 'modern' gag strips in one of his storylines about a cartoonist who drew a strip about flees (which were drawn just as dots in the strip, samples of which were used all through that storyline).

I thought these three in my files were the first three. But I have seen mentioned that The gravies started as early as 1956. I will go back and have a look and hope to be adding more later. I guess 'Rick' is Gould's assitant and later Dick Tracey artist Rick Fletcher, but the others don't mean anything to me. Fortunately my followers have added some much needed comments already...




5 comments:

LUD! said...

Gould's assistant's name was Rick Fletcher, not Dick...

rnigma said...

Rick Fletcher (art assistant), Ray Gould (letterer/Chet's brother) and Al Valanis (writing assistant)... not sure of who Jack was. The "Invisible Tribe"- the strip within-a-strip featured in "Dick Tracy" - was credited to "Chet, Al, Rick, Ray and Hap."
The strip with fleas you are thinking of is perhaps "Sawdust" - the comic that Vera Alldid (the cartoonist character that married Sparkle Plenty) drew.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Yes, that's it! There were two of them!

Unknown said...

It says here (the Dick Tracy Encyclopedia via the Dick Tracy Yahoo group) that "The Gravies" ran as a Sunday strip from December 2, 1956 to January 26, 1964.

Ann said...

To rnigma: I remember both of those, but wasn't it the other way? Vera Alldid did "Invisible Tribe", and the five-man team did "Sawdust", the one full of specks which did look like fleas but I think they really were sawdust shavings. They were both rather clever.
Just my two cents.