Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Toil and Trouble

Tuesday Comic Book Day.

In the late fifties Mort Walker studios (mockingly known as King Features East) were doing very well. Walker himself, Dik Browne and writer Jerry Dumas were doing possibly the best and certainly the funniest work of theor careers. In a few years, Walker and Dumas would create the fan favorite Sam's Strip. With assistant Frank Roberge, Mort walker created the also very funny Mrs. Fitz' Flats. And Bob Gustavson was recruted to do the comic books. Gustavson had been doing the Tillie the Toiler strip for most of the fifties. First as the creator Russ Westover's ghost, later under his own name. Towards the end of the fifties Tillie starts to look and act as if it was a Walker production as well. I don't know if Gustavson's involvement with Walker influenced his style or if he was picked by Walker to do the comic books because he had slowly but surely adapted to it, but the end result was the same. Although it was never acknowledged as a product of the Walker factory (and therefore probably wasn't), for a while it certainly looked that way. Old scans in black and white and new ones from the huge lot of pages I got a couple of weeks ago.

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