Monday, May 21, 2012

The Golden Age of Reruns

Monday Cartoon Day.

It has been said we live in the Golden Age of Reprint. And indeed, it seems as if every strip worth collecting is being collected or about to be. But many of these collections depend on what has been clipped and saved over the years. If a good set of clippings isn't available, if the only samples from a certain strip has it's colors rpinted the wrong way, it won't look good on the page. What you need is a good reprintable set, from a collector who is willing to loan it. But that means the reprint collections are limited by what has been popular over the last few decades. Even famous colections, such as Bill Blackbeard's, now placed at the Ohio State University, I believe, has many omissions. Looking through online archives such as NewspaperArchive I come across many interesting strips that will never be collected because... well, because no one collected them. Even if strips are out there,publishers are hindered by the fact that there isn't one usable complete set somewhere. Or they have to except using substandard material. I recently saw a prestigious newspaper strip reprint that used truncated strips on some weeks - very annoying. But you can't replace the with online material, which often is in such a low resolution and taken from microfiche as well.

Here I have no such problems. I am just showing stuff, not reprinting it. I want to have the gags and storylines readable, but that;s about it. I treasure papers that have a good reproduction quality, such as the Stars and Stripes. But I am not limeted to them. I se it as my task to shine a light on all that has been forgotten, not just for nostalgic reasons, but also to show connections, artists migrating from one strip to another.

As such I have shown material from George Herriman's Embarrassing Moments gag panel before. The panel itsef started long before Herriman did it and it may have lived after him, but I find it a rare treat to see Herriman drawing actual 'human beans' at the hight of his career. The samples I showed were from 1930, bt these are much earlier, showing that he may have done this daily panel for about two and a half years. Worth a collection... but is there anyone out there who has a good prinable set?


Frank M. Young said...

You used to be able to buy the original art for this feature for under 50 bucks a panel, back in the 1970s... back then, you couldn't give Ernie Bushmiller original art away... I'm sure that's not the case these days!

Brett Koth said...

These are wonderful. Any idea why they were unsigned?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I saw some of them for sale, they were definitively not $50 anymore! I think it is just great seeing Herriman do humans. I guess they were unsigned because he was ghosting for a tyrant who wished to hog all the lasagna - no, I don't know Brett. It was signed before and after Herriman did it. First by Beck and later... I'd have to check.