Wednesday Comic Strip Day.
From the start of this blog I've been showing samples of Foreball Twigg, one of the most fascinating comic strip ads from the late forties. There were other strips that wer better executed of funnier, or at least longer running, but this strip is interesting because it is such a mystery who drew it. It seems like a straightforward copy of Blondie, so much so even that some people have suggested that Chich Young himself was involved. Or maybe his assistant Paul Fung Jr. who drew the strip from the fifties and officially took over in 1961. But if you look closely, the style is much more lively than that of Young and his companions. If anything, it looks like the parody Waace Wood drew for the Mad newspaper parody insert I showed some time ago.
Still, I kept looking and I kept thinking I should know this. The strip looked so familiar and so well done. I collected as many samples of this 1948 weekly ad as I could and a couple of years ago I showed all I have on some sort of order. Then, recently, I bought a set of tearsheets with even more samples, which I am showing here. Around the same time, I discovered that the strip had a second life in 1949. After a short heatus, it reappeared in 1949 as a two weekly strip, in a slightly smaller format (as far as I can see). I was not the only one that had assumed this strip only ran I 1948. The set of tearsheets I bough has no 1949 samples, so they are a re seperate lot.
When I looked at them, I did see it was the same artist. The one that looked so familiar to me. The one that looked as if I had seen this artist before. But not as one of Young's assistants.
And then it hit me. I knew why this looked so fsmiliar. Could these ads be by an artist who did draw Blondie and who did do advertisement art in the late forties and who did in fact in an interview say that at the start of his career he had to wor hard to learn how to draw realisticly because he usually worked in a funny style?
Could these ads be the early work of Stan Drake?
I leave you to ponder this on your own. In the future I will add these samples to the other ones I have, to create a dfinitive timeline. I think I even have a couple more color ones I have to clean up, which I will add as well. And I will try and fins samples of the work of Young, Fung Jr. and rake on Blondie to compare.