Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Dave Davely

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

David Gantz was a classmate of Al Jaffee in the forties. For a long time he worked in comics. He even joined up with a guy called Brown to do realistic work, but nothing really stuck. In 1959 Al Jaffee got a newspaper strip Tall Tales)  at the Herald Tribune Syndicate. At that point, Gantz was also trying to sell comic strip ideas. One of them was called Moxy and was a reworking of a Pogo-like strip he had done for Zek Zekeley's Family Comics, a line of 'Sunday' comics done especially as give-aways for a chain of grocery stores in California. When he failed to sell Moxy, he tried again with a more bland subject, the story of a man and his dog. The dog was called Dudley D., which I take it stands for Dudley Dog. Zek Zekeley (who himself had done a newspaper strip called Dud Dudley) must have been an inlfuence on the name. The dog could not talk, but we did see his very human thoughts. Th strip ran from 1961 to 1964 before it fizzled out, like many Herald Tribune strips before it. Maybe the blandness of the strip itself was to blame, but the Herald Tribune Syndicate had a very poor record of selling it's strips and a couple of years later a very similar  strip, drawn in a similar style about a  Basset Hound and his boss, called Fred Basset became a world wide succes which is still running to this day. Fred Basset was created by the Scottish cartoonist Alex Graham in 1963, although I am in no way mplying he might have seen Dudley D. I am just wondering why that strip took off and this one didn't.

I have shown other samples of this strip before, both in color and black and white. The balck and white Sunday from december 196 is from a short period when the color engravers on the Herald Tribune were on strike. All of the other strips mentioned have been shown as well. Except for Fred Basset, which you'll have to find on your own.

1 comment:

Tom Ruegger said...

Thanks so much for posting these "Dudley D" dailies and Sundays. My dad was a big fan of this script, and like father like son. I have searched the web for other "Dudley D" strips and they are rare...your post is the mother lode thus far!

BTW, FYI, I'm pretty sure the dog's name is George and the lead guy is named Dudley D.