Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wheel Out The Barrow

Monday Cartoon Day.

For political cartoons the fifties were a pretty dismal period. Extreme political opinions were not popular and the styles were similarely bland. But if you look beyond that, to the forties, there is much more to be admired. I have alreay shown some of the cartoons Noel Sickles did when for Associated Press in the ealry foties. I also shared some of the work of his contemporary Hank Barrow, who followed his as one of the staff cartoonists at AP. In te late forties Barrow became the resident cartoonist for the Lebanon Daily News and slowly blended in and blanded out. Some of those I have shared as well. And I hope to be able to one day represent all of Walt Kelly's excellent cartoons for the last year of teh Star, the continuation of the left wing newspaper PM. I have a large set of very poor scans and they are great.

A year ago I bought a large set of cartoons by Hank Barrow from 1941 to 1944. If you follow the label you'll find a first set of them. I have scanned in a few more and will be adding the rest later. I like these a lot. Because they were made during the war, the subject is often relatable even after all those yeras and the stakes were high. Barrow's style is fresh and surprisngly modern. He had once followed Milt Caniff on his Colonel Gillfeather panel and traces of Caniff's style are visible, but there also is a almost Disneylike sense of character. It would take years for cartoons to become this exciting again.

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