Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Right Around The What?

Tuesday Comic Strip Extra.

As an addition to yesterday's set of cartoons, here is some more of Colin Allen's work. He may have been the most succesfull of the lot, with a regular job as an illustrator for King Features Sunday magazine Pictorial Review and a whole page Sunday strip/cartoon called 'The Looneys... What A Family!', that ran through King Features Syndicate from September 1946 to October 1954. I have several samples, but seem to have scanned only one. It is of course remarkably similar to the much more succesful Right Around Home, which was also distributed by King Features and ran from 1937 to 1964. I guess they made their own competition before anyone else did it.


Ger Apeldoorn said...

In 2002 a Neal Adams asked this question on Google Questions: "circumstances that led to the strip being taken over by Charles Allen,
(a.k.a. Colin Allen). F.Y.I. Charles Allen was my teacher (cartooning)
in the High School of Industrial Arts in the late 50’s. Besides being
a great teacher he was black, and did a comic strip. A mainstream
comic strip. Think about that. Know your current history? Charles
Allen did the impossible!" Two interesting sidelines: was Colin Allen black and did someone else start What a Family!? An of course, is thos Neal Adams, the comic artist?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Well, apparently it is Neal Adams the comic book artist. Here he is in another recent interview: "was not the original creator of it. There was another guy that created it, but the guy got too old and couldn't do it anymore. They had a contest to see who could do the strip, and Mr. Allen signed aliases because he didn't want people to know who he was. He was the assistant on the strip, and so [the samples that he showed] to continue the strip were better than anybody's. In spite of the fact that he was black, they let him do the strip, but they never took photos of him, they never printed photos. I never saw anything at the cartoonists' society that talked about a black comic strip guy -- never. So he persevered through shit and everything to succeed and to do what he did, and then he became a teacher."