Thursday Story Strip Day.
Having had a proposed book scooped twice while keeping it a secret I have decided to go the other way mith my next favorite project. I have said here once and will say it again, that I would love to do a book on all the newspaper strip and comic book Milton Caniff illustrators, called School of Rembrandt. At least then I can point to this post and say: "Yous tole my idea!". Caniff is known als the Rembrandt of comics and he influenced two whole generations of newspaper and comic strip artists, hence the name. Some of those he taught himself, the same way Rembrandt tought his assistants. Some were influenced just by trying to imitate his style, which was very suited to the quick and easy demands of comic especially, while still delevering a solid look.
Of the first group Ray Bailey is one of the most impressive. His work is so similar to that of Caniff, that some people have wondered if some things we associate with the master himself (like the 'standing rock formation' that appears in many of his backgrounds) are not in fact done by Bailey (who did background and used the 'standing rock formation' in almost all of his subsequent series). In this style Bailey drew not one but two succesful newspaper strips, both running for a couple of years. he then returned to Caniff to do the Steve Canyon comic book series and who knows what else.
Of the two strips Bailey did, Bruce Gentry and Ton Corbett, it's the first that escapes me the most. I would loe to have a lager run, especially of the Sundays. But I don't know if it is all the attention that I have given this artist here or of if peope are discovering him on his own, whenever I see Bruce Gentry strips or Sundays for sale on ebay or at some seller or auction house, they are always scooped up by other willing to pay really high prices for them. Like this ebay lot, which also included some Rex Morgan strips. I am sharing them from my files anyway, in the hope that one day a complete collection or this series (or at least one full story for my School of Rembrandt book) can be found.
Of course, I have a lot of Bruce Gentry material in black and white as well, from various online resources. But unfortunately, the Gentry Sundays are so lushly colored, that the black and white copies often don't do it justice.