Saturday, January 02, 2016

Graff Matters

Thursday Story Strip Day.

Of all the artists working in the Milt Caniff school, Mel Graff was one of the oddest. Although he had worked with Milt Caniff and Noel Sickles in the AP bullpen in the thirties, he had never actually worked with them on a strip or in their studio. Still, when he picked up his own srip, Patsy in Hollywood he was perfectly aligned with their chiascuro style. Everything else Graff did at that time shows that he was one of those artists who could adopt any style and this seems to have been a deliberate choice (maybe even ordered by the AP syndicate). It's only later that he started showing his own style as you will see here in the later strips. I have already shown three complete stories from the earliest days of the strip, which was quite readable. I am surprised it has never been colected because storywise as well as artwise it still holds up (like Terry and the Pirates or Scorchy Smith). What I have here is a much more haphazard collection, all of the Graff strips I have collected over the years. No complete story to read, just lots of great art to admire which shows you how he found his own style over hs five year run - a search he contiued when he took over Secret Agent X-9. By the end of the decade he had already settled in a completely different style, just as impressive but also a lot more bland and safe.

As you can see, Graff purposely used three panels per day, allowing papers to stack the strip vertically.

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