Thursday, March 23, 2017

Not Entirely Borthless

Story Strip Day.

Getting these wans't easy. the site I worked from (Fulton History) does not have a proper search function and all the papers are listed one page at the time (which is a pain when you don't know how many pages each edition is or on what page the strips are printed). So what I have is chronological, but spotty.

It is also a rare find. I have never seen this strip anywhere. I do know the artist though. Frank Borth's claim to fame in comic world is the fact that he worked exculsively the Catholic Guild's Treasure Chest series, usually doing a short story in each issue. His style there is hasty and sloppy, but here we see him trying his best to make the story come alive. I would not call the style itself in the school of Caniff, but it is certaily inspired by it. So enjoy it here - I don;t think it is ever going to be collected anywhere. He's not even mentioned on/in Alan Holtz' Stripper's Guide (at least not the blog with samples, though he is in his excellent book)!


fortunato said...

In a interviews (2006) Frak Borth says:

-Ken Stewart was the captain of a two-mast sailboat that he takes people that want to hire him in the boat. […] I managed to get that in a rather round about way. Anyhow, we did it and I did it for almost three years but we couldn’t sell it inland because all of the editors of the papers inland said, “Nobody goes sailing and so forth what do they care about it.” So, they wouldn’t get it more than and I was only earning about a one hundred dollars a week on it.-

Alex Jay said...

Ken Stuart is in Allan Holtz’s book American Newspaper Comics on page 244.

comicstripfan said...

Part of the problem in evaluating the artwork of these strips is that it is like looking through a glass darkly. Especially when, even from "syndicate proofs" it is not necessarily easy to get a full appreciation of the talent that goes into them, in this case it's like how many "degrees of separation" are there? I am always reminded of a quote from Al Capp about the under-appreciation of the comics page that "they were meant to be read, and then to wrap fish with them!" Thanks so much for your hard work in unearthing comic strips like this - we all know the established greats like Caniff, Crane, etc. but your (and Allan Holtz's and others') discoveries reveal a much wider world in the history of comic art of, not just geniuses like Caniff, but also of other nonetheless very good artists and their "lost opera".

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Thanks to all the commentators. Where did you get the interview Fortunata? And thanks Jay, I did not open the book, just looked at the site. Ans comicstripfan, what this illustrates me is that the old saying that all comic strip artists wanted to have their own strip isn't true as such. They all wanted a strip that sold enough so they could either loive from it or better still hire someone else to do it. There are lots of samples of artists working for terrible wages for a couple of years and giving up.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Ah, I found the interview.