Saturday, January 11, 2020

Cartoon Roots

Saturday Leftover Day.

Harry Haenigsen became known as the artist of Our Bill and Penny, two teenage strips from the forties that went on until the sixties. It was one of the few successes of the New York Herald Tribune Syndicate, where it also originated. Before that Haenigson had a checkered career as a cartoonist and other stuff. In the twenties he did a series of satirical cartoons, usually four panels in a square. The format was similar to that of Gluyas Williams' panels, which may in fact have been the inspiration for Haenigsen's version. I was aware of them, because of their similarity ti some of Mad magazine's later features. But it was only when I got back to them doing an article on Haenigsen that I found how very good they actually were. Haenigson's cartoon style here is a lot more exciting than what he used in Our Bill and Penny. A cartoonist of his quality must ultimately have felt trapped by the bland style of his biggest success.

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