Saturday, April 10, 2021

Ship Shape

 Saturday Leftover Day.

I have spend some time the last few weeks with Mort Walker's late sixties creation Boner's Ark. It was created as an outlet for some of the gags and cartooning Mort could not use in any of their other regular strips. The gags were written by the normal team, and the art was provided bu Mort himself using his middle name Addison. But I believe there was no effort spent in hiding who was actually doing the strip. After one or two years Frank Johnstone joined the art side as an inker (you can actually see the difference) and after a few years he took over as the artist completely. Created at a time when the world was in turmoil, it was fresh, silly, very well drawn and ultimately sort of timeless. I have hear stories that it was often considered for a movie of tv adaptation, but these days the name of Captain Boner (which in those days was used to mean a goof, or as a noun it was what we now call a blooper) is a hindrence. Maybe someone of the current Walker strips team can fill you in on the details in the comments section. I have much more where these came from and if you like it enough I will show those as well.

But I am starting with the first four weeks of the strip, which immediate inluded Sundays. You can see that the designs of the characters are still not set, the monkey especially seems to change species every week. They finally settle on having Dum-Dum (the name was there from the start) as a orangutan. In the fourth week, Boner himselfs seems to be a lot younger, but we know that wasn't for long. 

And although I mentioned the timelessness of the strip, as is was introduced in the weeks running up to the 1968 election (which gave Nixon his first term), you'll see a vague sort of political connection with the donkey and the elephant.  Muppet lovers will note that Prescilla is an earlier version of Miss Piggy (although I don't think she was a direct influence).


Alejandro Capelo said...

The strip from Monday 2 April 1968 is missing, don't you have it?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

No, that paper was missing from my source.