Showing posts with label Moxy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moxy. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Dave Davely

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

David Gantz was a classmate of Al Jaffee in the forties. For a long time he worked in comics. He even joined up with a guy called Brown to do realistic work, but nothing really stuck. In 1959 Al Jaffee got a newspaper strip Tall Tales)  at the Herald Tribune Syndicate. At that point, Gantz was also trying to sell comic strip ideas. One of them was called Moxy and was a reworking of a Pogo-like strip he had done for Zek Zekeley's Family Comics, a line of 'Sunday' comics done especially as give-aways for a chain of grocery stores in California. When he failed to sell Moxy, he tried again with a more bland subject, the story of a man and his dog. The dog was called Dudley D., which I take it stands for Dudley Dog. Zek Zekeley (who himself had done a newspaper strip called Dud Dudley) must have been an inlfuence on the name. The dog could not talk, but we did see his very human thoughts. Th strip ran from 1961 to 1964 before it fizzled out, like many Herald Tribune strips before it. Maybe the blandness of the strip itself was to blame, but the Herald Tribune Syndicate had a very poor record of selling it's strips and a couple of years later a very similar  strip, drawn in a similar style about a  Basset Hound and his boss, called Fred Basset became a world wide succes which is still running to this day. Fred Basset was created by the Scottish cartoonist Alex Graham in 1963, although I am in no way mplying he might have seen Dudley D. I am just wondering why that strip took off and this one didn't.

I have shown other samples of this strip before, both in color and black and white. The balck and white Sunday from december 196 is from a short period when the color engravers on the Herald Tribune were on strike. All of the other strips mentioned have been shown as well. Except for Fred Basset, which you'll have to find on your own.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Mox On You!

Tuesday Comic Strip Day

For some weeks I have been showing smaples of Irv spector's early fifties strip Coogy in thi sspot. Coogy was intended as a Pogo knock-off by the syndicate and whatever Spector tried to turn it into didn't work. Funny and welldrawn as it was, in the end it didn't catch on. Coogy wasn't the only strip that was influenced by Pogo. Some strips, like King Aroo, combined Pogo and Krazy Kat influences. Most were not a success. The best Pogo imitation was a Sunday only strip (like Coogy) that didn't even appear in the newspapers. It was Moxie, it was written and drawn by David Gantz and it appeared for eleven episodes only in a comic book section that was handed out for free in a chain of supermarkets in California. Family Comics was produced by the former George McManus ghost Zek Zekely. When McManus died in the fifties, his succesful strip was not turned over to his ghost of many years, but to syndicate stallward Vernon Greene. Zekely, a very funny and competent artist tried to find other ways to earn a living. Family Comics was just one of his projects. It had art by Zekely himself, Gill Fox, Norman Maurer, Boltinoff and even a young Russ Manning. For many years, originals from this interesting fake Sunday were sold by a California dealer under the names Family Comics and Sponsored Comics (which seems to have been te name of Zekely's company). I firts heard of it when Alan Holtz did a series of posts about it on his strippersguide blog. Moxie was one of those features. All my samples are taken from Alan Holtz or from various auctions. Unfortunately, I didn't get any of the originals or any of the Family Comics when Alan finally sold them. I still hope to see them all together in a book sometime.

David Gantz (who died recently) was a good friend of Al Jaffee. For a short time he worked in a style similar to that of Jaffee, when he had his own newspaper strip Dudley D. I hope to be showing more of these and other work by Gantz at a later time.