Monday, March 01, 2021

More Norris

Saturday Leftover Day. For this weekend I prepared some more of my Jungle Jim Sundays. But I forgot to post them. So here, two days late, is more of Paul Norris' progression on Jungle Jim. In the course of this strip, you see him slowly shifting from the slick Alex Raymond style to the more earthy Milt Caniff inspired style.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Norris Less

Saturday Leftover Day. I can't see I am a huge fan of Paul Norris' work in comics or the newspapers. Since I am not particulary into superhero comics, I am not impressed by the fact that he designed the look of Aquaman, one of those heroes who is only known to the general public because he was a member of the Superfriends cartoon team. In the fifties he took over Brick Bradford in a water down version of Milt Caniff's style. But unlike otehr artists who took Caniff as their inspriration, he only seems to have made it duller. For me, he best work was when he was doing illustrations for King Featured weekly crime serials in the late forties, alongside Edd Cartier. At that point he was still leanig more towards Alex Raymond than Milt Caniff. After that, he was asked to take over the former Flash Gordon topper Jungle Jim that was originated by Raymond. At first he and writer NAME used Raymond's four panel third page lay-out with text in picture, but somwhere along the way they switched to a more normal two tier approach with dialogue ballons. They actually kept theSunday only strip going for a couple of years, before Norris switched to Bradford. Next week I'll be sharing some of the later episodes, where you can see how Norris switched form Raymonds slick approach to Caniff's more earthy one.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Roll Out The Panels

Sunday Suprise Day. 

 I was aware of Hank Barrows excellent work as a regular artist on the Associated Press staff (starting warly enough to have worked with and met Milt Caniff, Noel Sickles and Mel Graff. He took over Mil Caniff's early panel The Gay Thirties, drew war gfeatures and political cartoons (alongside Noel Sickles) and George Wunder in the early forties and created his own weekly feature Thing To Come in the late forties. As far as I know he never did comic strips and althugh his style and inking are gorgeous and would have been very suited for it, it may just not have been his thing. Acouple of years back I bough a whole box of his early forties cartoons, which I have shown here in bunches. In fact I have not yet finished the whole lot and there may be a new bunch coming soon. But what I have is a new find, which I was eager to share. After the war Barrow left AP and started as a political cartoonist at some paper. I have never noted which one, but recently I ran across it on the micrifiche newspaper paysite Genealogy.com. As far as I can see I can go through them all and get Barrow's political cartoon fom the first one in the late forties to the lst ones in the late fifties. Of course that is a multi year project. I started in 1950 and I am now able to share all of Barrow's political cartoons for the first quarter of 1950. The main reason to do this is because I simply love his style. It is a combination between Milt Caniff's lush inking style, Noel Sickle's design sense, a Wat Kellyesk gift for cartooning and some of the familiar traits of all American political cartooning from the forties and fifties (but thankfull not too many - he remains his own man). Politically it is not really remarkable, other than the fact that Barrow really seems to have hated taxes. I never realized it, but I guess the small government movement is a deeply ingrained part of the American psyche. I mean, we complain about taes as well, but never to the extant it was done in the US - even when the taxes ended up being a third of what we pay. Coupled with the dislike of 'socialism' is makes it a bit more understandable why over there freedom is so much equated with 'the freedom to die in poverty' and a cutthroat 'survival of the fittest' system. Just as our view that the givernment has the task to provide a basic welfare for it's citizens and the public at large should be protected against the excesses of capitol build-up. What sees like a political difference, may also be a cultoral one.