Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Follow The Music

Wednesday Extra.

Regular followers of this blog will know that I have a great fondness for the 1958-1962 period in American newspaper comics. Comic were no longer shown in the full page size of the thirties and early forties, but after a decade of exploration many new exciting strips were started and there was still time and space to make them special. That's why I got as many Sunday sections of this period as possible. And of course there were many surprises. But none as odd as this one, a Sunday strip that showed a new song every week with modern children's book style stories and art. Wee Willie ran for just over two years and I got many samples. I will be showing them over the next few wednesdays, to ease down on the cleaning - which can be quite difficult at times.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Wrong Tack

Monday Cartoon Day.

Back when cartoons were still big (way befiore even I was born), getting your own regular series in one of the monthly (or even weekly) magazines was what every cartoonist hoped for. A guaranteed sale every issue and you were often allowed to have a non regular cartoon as well. Reamer Keller was one of the more succesful artists of his group (the forties and fifties mid-range cartoonists), but he didn't have a regular feature of his own. He had tried to get a brand going with rural hillbillie-like characters, but there were too many people doing that (including pre-Goofy Paul Murray) and his sense of humor didn't always fit within that small subject range - although he did sell a regular cartoon calle Kennesaw in the early fifties to Collier's and even managed to get a newspaper strip out of it. But suddenly, just after the war he hit it big with The American Legion, a rightwing weekly magazine for the former armed forces - filled with newsrelated articles, short stories and lots and lots of cartoons (including work by my favorites Mort Walker, Hank Ketcham and Virgil Partch, but also with Sam Stevens, Jack Mendelsohn and George Crenshaw). Early in 1946, his regular cartoon Hardtack started, a silent panel about a small kid dressed in what looks to me like a graduation baret in daring situations. The only problem was that is was not vert good. Reamer Keller always excelled at outrageous gags about men eand women and family situations, but somehow his efforts at silent humor never clicked. He also used a lot of gray wash, insted of the marvelous nervous line that was his trademark for the rest of his career. Hardtack (a good portion of which I scanned and cleaned for you) ended before the end of the year.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Figuring Out The Action

Sunday Toth Treasures.

This is the oldest All-American Western I have n my collection. It also has one of the best covers Toth ever drew, which was also used for one of the later Johnny Thunder collections. The splash page... not Toth's best.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Our Old Age

I like Our Nuwe Age by Athelstan Spilhaus. I like the optimistic view of the future, from a rime we still though science was the answer to everything and not the root of all evil. I like the simplistic drawing style of Carl Rose, who started the series, explaining complicated facts and theories using cartoons. I like the slicker style of Gene Fawcette even better, making every invention and every gadget look cool.I even like the name of the author of this series, who sounds more like a scientist than anyone I know.