Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Best A Man Can Get

Wednesday advertising strip day.

One Dutch comic artist I met told me he loved the blog, except for the realistic stuff. So here is more realistic stuff.

I love those Postum ads. They were started by Milt Caniff and Noel Sickles and although they are still in the same style, the art has been taken over by someone else. My guess would be either Alex Kotsky or Leonard Starr. Starr is still alive (and doing covers for the wonderful reprint series of his stille very readable soap opera strip On Stage). If only he would visit here. If only I could talk to him about his years at Johnstone and Cushing.

Most comic strip ad campaigns were created for the Sunday pages only. Some of them were reformatted to be used in comic books in the forties. Especially DC used a lot of these comic ads in their books. Some were seem to have been reformatted from Sundays, other were especially drawn. The Pepsi Cops was a very popular series (started by Rube Goldberg and continued by several very capable artists) that ran both in comics and the Sunday pages. I have also seen short strips using the Neddy Nestle character by the regular artist of that character, Jack Betts, but no whole strips that look like the ones that were done in the late forties and early fifties Sunday ads. But the one ad strip series I recognized immediately was a Sam Spade strip done for Wildroot as a tie-in to the CBS radio show in 1948 and 1949. Some collectors have made lists of ad strips by famous artists such as Lee Elias, but no list has been made of the Sam Spade stories. They were probably done by Lou Fine or Alex Kotzky and deserve some attention as well. All comic books samples were taken from DC's funny animal book Funny Stuff #34 except for the Sam Spade one pager, which came from Boy Commandos #27.

One ad eries that has been documented well is C.C. Beck's Captain Tootsie. Though Beck wasn't the only one working on this series (which ran well into the fifties), his connection to this strip as the most important artist of Captain Marvel, has lead to som eserious attention from the Captain Marvel fans. Captain Tootsie didn't just run as one page ads in the DC books, but also in other companies books. He also had several comc books of his own, most of which had hardly any advertising. When I ran across a series of daily ads for Captain Tooptsie from the midfifties, I contacted P.C. Hamerlinck about them, think he could probably use them. He told me he was preparing a list of all Captain Tootsie appearnces for a future installment of the FCA pages in Alter Ego. I am still looking forward to them. In the meantime, here is a sample from the strip in it's prime period.

This one was new to me. Looks like Lou Fine following Alex Raymond's lead into a slicker illustration style.

Another one I had never seen before. This time artist looks familiar. The characters remind me of the later wor of Greig Flessel.

Sam Spade in the comics. From Boy Commandos #27, 1948.

And here he is in the Sunday papers a year later. March 20, 1949. Apparently my paper has a crease on the left hand side. I should go back and rescan this.

This Bazooka ad seems to have been done by Irwin Hasen. I have a couple more, which I will show later.

Finally two cartoon ads from another series I like. The Blondie-inspired Fireball Twigg. I read somewhere that Paul Fung, who took over the strip from Chic Young in thee early sixties was assisting him as early as the late forties. Which may mean he was involved in this strip as well.

May 30, 1948:

August 22, 1948:

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