Monday, December 23, 2013

In A Bind

Monday Cartoon Day

Looking through some old newspapers (for Virgil Partch Crack-Ups series of cartoons, by the way) I came across an oddity that run a bell in more ways than one. Tin Hats was a daily cartoon series that ran from August 30 1942 to October 9 1943, slightly more than a year. It is similar in subject to Bill Mauldin's Willy and Joe cartoons from the same period (and to a lot of cartoons done in Army Newspapers all over the country). I found it in the Philidelphia Post Gazette and I don't think it got a large distribution outside of that. The name is interesting, of course. Now I wouldn't say this was the work of the later bondage artist and Steve itko studio mate Eric Stanton, but it sure look like it. The slightly black tone of the gags seems to fit Mr. Staton's personality as well.

What holds me back and tempts me to put this own to a coincidence is the fact that the 1926 born Stanton would only have been 16, or even less when he started it because his actual birth date is September 30 1926. Now there may be some Stanton connesseur out there who knows better than me, but as far as I could find he started working in 1947 and ony went to art school after that (and met Steve Ditko).

Still, they are fun to look at. And there is more after the last cartoon...

I had one more in my files, with a date that seems to be wrong. It was dated 1945-08-30 and I can't find it anywhere in te normal run. Is it even part of the Tin Hat series? I had labeled it as such. Another thing that differentiates it from the earlier ones is the fact that this one has a signature.

I took a chance and looked up Eric Stanton's signature anyway. And here it is, from a later erotic drawing.

Pretty amazing, huh?

After all this I saw that I had left out thelast caroon Stanton did and noticed it did have a signature as well. I guess that misnamed one is from later in the run as well. I guess now I have to go and find some more.


Peter Huggan said...

Pretty impressive drawings by a 16 year old...but the signature and art style is definitely the same as his later work! This is an amazing find!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I had a look at Alan Holtz' encyclopeia of American Newspaper Comics (which I should have done right away and he has the panel as well, but in a longer run from another paper. Apparently in the Toledo Blade Tin Hats ran from July 27 1942 to November 18, 1944. Which makes Stanton defenitely 15 when he started this (or lying about his age). Alan didn't make the connection to Eric Stanton, though. Or he didn't care or wasn't sure. But since he is more of newspaper strip than a comic book guy, I suspect he just didn't see it. I will ask him about it. In his artist section he doesn't give Stanton a first name.