Archive for the ‘comic strips’ Category

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Comic Strips: Cady and Fisher- Masters of the Bird’s Eye View

Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Dudley Fisher

Harrison CadyHarrison CadyHarrison Cady was one of the most famous and prolific cartoonists of the early decades of the 20th century. Although he is best known as the illustrator of Thornton W. Burgess’ Peter Rabbit series of books, and the cartoonist behind the newspaper comic bearing the same name, Cady was an active illustrator as well. His illustrations and comics appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, The Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Life, St. Nicholas Magazine and Boys’ Life.

These “bird’s eye views” are masterpieces of visual organization. Instead of just one overall composition, there are dozens spread all through the image. The amount of planning and pencil milage that must have gone into these complex images is impressive.

Animation Resources supporter, Jonathan Barli of Digital Funnies contributed these amazing scans to the archive database. Jonathan is hard at work on an important project- documenting and restoring early cartoons and comics in digital form. When I spoke to him about Animation Resources, he instantly understood what we are trying to do. Jonathan has donated high resolution TIFF images of his entire collection to Animation Resources.

Here is a selection of Cady’s Birds’ Eye View illustrations for Boys’ Life magazine…

Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady

Here is a similar format comic… "Right Around Home".

Right Around Home by Dudley FisherRight Around Home by Dudley FisherDudley Fisher was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1890. He studied to be an architect, but dropped out to take a job as a layout artist at the Columbus Dispatch. After returning from WWI, Fisher created a comic strip called "Jolly Jingles". Year after year, he cranked out rhyming verse until he couldn’t stand it any more. In December of 1937 he decided to take a break from jingles and draw what Christmas on his grandmother’s farm would be like (if he had a grandmother and she lived on a farm!) He drew it as one big full page panel and readers immediately took to it and clamored for more. King Features picked up the strip and titled it "Right Around Home". These great Sunday pages date from early in the run- 1939.

Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher

When asked by a young artist what sorts of pens and paper to use to draw cartoons, Fisher recommended not worrying about things like that, saying "I feel certain that Michaelangelo could have done a masterpiece on meat wrapping paper with a toothbrush and shoe polish. It’s all got to come out of the artist- not the ink bottle."

Thanks for the wonderful scans, Jonathan!

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Newspaper ComicsNewspaper Comics
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Newspaper Comics.

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Comic Strips: Chic Young’s Blondie

Chic Young Blondie

Chic Young was one of the most successful newspaper cartoonists of his time. His first syndicated strip, Dumb Dora ran from 1924 to 1930. He retired the strip to create a "pretty girl" comic (ala Polly & her Pals) titled Blondie. It was an instant hit. Young penned Blondie until his death in 1973. The strip is still in print, under the byline of his son, Dean.

Chic Young's Blondie

The other day, Animation Resources supporter Joe Campana stopped by for a visit. He brought along a book for us to digitize… Comics And Their Creators was written by Martin Sheridan in 1942. It’s a treasure trove of biographical information on great comic strip artists. Today, I am presenting the chapter on Chic Young, along with some rare original Sunday pages from the collection of Marc Crisafulli.

Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie
Chic Young's Blondie

Here are some of the very earliest Blondie Sunday pages…

Chic Young's Blondie
July 19th, 1931

Chic Young's Blondie
August 9th, 1931

Chic Young's Blondie
August 16th, 1931

Chic Young's Blondie
August 23rd, 1931

Chic Young's Blondie
September 6th, 1931

Many thanks to Marc Crisafulli for sharing these rare original comics pages with us; and to Joe Campana of Animation Who And Where for lending us Comics And Their Creators.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Newspaper ComicsNewspaper Comics
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Newspaper Comics.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Comic Strips: George Lichty Grin And Bear It Orgy!

George Lichty Grin And Bear It

Animation Resources supporter Christopher Lopez saw our feature on George Lichty a month or two back and generously decided to donate a big stack of vintage Grin And Bear It dalies and Sunday pages. I grew up with George Lichty’s cartoons in the funnies every day, and as a kid, I didn’t give much thought to them. At first glance, Lichty’s drawings appear sloppy, with formulaic oafish characters standing around with their jaws agape. But look closer… His compositional sense and skill at putting across a visual gag is remarkable. There’s nothing sloppy about his use of perspective either. The most amazing thing is that his lines seem to be alive!

George Lichty Grin And Bear It

Along with the batch of comics, Christopher included an article on Lichty from 1952. It mentions a feature in the Saturday Evening Post titled "Does Lichty Really Hate People" (does anyone out there have a copy of that article we could scan?) and offers some choice tidbits on Lichty’s working habits and lifestyle…

George Lichty Grin And Bear ItGeorge Lichty Grin And Bear ItHe works best in a crowded, noisy newspaper office. His desk is heaped so high with old drawings, discarded captions, letters he has forgotten to mail, cigarette stubs and fan mail that ever fourth day the janitors are ordered to dig through the debris just to make sure that Lichty is still alive and breathing.

Lichty has a few happy passtimes… He likes to putter around the house. When in doubt he lays little brick walls that wind aimlessly around the Lichty garden. He also plays the bass drum, sometimes at home, but more often as a member of the Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band, a unique musical institution that he says is perpetuating a dying art form. He is not certain what the art form is, but anyway, he admits it is dying.

Now if that isn’t a great description of the life of a cartoonist, I don’t know what is!

Lichty was one of the comic page’s longest working artists. His style changed little over the years. (Compare the examples below from the late thirties to the Sunday pages from the 50s.) Lichty’s distinctive free flowing lines were a staple of the funnies for over half a century. He may have drawn slouches, but I think you’ll agree, as an artist, he was no slouch himself!

George Lichty Grin And Bear It

Here (thanks to Joseph Campana) is the entry on Lichty from Martin Sheridan’s Comics And Their Creators…

George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It

1939 DAILY STRIPS

George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It

1937 SUNDAY PAGES

George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It

MID 1940s DAILY STRIPS

George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It

1950s SUNDAY PAGES

George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It
George Lichty Grin And Bear It

Thanks Christopher!

Check out the fascinating link between Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs and George Lichty in John K’s All Kinds of Stuff.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Newspaper ComicsNewspaper Comics
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Newspaper Comics.