Saturday, November 6, 2010

FOUR COLOR No. 423, September 1952

"Rhubarb" is Dell's Four Color adaptation of the 1951 screwball comedy of the same name; directed by Arthur Lubin and starring Ray Miland and Jan Sterling. This striking (and slightly unsettling) cover will have to go uncredited. Download THIS POST!

The story art is all Don Gunn, an assistant animator with Disney in the 1930s and 1940s. Like so many of his generation, Gunn turned to comics when big studio animation dried up and blew away in the late 1940s. Most of his work was for Western Publishing, and most of that Disney characters. Mr. Gunn passed away in 1972.

I like this story a great deal because it shows Gunn not having to work within the round softness of the Disney style. Gunn certainly isn't a household name and that's what I love about him. Lovely stuff upcoming.

14 comments:

  1. This story has a rushed feel to it but I can see alot of thought went into every aspect to make it flow so easily. The art reminds me of a cross between Roy Crane & Jack Sparling, two of my favorites. And that COVER~! When I saw the thumbnail I thought you were posting a 3D comic~!

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  2. this is freaky. for an unknown guy he seems like such an established character.

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  3. I've seriously got to start building a time machine What a variety of treasures you could get at the comic book rack with just a handful of dimes.

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  4. Lysdexicuss: I think that rushed feeling comes primarily from the last couple of pages. Grand Comic Database editor puts it like this: " Adaptation is fairly faithful to the movie until the very end, when several pages of storyline is condensed into four panels." Now that you say it, I can really see a similarity to Roy Crane. And yep, that cover is something.

    KW: Well, the story assumes one is familiar with the movie. And, yeah, it really has a strange feel at times.

    Jeff: You can borrow my Time Machine once I get it perfected.

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  5. Thanks Mykal...I promise not to get it dirty or scratched!

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  6. I was going to make the same comment about the end of the story: Cat appears, team wins, baby is here! Well, I guess that's one of the beauties of comic books -- you can adjust the timeline to your liking (or the number of pages you have). Interesting choice of Gunn for the interior art. The cover is VERY good.

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  7. Gary: I like to imagine that this style was the "real Gunn," but of course we can never know for sure. He may have been chasing a one time style for a movie-like look or something. Those guys could draw any style, any time.

    I'd love to know who painted that amazing cover (which mimicks the movie poster perfectly). It's just so cool.

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  8. Nice work. The movie Rhubarb was based on a 1946 novel by the mostly forgotten humorist H. Allen Smith.

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  9. That was absolutely, utterly grotesque.

    I loved it!

    (Caveat: I don't like reading comic book stories online, but I love sampling, spelunking them, so I haven't read the whole thing -- but it only takes a perusing to perceive the perversion profusely on display here.)

    Matthew

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  10. Matthew: I'm glad you enjoyed it?

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  11. Lysdexicuss,

    Oh, don't worry, I did!!!

    Matthew

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  12. Can we have a little love please for the late great humorist H. Allen Smith who wrote the novel RHUBARB that served as the basis of the movie?

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  13. I've always wanted to read this comic, but never wanted to actually buy it for fear it would be terrible.

    I liked it! Like the Francis comics you've posted, I was pleasantly surprised by the great artwork and engaging story. I had no idea Rhubarb was based on a movie (and book) as Francis was...I hope the film is available, I think I need to see it!

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