Friday, July 29, 2011

Dan Gormley in Four Color!

Dan Gormley was a principal artist for Dell's Four Color during the 1940s and 50s; and certainly one of the unsung names that made that historic comic so superb. He has become better known in recent years for providing a great deal of the artwork on John Stanley's take on Bushmiller's Nancy; but his best stuff came when working in his own highly individual style - usually on various Walter Lantz creations (like here with Oswald the Rabbit). This is from Four Color No. 183, March 1948; and Gormley did all the pages as well as this super cover.

More work from Gormley. These next two, one-color pages are from the front and back inside covers. These one-color inside covers (sometimes done in black and white as well) are one of my favorite features from this era of Four Color. I often wonder how many kids tried their hand at drawing for the first time, staring at the seductive lines of these inside covers.

16 comments:

  1. It's really wonderful stuff. It might be asking a lot but are there any kids comics out there today that are as good or come close to the quality of these? When I was a kid there were so many. We used to read a bunch from Harvey Comics including Sad Sack, Casper and Ritchie Rich to name a few.

    Alberto Ramirez Jr.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alberto: There are some, though certainly not as many as days prior. I think the various Archie comics are still very good (although perhaps geared for an audiance older that the comic under review here). I also think the Simpsons and Futurama comics from Bongo are pretty good.

    But, in honesty, there is nothing like Four Color, Giggle, Ha Ha Comics, etc.; or any of the great Harvey titles, out there now, nor can I imagine there ever will be again (which is why I work to archive as many as I can here).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dell 4-color was really wonderful stuff. Treasure after treasure!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jeffie: You know it, brother!

    ReplyDelete
  5. whoa! I'm definitely going to pick up this one-- thanks Myk!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Karswell: You can't go wrong with Gormley. Check out the other stuff I have by him in the labels (but then, I bet you already have!).

    ReplyDelete
  7. While the series may not be your cup of tea, Papercutz's reprints of Belgian artist Peyo's Smurfs comics are both fun and wonderfully drawn. Boom Studios/Kaboom printed a nice Peanuts "graphic novel" tie-in with the animated "Happiness is a Warm Blanket" which is a nice tribute to Schulz's work.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Debbie: I've seen none of this, so thanks! I'll have to check them out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Since I started putting together The Four-Color Four Color Index with Alan Hutchinson, I've grown to become a big fan of Dan Gormley's work His covers are especially superb. Unfortunately, we have little personal information on Mr. Gormley, so if anyone has any such information, please contact Mykal. End of plug.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gary: Regarding Mr. Gormley biographical info, I have been able to find out, for all intents and purposes, nothing.

    Your project is certainly worth plugging! I can't wait for the collected, hardcover edition (hope, hope).

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gormley's Oswald and Toby stories are my favorites. Such appealing drawings and slick inking. He's so awesome he even makes Homer Pigeon fun to read!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kevin: Gormely is one of those artists I think of when pondering the superiority of brushwork over any other method of inking (nib, brush-pen, marker, digital, etc.). Nothing beats the brush and Gormely’s work just defines the beautiful, organic sweep of line that a brush produces in the hands of a master.

    That is to say, he was one hell of an inker.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Never heard of this guy, either Mykal, but I love it! GREAT loosey-goosey stuff! Your postings continue to educate and amaze me.

    On a side note, I am one of those young wanna-be cartoonists who copied stuff from the artwork on those inside-the-cover stories. It was SO inviting!

    I pity today's kids...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bill: Those pages just make you want to draw! At least you learned your lessons well, Bill.

    Kids today literally don't know what they're missing. The ones that can really draw (and there are as many today as ever before that have the the raw talent) end up copying manga - that's all they know or see. That's the sad part.

    I hope a few stumble upon this blog and other blogs like it (like Kevin langley's). Kids, have a look in my sidebar for manga-free links!

    Oh, and I have some more Gormley on the way.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You nailed it, Mykal. The problem is that, kids aren't exposed to it. When I was a tot, every grocery store, drug store and corner market/conenience store worth it's salt carried comics. Even department stores would sometimes carry the Whitman 3-packs. Today comics are only available at the few-and-far-between comic book store or online. The kids have to go looking for it and when they do, they only get what they came for. There's no room for discovery in today's market.

    A real shame. Good thing there're folks like you fighting the good fight!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jeffie: The pleasure is all mine!

    ReplyDelete