Friday, September 30, 2011

Morris Gollub's Black Beauty

Is there anything so heartbreaking as a good animal story, particularly one told from the animal's point of view? Perhaps such stories touch us because, like innocents, animals are at the mercy of the varying kindnesses and cruelties of men. Today we have a comic book retelling of Anna Sewell's 19th century classic, Black Beauty, via Four Color No. 440, December 1952. The artist for this issue is Morris Gollub.
Gollub was one of the greatest cover artists in comic book history, as this painted gem will attest. The inside pages are all Gollub, too - each panel a perfectly composed miniature, wonderful in detail and draftsmanship.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

George Wildman's Popeye!

In comic books (not the newspaper strip) two artists dominated the drawing of Popeye the Sailor. The first and best known was Bud Sagendorf, whose wonderful work can by seen in Craig yoe's recent Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales Of Bud Sagendorf. The other artist, who we will be enjoying today, was George Wildman, who drew the squinty-eyed sailor for Charlton Comics from 1969 until approximately 1978. I just love the heck out of Wildman's nice, thick line (and his Wimpy in the second story is about perfect!). This is from Popeye No. 100, February 1970.

Professor O.G. Watasnozzle (here spelled "Wotasnozzle") was a Segar creation - a kind of mad (more silly than mad) scientist whose madcap inventions fueled many stories, like the following:

This ad from the same issue. I can't say I ever considered freckles "disfiguring." I always thought they made a girl look cute!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dan Gordon & Ken Hultgren - Giggle Comics

Very few cartoonists from any era had better brushwork than Dan Gordon. This first story is from Giggle Comics No. 71, May-June 1950. Gordon animated everything from Popeye for the Fleischer Studios to Huckleberry Hound for Hanna-Barbera. Most of his comic book work was for ACG (American Comics Group), where his funny animals (and funny humans) bounce around in a three-dimensional, rubbery world.

Next comes a Duke and the Dope story from ever-reliable Ken Hultgren - although it looks like someone else had a hand in this one. That giant gorilla is drawn a bit more loose and dynamic than is typical for the artist. Ken Hultgren was one of the Disney artists that animated the monster in the great sci-fi film, Forbidden Planet! Isn't that cool?

Finally, one of my favorite unsung cartoonists: Ray Thompson - who drew the stories of the Fleer Dubble Bubble Kids for the namesake bubble gum.

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