Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vivie Risto's Chilly Willy

Today we have the work of Vivie Risto, who worked for Dell/Western Publishing for approximately twenty years, beginning in the early 1940s. Not much is known about Mr. Risto (sometimes Veve or vive Risto). He was first generation American (his parents were Finnish immigrants), born in South Dakota in 1902 (real name - Oscar Wilho Risto). He died in Studio City, California in 1981. For a concise list of his work in both comic books and animation, check out the artist's entry in the Inducks database. "The Sea King's Quarrel" and "Polar Pirates," come from Four Color No. 1074, February-April 1960.

Risto is another of the many worthwhile though forgotten artists from the glorious history of Dell's Four Color. His style seems a pleasing holdover from an earlier period of cartooning and animation, perhaps late Twenties or Thirties. The cover was done by John Carey.

I couldn't let you go without this great ad from the back cover. Oh, for the days when fudge was energy food. See how "Frisky Fudgie" saves the day, all because he is bursting with energy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

More from Coo Coo Comics No. 54!

Let's love two more stories from Coo Coo Comics No. 54, December 1950. Our first Butch and Buttercup story, "Plane Crazy," is unsigned, but I believe it's the work of Ken Hultgren. Of course, alternative opinions are welcome. As for the second story, I have no doubt: "Way Out West," featuring Cuffy the Cat, is the work of Ellis Holly Chambers (who often signed his work "EC"). In a genre and era of forgotten comic art masters, Chambers (of whom little is known) is one of the more severely and sadly forgotten.

Oh, and don't forget to soak up that ad at the end of the post from the same issue, which warns young men and women aganst being too skinny. Times, tastes, and fashions sure change, don't they?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Two Stories by Milt Stein!

Let's start 2012 off right with two stories by one of the greatest funny animal cartoonists that ever lived: Milt Stein. The first story, "Operation Muscles," features Supermouse (Stein was one of several artists well remembered for drawing "Supie"); while the second story, "Help Wanted," features the completely forgotten character, Coo Coo.

Like Harvey Comics' Howie Post, Stein had a gift for capturing a sense of barely-controllable joy. Check out the second panel on page four of the second story, "Help Wanted;" wherein Coo Coo's hands/wings express everything I love about Stein. What a moment of blissful, artistic confidence. This all comes from Coo Coo Comics No. 54, December 1950.

Don't forget to enjoy the cool ad for a "Television Bank" at post's end, which came from the same issue. Yes. A simpler time and then some.

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