Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dick Hall's Woody Woodpecker!

Let's try a couple from Four Color No. 364, December 1952 on for size. After the beautifully composed cover by Dan Gormley, both of the following interior Woody Woodpecker stories finds Dick Hall on pencils and Irene Little on inks. I won't even pretend to know who Irene Little is, but if the Grand Comics Database says it's her at the brushes, I'll go along with it. I wasn't able to find out a darn thing about Ms. Little, though. All I know for sure is that she could ink up a storm.

Dick Hall has been under-represented on this blog. He did a ton of comics for Four Color, working - like Dan Gormley - most often on Walter Lanz characters like Andy Pandy and Woody. Yep, like so many, he was a former or sometimes animator for many major studios.

I have to say, I love the character, Tackhammer, in these stories. Too bad he didn't find his way into the Walter Lantz cartoons.

This final black & white inside back cover has Dick Hall on pencils, but the GCB doesn't offer any help with the inks. It looks to me like Ms. Little again, though.


  1. That's quite a stylized version of Woody Woodpecker (who has looked all sorts of ugly throughout his cartoon career in between times when he'd be well-designed and actually cute-looking. Walter Lantz wasn't much for consistency, apparently). Dick Hall draws well, but his Woody Woodpecker design is more than a bit odd, as is Dan Gormley's drawing of Woody's face on the cover. The dogface people are a bit reminiscent of Barks' work. It's still a fun comic despite the weird-looking Woodpecker, though.

  2. Debbie: I know what you mean about Barks. When I first saw Tackhammer (still love that name), I thought at first take perhaps a Beagle Boy was making an appearance.

    I like Hall's Woody. He seems a bit more impish than the norm - my fav are the panels were he is whistling. I do know what you mean about stylized, though, like the panels where his hair looks a bit like a jolt of electricity (like in that black and white page at the end - panels 5 and 7

  3. Nice stuff! I always liked this version of Woody (never knew till now who the artist was, thanks!). He looks a bit "demented", which I think suits his character.

    Interesting how "humans" and "dog-faces" are randomly used in this story. It's like the artist couldn't decide which "world" to place Woody in.

  4. Bill: I find that one of the most interesting facets of funny animal, bigfoot cartooning - when human characters enter the world - as though it's completely normal. Barks often used perfectly human humans as waiters, doormen, butlers. I find it fascinating to ponder what these humans' lives would be like in a world of humanized woodpeckers, mice, dogs, etc.

  5. Tackhammer was to the Woody of that period, what “Neighbor Jones” was to Carl Barks’ Donald Duck. That could possibly explain the look of the character. Or, perhaps it was all just a coincidence of indecision as to whether or not the comics Woody operated in a world of “humans”. Like so many things about Western Publishing, we’ll never know.

    Still, I wish Tacky never faded. He would have been fun to have around.

  6. Joe: Neighbor Jones - excellent comparison. With regard to the humans in a funny animal world, I've always felt the subject was worth a graduate thesis as least.

    1. That’s a thesis I’d love to read!

      And, while I’m at it, let me also say how much I enjoy your Blog, and that I should comment more often! Especially when the topic is Dell or Gold Key.

  7. Thanks, Joe. Please come back and visit soon! You have a pretty snazzy blog yourself, Joe Torcivia's The Issue At Hand Blog; which I have added to my "Hey Kids, Comic Blogs" blog list in the sidebar.

  8. Another dog faced character that appeared in Woody's stories is Frank. I remember an amusing fishing story from a New Funnies issue which has him being the straight man to Woody. Whenever Frank shows Woody how to fish and camp, Woody tries too hard and Frank ends up receiving the slapsticky damage. Interesting to see Woody causing trouble for someone accidentally instead of on purpose. Unlike Jonesy and Tackhammer , Frank and Woody are friends. Frank has more patience with Woody than do the aforementioned characters.

  9. Thanks, Shade, for the information


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