The Art of the Funnies: An Aesthetic History (Studies in Popular Culture (Paperback))

By Robert C. Harvey

This paintings examines the caricature all through its historical past for the weather that make cartoons the most attractive of the preferred arts. The sketch was once created by way of rival newspapers as a tool of their flow battles. It quick validated itself as not just an efficient gadget, but additionally as an establishment that quickly unfold to newspapers world-wide. This historic examine unfolds the heritage of the funnies and divulges the delicate artwork of the way the strips combination note and photographs to make their effect. The booklet additionally finds new info and weighs the impact of syndication upon the medium. Milestones within the artwork of cartooning featured contain: Mutt and Jeff, Dick Tracy, Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Popeye, Krazy Kat, and others. newer classics also are integrated, reminiscent of Peanuts, Tumbleweeds, Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes.

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Two years later, Hearst entered two strips in the waif lists: Two Orphans and Little  Annie Roonie. If two strips were better than one, then two orphans (a boy and a girl, both with blank eyeballsand a dog) were also better than one. Drawn by Al  Zere, this double­trouble entry had but a short life. But Little Annie Roonie (an echo of the original in title as well as heroine and constant canine companion) lasted  longer. Drawn at first in the simple cartoon style of the day by Ed Verdier, Roonie was eventually rendered in superb illustrations by Darrel McClure. Of Patterson's great strips, only Willard's Moon Mullins proved, in the long run, inimitable. Although, strictly speaking, no such great works of imagination as those the  Captain fostered could be      Page 104 Figure 56. Annie's work ethic and Warbucks's were expressions of their self­reliance as well as their creator's conservatism. But Warbucks  wasn't greedy: he shared his company's profits with those who made the profits possible. No war profiteer, he. His philosophy was in  direct conflict with the social programs of Franklin Roosevelt, however, and so strongly was Gray opposed to the New Deal that  he killed off his champion in 1944; Warbucks simply couldn't survive in FDR's welfare state. After Roosevelt died, though, Gray  brought Warbucks back to life: now that the "climate" had changed, Warbucks could presumably thrive. truly duplicated, all except Moon inspired notable attempts, and many of those were successful enough, even if a trifle pallid in comparison with their originals. Sincerely meant as all these encomiums doubtless were, they were to fade into insignificance in the face of similar praise that would be tendered the strip Patterson  restyled from a submission by Chester Gould in 1931. Dick Tracy would be so widely imitated that it could correctly be said the strip started an entire genre in the  medium. And Tracy himself would come to share a place in the history of detective fiction hitherto occupied in solitude by Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Page 105 Gould came to Chicago in 1921 to take courses in commerce and marketing at Northwestern University, but he had his eye on a cartooning career and so took night  courses in art, as well. And he began to bombard Patterson immediately with ideas for comic strips, keeping up the barrage steadily for ten years with more than sixty  different strip ideas. He tried everything, he recalled later: "the beautiful girl strip, the office boy, the smart aleck, the oddball, the believe­it­or­not cartoon, even a  comic feature on sports. But none of them quite clicked. " 9  After leaving Northwestern in 1923, Gould worked for Hearst's American, doing a strip called Fillum  Fables in imitation of Ed Wheelan's Minute Movies. Six years later, Gould left to do advertising art for the Chicago Daily News. It was there that he had his  brainstorm. The country was awash in a coast­to­coast crime wave. Prohibition had given gangsters a socially approved mission: to supply illegal adult beverages to a thirsty  population.

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