Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Modern Cartooning

Today's post is for fans of the 'modern' cartoon style that came from the UPC studio's. Started soon after the, it wasn't until this graphic and simplified cartoon style caught on in the newspapers and magazines. It was quicker to be adepted in the advertising bussiness, as these three samples from 1957 show. I don't know who did them. Probably some parttime advertising cartoonist. Anyone who can help me, is welcome to add a comment.

Danjy Was His Name

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

Dutch artist Daan Jippes is best known in the US for his many covers for Gladstone in the seventies, eighties and nineties. Always someone who is looking for a style to attach his talent to, he interprets such greats as Walt Kelly, Al Taliaferro, Floyd Gottfredson and Carl Barks. He also did a lot of Donald Duck stories in a Carl Barks influenced style. The last couple of years he works exclusively for the Scandinavian Egmond Publishers. A couple of years ago, he redrawn the Carl Barks written Junior Woodchucks stories, replacing John Carey and Tony Strobl's art by something more in the way what Barks himself would do. The last couple of years he has been doing Donald Duck short stories and Goofy one pagers (with Ulrich Schroeder).

What is less known, is that in 1986 and 1987 he drew the Donald Duck daily and Sunday newspaper strip as well. The ailing newspaper strip (which was only in a few more papers) was still being drawn by Tony Strobl in the eighties. When he got to old to continue, several artists were asked to fill in. Daan Jippes (who was working at the advertising department at that time, but was known for his comic book work) started by inking a couple of dailies and Sundays. in July and August 1986. He took over as the regular penciler in August, with fill-ins by his colleagues every once in a while. I have shown as many of those dailies as I could get my hands on, but the Sundays have always escaped me. Until last month, when I bought a whole lot of 1986/7 papers that had Donald Duck in them. I may not have all of them, but here are most of the Sundays Daan drew, sometimes inked by himself, sometimes by others. I guess the gags were provided by the company, as was the case with the dailies. Some fit his strengths better than others.

I have added the credits from the extensive list in Alan Holtz' Guide To American Newspaper Comics, which in turn by our good friend, Alfredo Beccatini. Some of these can be seen on the international Duck list at I.N.D.U.C.K.S. but at least this is the most complete run of American language Sundays I have yet seen, including some that were totally new to me. Check the comments section, where I will try to get Daan to comment himself.

Dec 7, 1986: Daan Jippes (p), Jules Coenen (i)

Dec 14, 1986: Jorgen Klubien (p), Jules Coenen (i)

Dec 21, 1986: Jorgen Klubien (p), Jules Coenen (i)

no scan available

Dec 28, 1986: Jorgen Klubien (p), Jules Coenen (i)

Jan 4, 1987: Frank Smith (p&i)

no scan available

Jan 11, 1987: Daan Jippes (p), Jules Coenen (i)

Jan 18, 1987: Daan Jippes (p), Jules Coenen (i)

Jan 25, 1987: Tony Strobl (p), Daan Jippes (i)

Feb 1, 1987: Tony Strobl (rough), Daan Jippes (p), Bill Langley or possibly Daan Jippes (i)

Feb 8, 1987: Tony Strobl (rough), Daan Jippes (p), Bill Langley or probably Daan Jippes (i)

Feb 15, 1987: Tony Strobl (rough), Daan Jippes (p), Daan Jippes (i)

Feb 22, 1987: Tony Strobl (rough), Daan Jippes (p), Daan Jippes (i)

March 1, 1987: Bill Langley (p&i)

March 8, 1987: Bill Langley (p&i)

no scan available

March 15, 1987: Tony Strobl (rough), Daan Jippes (p), Daan Jippes (i)

March 22, 1987: Tony Strobl (p), Daan Jippes (i)

March 22, 1987: Tony Strobl (p), Jules Coenen (i)

Monday, March 02, 2015

Pretty Face

Monday Cartoon Day.

Gene Hazelton is best know as one of the designers of the Flagstones, which was the original name for the Hanna Barbera series The Flintstones. He had trained at Disney and worked on several of their early features before leaving the company to go free-lance. I have shown a couple of his cartoons for Collier's, but they were clearly not enough to earn a living. From what I could learn on the internet, he worked as an animation designer for commercials in the fifties. After that he joined Hanna Barbera, where he not only designed the famous caveman family, but also drew for the Sunday and daily newspaper strip versions in the sixties. He also was the second or third artist on the Sunday only Yogi Bear strip in that same decade.

One of his rare solo productions was the newspaper panel Angel Face, drawn in his own style, but bordering on that of Denis the Menace. One of the many Denis knock-off of that period, I have shown a set of samples that had been doing the rounds on the internet. These undated samples were said to have been from 1957 (in their file names) and ever since I saw them I have been looking for more.

Imagine my surprise when I finally came across a longer run of this rare item from November 1954 to July 1955. The art itself does not seem to be any different than the samples from '1957', which begs the question if they could have been misdated. Sadly, my run of is incomplete because 1. the paper itself is not represented completely at newspapers.com and 2. the paper in which I found them (the Ogden Standard-Examiner) did not use all of it's gag panels every day. In fact, it is rare to have more than three in any given week. This also means that none of the dates in the 1957 samples (which do have a month and day notation, just not the year) double those in my run - which means it is entirely possible that the whole 1957 attribution is wrong. if not, the strip ran for at least three years and there are many, many more samples out there.

Now I have to warn you. The gags are never as funny as those in Denis the Menace. And frankly, the gags are not even Denis' best feature. Also, as good an artist as Hazelton is, he is not the graphic genius that hank Ketcham was. Even the worst of Denis' gags can be a graphic miracle, worth studying every time. On the other had, these gags do represent the only solo work by Hazelton we have and he does have a very alluring style.

So I am excited to have found these and I have gone through the trouble to represent all of them for you. Maybe I will finally come across one of the 1957 dates and we'll be able to see if that earlier set is a new one or not. Even though the panels are incomplete, it will take two Mondays to show all of them. Here is the first set.