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

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

Robert C. Harvey

Language: English

Pages: 252

ISBN: 0878056742

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This work examines the comic strip throughout its history for the elements that make cartoons one of the most appealing of the popular arts. The comic strip was created by rival newspapers as a device in their circulation battles. It quickly established itself as not only an effective device, but also as an institution that soon spread to newspapers world-wide. This historical study unfolds the history of the funnies and reveals the subtle art of how the strips blend word and pictures to make their impact. The book also unearths new information and weighs the influence of syndication upon the medium. Milestones in the art of cartooning featured include: Mutt and Jeff, Dick Tracy, Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Popeye, Krazy Kat, and others. More recent classics are also included, such as Peanuts, Tumbleweeds, Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes.

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of all "impurities," all "migratory birds"—that is, foreigners—but because he can't see well enough to identify his victims, it isn't long before every­      Page 194 Figure 104.  In introducing his Joseph McCarthy character in 1953, Kelly made the senator's stand­in, Simple J. Malarkey, a genuinely  threatening individual, whose ominous presence endangered life, limb, and the integrity of the republic. The satiric resolution

we see them, just as we simultaneously hear and see people in life. In my own cartooning efforts (sporadic and itinerant as they are), the inclusion of speech balloons in any drawing has always seemed to change substantially the nature  of the drawing. I've probably drawn hundreds of pictures of characters posturing and cavorting about, but however animated and vivid those drawings may be, it isn't

ordinarily afforded them, Patterson produced an outrageous, sobby, glamorous sheet featuring sex and scandal, pictures and contests—a three­ring circus of sensa­      Page 95 tion and entertainment. At first, he managed the paper from Chicago, making frequent visits to the New York offices. By 1926, though, when the Daily News had

never see the camel: Foster chose a close­up, relatively rare for this period of his work on the feature, to depict their flight across the desert, and the camel isn't shown  at all. Probably Foster didn't like drawing camels.) The writers were inordinately fond of a Time­style sentence structure that runs backwards, beginning with modifiers  and ending with the verb: "Swiftly did Tarzan strike." "Long had it been…." "Desperately the Ape Man fought." After a while, this kind of poetry palls.

indebted to them. It's clear that the character had piqued Caniff's interest. He would return to mine this vein of personality more thoroughly. Even in the simpler story in the daily strips, Caniff's storytelling instinct for complicating matters to make them more interesting found expression. He enlivened  Patterson's trite plot by investing it with more than one story line. To the threat posed by Poppy Joe and his band, he added the mysterious menace of a second string

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