Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Adventures of Tom Scheuer

Wednesday Advertising Day.

Recently I found out that former Timely Atlas and Johnstone and Cushing artist Tom Scheuer has written a biography. After he years as a commercial artist he worked as a ghost for several artists. Changing his name to the way it was spelled, Tom Sawyer. He went on to write for television and eventually became the headwriter of the longrunning detective series Murder She Wrote. Since I am a television writer, this biography is a double treat for me. I have placed a link to Amazon to the right. To go with that I have two samples of advertising strips, that I think are his. Fans of comic strips will see that he was a great influence on Neal Adams, or rther that Neal Adams took what he and others had done in the illustrator's style and morphed it into something even more gripping. The ad under that is a lot erlier and probably by Elmer Wexler, another Johnstone and Cushing employee, who did a lot of work in this style. All three of them are represented on this blog with lots more, if you follow the link.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bear With Me

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

I have been scaning so many Yogi Bear Sundays, that I forgot that I haven't shown any for over a year now. So here, to make up for that, here is what I cleaned up so far.

Monday, August 14, 2017

In The Pocket

Monday Cartoon Day.

Over the years, I have been showing a lot of Mort Walker's cartoons here. It got me an invitation to Mort Walker's house, where I spent a couple of days last month to help Bill Janocha with a book he is doing on the subject. Using many of Mort's own originals (some of them unsold and therefor unpublished) it will be a spectacular tome. Since Mort Walker was such a success as a cartoonist, the book won't be collecting all of his work (we found a list of 3000 cartoons he did in the four years he was at it). Some of the rares pieces he did do (which probably won't be in the book, or at least not all of them) were for Martin Goodman's Atlas magazines. Goodman is know here for his comic book division, run by his nephew once removed, Stan Lee. But he also had a whole magazine division, which was run by others, such as his brother Abe and editor Mel Blum. Covering the whole length of periodicals from chique to not so chique, he also dabble in a genre taht was very popular in the fifties - the digest sized and pocket sized magazines. Focus had been an oversized broadsheet in the late forties (edited by Stan Lee even), but in the fifties it was turned into a pocketsized magazine. Supposedly for the commuter wanting to read something on the train, although the pictures of scantily dressed ladies or the articles about strip clubs didn't really allow for that. Slightly bigger (and only slightly more respectable) was Brief, which was digest sized. From the content and the quality of production, I would say Martin Goodman was trying to eat into the sales of the similar Pageant or even Coronet. It is in that magazine that Mort Walker illustrated two articles with his cartoons. By 1952 the Sunday for Beetle Bailey had been added and Mort was not really doing any more new cartoons, but these seem ti have been a. an exception and b. especially ordered. I'd love to know the whole story about them, but sadly, Mort doesn't really remember. The success of Beetle overtook all of that.

I will be selling my digest and pocket magazines on Ebay this week, so do give that a look if you have a chance.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Panel Panic

Sunday Meskin Measures.

In Black Magic #12 there are two Mort Meskin stories. They illustrate what I find troublesome about most of this title. The stories seem to have been thrown together without much thought to unity, as if everyone was in a hurry. In these two, the sudden shift to a different panel lay-out (on page four and seven in the first story and page three and five in the second one) bothers me. Maybe it was done in reaction to the (too) large amounts of text.