Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mounties in the Comics: Yukon Charlie (Scotland)

Lord of the Yukon appeared in a Scottish D. C. Thomson comic The Victor and was borrowed from here. If prizes were given for the oddest looking mountie ever Yukon Charlie would be a shoe-in with his short figure and wizened face.

Another unique idea was Space Mounties written by Pierre Veys and illustrated by Guilhem. An interesting article on mountie comics is : La Police Montée canadienne dans les Petits Formats found here. Or a translated version here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mounties in the Comics: Batman of the Mounties (US)

This cover was actually drawn by Win (James Winslow) Mortimer who was born May 1, 1919 in Hamilton, Ontario, and died January 11, 1998. In 1950 Mortimer took over the Superman daily strip. There is an in-depth look at this comic at Blackmarket Pies blog

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lefty by Tom Kay 1948

The Worker was a well-used title worldwide as an organ for the Communist movement. This Toronto based Worker was an Anti-commie publication. The front-page cartoonist on the Worker was a man named Tom Kay, a single-panel guy. His character is a sharp-nosed, brilliantine haired, five day shadow type of guy named - you guessed it - Lefty. Lefty resembles a Stalinesque juvenile delinquent.

In this case the right co-opted the generally left “Worker” title, it took me a while to catch on that I was not reading a socialist publication, but there was something not quite right about Lefty... Some headlines - Moscow Radio Likes to see the C. C. F. Get Support -- If War Came Could the Commies Sabotage Industry? -- Criminal is Cop- Red Runs Police -- Reds in 11 Defense Industries Lead 100,000 Canadian Workers -- Commie Lawyer Barred In B. C. -- Goon Squad Beats Up Union Chief.

I found this snippet on Google Book Search, from Apostles of Discord: A Study of Organized Bigotry and Disruption on the Fringes of Protestantism, a 1953 book published in Boston > “Venomous cartoons by Bill Paulson and Tom Kay are included for good measure.”

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mounties in the Comics: Dudley Do-Right

Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties, we salute you. Dudley was hands down the most famous cartoon Mountie ever created. His hilarious melodramamatic adventures appeared on NBC's Bullwinkle Show, broadcast from 1961 to 1964. Dudley was voiced by Bill Scott, Nell Fenwick by June Foray, and William Conrad was the narrator. Dudley-Do-Right's name is invoked in parliament, on blogs and in coffee-shop conversation. Canadians have embraced the character as their own, and the death of writer Chris Hayward was occasion for this obituary on the CBC.

Mounties in the Comics: Dick Daring (UK) 1958

Thriller Picture Library was published under Leonard Matthews at Fleetway Publications in London. One Dick Daring cartoonist was Italian Sergio Tarquinio. The Fleetway Libraries were pocket-size with b&w interior pages. My good friend Steve Holland has identified the cover artists seen here >

"Artists were Jordi Penalva (300), Stefan Barany (312), and Nino Caroselli (319). There's a book coming out in October called "The Art of War" by David Roach which includes many, many examples of Penalva and Caroselli cover art for the war picture libraries also published by Fleetway."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Corrupt Comics

The Canadian crackdown on crime comics began in 1949 and the full story is told here. These three poorly reproduced microfilm articles came from Toronto Saturday Night in 49-50. The arguments were still going on in 1954 as seen here.

What Happened Next?

Arthur G. Racey drew the first English language comic strip in Canada for the Montreal Star. The strip "What Happened Next?" began on Saturday January 6, 1912 and ran until about July 4, 1913. These were usually 6 panels with both balloons and poetic text running underneath. Kids would win a prize if they submitted one panel to finish off the strip, the "What Happened Next ?" and many of these kids did a creditable job of submitting the last panel in Racey's style. The first comic strip featured a hobo (top Jan 6) who was replaced by regular characters Ted and Tad, a boy and girl, their Uncle Fred and Aunt Angelina (very bottom Jan 13). Racey eventually tired of the slapstick of Ted ‘n’ Tad and continued with different characters in comic strip one-shots until S'Matter Pop replaced it on October 11, 1913.

While the Opper influence on his work is noticeable (and is just as noticeable in the old Moon cartoons circa 1903) it is not slavish copying -- Racey took the work of his hero and made something entirely his own. When "What Happened Next?" finished, Racey carried on with a series of brilliant one-off's beginning with "Uncle Silas Has His Picture "Took." 6/21/13, "Tastes Differ; Or, The Disappointed Tramp"8/23/13, Racey's Microbial denizens of Microbe Hollow, a recurring one-panel in the old Moon, were dusted off and run as a one-shot strip "Romance in Microbe Hollow" 9/13/13, There was "Romance of a Montreal Melon" 9/20/13, and the last a beautifully drawn sequence "The Mischievous Monk" 10/4/13. Racey kept a private Zoo and his animal cartoons were anatomically correct. S'Matter Pop by Payne replaced Racey on 10/11/13. Racey continued working with political cartoons and illustrations for columns by Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock.

These comic strips by Racey stand up well to the best work of the Americans during the Platinum period, Opper, Swinnerton, Dirks and all. They are written "funny" and drawn "funny," and there is not one false line, Racey was a facile confident cartoonist who filled Canadian papers with cartoons from the turn of the Century with Grip to the beginning of World War II in the Family Herald and the Grain Grower's Guide. I would gladly see a few pigeon-spattered statues in Ottawa replaced by a monument to Arthur G. Racey, King of Canuck Cartoonists.

Strangely enough "What Happened Next?" does not seem to have been syndicated. I say strangely because his political and single-panel cartoons appeared in literally every newspaper in Canada through-out his career.

Friday, June 6, 2008

It Happened in Montana

Two 1940 single-panel cartoons by Montana artist Jim Masterson with Canadian backgrounds. More on Masterson here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hector Brault VI

Sadly these are the last few samples I have containing Hector Brault's comic art banners to the British reprints. Some of the text for Bronco Roi des Prairies was cut off a bit during printing. The bottom page was from Le Samedi 20 novembre 1943. A review of all the posts can be seen HERE.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Le Samedi (1888-1963)

Frédéric Poirier launched Le Samedi in 1888 as a humour magazine and it lasted until 1963 when it became Le Nouveau samedi. Directeur artistique was comic artist Hector Brault. Insides of Le Samedi consisted of feuilleton, roman policier and photo essays. Poirier published a similar magazine, La Revue populaire, which also carried bande dessinée by Brault. How long they were publishing comic pages is anyone's guess. Twenties? Thirties, Forties?

I have had a small collection of clippings of the comic pages for about ten years now but always figured they were reprints of European bande dessinée and British comic art. Recently I bought the issue pictured, from 19 septembre 1942, and noticing Hector Brault's signature on the comic pages looked him up to discover that he was from Québec and a cartoonist. Needless to say I was visibly chuffed to rediscover such an interesting fellow in Canadian comic history.

The cover at the top of the page is by another rather famous Canadian cartoonist, Albert Chartier, well-known for his comic strip work. Jeet Heer has an article on Chartier HERE. Did Chartier also contribute adventure serials to Poirier's popular magazines?

Poirier published one more magazine, Le Film.

Signed Bob ?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hector Brault V

Another British western for Le Samedi 28 juin 1947. This page is followed by something much more modern, a Caniffian serial called L'Espion No. 11, which appeared on the same date. No signature is discernible, it may have been the job of another Québec cartoonist.

Tim McCoy

La Vengeance de "Loup-Gris" with banner by Hector Brault. This British reprint features the cowboy hero of the thirties and forties Tim McCoy. From Le Samedi, 30 Juin 1951.