Thursday, September 29, 2016

Back When Journalists Were Heroes

Thursday Newspaper Strip Day.

I think this is pretty special. I have quite long runs of Jack Sparling's two forties newspaper strips, Hap Hopper and Calaire Voyant. I will be sharing them here in portions, hopefully a couple of months every week (they are mostly scanned, but cleaning them does take some time). What I find remarkable about these strips is that they are of a pretty high quality even though a. they are not often mentioned in comic strip histories and b. Jack Sparling went on to a prolific but never exciting career as comic strip artist with minor publishers. I caan't help but wonder that with some help and a good writer he would have gotten a lot further. I will also be showing some of his illustration work from the fifties, which shows the same blend of humor and realistic drawing.

Hap Hopper was supposely written by the political journalist duo of Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen, but the daily storylines at least were ghostwritten. If the Sunday were, I don't know. They feature single gags, that may or may not have come from the duo's own experience. Odd to have a gag strip with such realistic art. In that respect only Will Eisner seems like a compatriot of Sparling and although he never worked for Eisner, he does seem to have been aware of him (especially on the later Claire Voyant).

I hope you'll like and and will come back for more.




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Cold Enough For Now

Wednesday Illustration Day.

Long Before Dick Hodgins Jr. became the artist on Hank Ketcham's Half Hitch or started assistign DikBrowne on his strips, he did a lot of work for newspapers, such as this Santa Claus story he illustrated in the early sixties. I clipped it a long time ago and whenever it is Christmas I forget to show it. So here it is in advance...