By Robert C. Harvey
This paintings examines the caricature all through its historical past for the weather that make cartoons the most beautiful of the preferred arts. The cartoon used to be created through rival newspapers as a tool of their movement battles. It fast validated itself as not just an efficient equipment, but in addition as an establishment that quickly unfold to newspapers world-wide. This ancient examine unfolds the heritage of the funnies and divulges the delicate paintings of the way the strips combination notice and photographs to make their influence. The booklet additionally finds new details and weighs the effect of syndication upon the medium. Milestones within the artwork of cartooning featured contain: Mutt and Jeff, Dick Tracy, Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Popeye, Krazy Kat, and others. more moderen classics also are incorporated, akin to Peanuts, Tumbleweeds, Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes.
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Extra resources for The Art of the Funnies: An Aesthetic History (Studies in Popular Culture (Paperback))
He laced his strip with solid blacks. Every panel has a huge black area. Ceilings, walls, streets, the sides of buildings or furniture—any of these might be solid black if there were no other possibility for using black in a panel. Tracy always wore a black suit, which Gould presented as a solid shape, virtually a silhouette. And there are plenty of other characters in black suits if Tracy isn't around. Surprisingly, though, all this black does not create a mood of foreboding and pending disaster as it does in Little Orphan Annie—perhaps because there are no grays, no ambiguities, in Gould's artwork. Shadows are seldom created in graduated shades: objects have a solid black side (the side away from the light source) and a delineated side (the side facing the light). Nor are people ever in shadow: they are Page 108 Figure 58. Some of Gould's rogue's gallery: (top) Little Face, BB Eyes, Mrs. Pruneface, Boris Arson, Laffy, Shakey, Breathless Mahoney, Jerome Trohs and Mamma; (bottom) Flat Top, Pruneface, Influence, Blow Top, Vitamin Flintheart, B. O. Plenty, Gravel Gertie, and Itchy. either fully depicted or completely silhouetted. The result is a stark rendition of reality—planes of black giving definition to planes of white (and vice versa) with uncompromising contrast. The strip is an exercise in black and white both graphically and philosophically. There are no grays in Gould's moral convictions either. Despite the precision of his technique, however, his graphic treatment is not photographic in the illustrative manner; it is only semirealistic. It is a style that permitted Gould a dramatic deviation from naturalism. And he took full advantage of the opportunity: he created a gallery of ghoulish villains, caricatures of evil that underscored the moral of his strip: crime doesn't pay, and a life of crime will put you in daily communion with such creatures as these (figure 58). Pruneface, Flattop, the Mole, Shoulders, BB Eyes, the Brow, Shakey, Mumbles—none of them are realistically rendered. All are grotesques, gargoyles of criminality. Hence the greatness of the strip: Gould's unique achievement was to combine realistic storytelling and graphic moralizing. It is a combination none of his throng of imitators could successfully duplicate or sustain. Gould's gratitude to and admiration for Patterson remained undiminished throughout a long career. "I owe everything that came to me in those days to the faith Patterson had in the strip," he once said. 14 And Patterson's counsel did not end with their initial meeting. He continued to give advice—on everything from broad plot outlines to tiny transitional maneuvers for getting from one story to the next—as he did the same with all the TribuneNews Syndicate cartoonists. Sometimes the ideas came to the cartoonists by memo or phone call. Sometimes they came out of the special forum Patterson conducted to nudge his strips to continued success. Patterson had regular monthly meetings with his Chicago cartoonists, commuting from New York after he'd moved there permanently.