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Milton Caniff to be subject of 2007 Festival of Cartoon Art

The ninth triennial Festival of Cartoon Art has a date of October 26 and 27 in Columbus Ohio. This year’s festival will focus on the work of Milton Caniff.

From the OSU’s web site:

Milton Caniff, known as the “Rembrandt of the Comic Strip” for his work on Terry and the Pirates, Male Call, and Steve Canyon, is one of the most honored cartoonists in history, with awards ranging from two Cartoonist of the Year “Reuben” awards from his peers in the National Cartoonists Society, to the Exceptional Service Award of the United States Air Force. A May 19, 1947 Newsweek cover story about Caniff estimated that the daily readership of Steve Canyon was thirty million people worldwide.

Caniff is especially noted for his accurate background research and excellent writing; for his innovative use of graphic techniques in his comic strips; for his unusual public service, especially to the United States Air Force; and for his professional leadership in founding the National Cartoonists Society and the Newspaper Features Council (later named the Newspaper Features Council).

Terry and the Pirates provided the vehicle for Caniff’s maturation both as an artist and as a storyteller. Caniff set the strip in exotic China where historic events then occurring in the region during the 1930s provided the raw material from which he blended fantasy and reality to create an extraordinary graphic narrative. His stories gripped millions of readers worldwide, as evidenced by the fact that he received more than 10,000 letters from readers between 1934 and 1945. Caniff’s sense of design and composition are legendary. Few, if any, cartoonists have so heavily influenced their successors as Milton Caniff. Terry and the Pirates had more imitators that any other comic strip in history.

OSU’s Cartoon Research Library will have an official web site with more details shortly.

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Community Comments

#1 Sharon Rinehart
@ 8:59 am

My aunt went to Stivers High School with Milton Caniff. Among her things, I found a collection of cartoon strips entitled, “Chic and Noodles at School” dated 1925. The cartoon strips had appeared in the Stivers student paper and were collected for Caniff’s graduating class, I believe. Is there any interest in this kind of Caniff memorability?

#2 Dave Stephens
@ 12:31 pm

Massive interest. He was called “Rembrandt of the comic strip”.

Google it, why don’t ya?

#3 Dan Lucas
@ 10:17 am

My grandmother graduated from Stivers, class of ’25, with Caniff. I have the 50th anniversary reunion “Chic and Noodles” and his self-portrait, as well as the 1925 issue of the school paper with the last “Chic and Noodles” strip. I also have the Dayton newspaper’s article honoring all the grads with their photos, including my grandmother and Caniff.

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