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Happy Art Sansom’s Birthday

Cartoonist Art Sansom was born 100 years ago on September 16, 1920.

Twenty-five years after his birth Art Samsom would join the NEA art staff, an organization with which he would spend the rest of his life. In 1948 Art would be picked to continue the weekly Peggy comic strip for the syndicate.

Yes. Art started his cartooning career as a “realistic” artist (though Peggy was a gag strip). Art would continue drawing the Peggy strip into 1951, by which time he and Russ Winterbotham has started the sci-fi strip Chris Welkin – Planeteer.

Chris Welkin and his two sidekicks are kidnapped into outer space by nefarious aliens. The daily strip would last only a couple years, but the Sunday page continued until April 1965.


From 1962 to 1964 Art also drew another Sunday-only adventure strip for NEA. In a change from spacemen he illustrated the Vic Flint detective strip; a first person narrative in pseudo-Spillane fashion (but without the sex and little violence).

Less than a month after Chris Welkin ended Art started a strip that would bring him fame and fortune.

Some little time would pass before Brutus Thornapple would emerge as the star of The Born Loser.

Art, who had been collaborating with his son Chip on The Born Loser since 1977, would try another daily strip in 1982 and 1983. This would be a gag strip located at a dude ranch and, naturally, distributed by NEA. In this collaboration Art was the writer and Chip was the artist.

When Art died, after a long illness, The Born Loser continued seamlessly as Chip had been doing the strip for quite a while. Art’s Loser was a quick success and remains so, running in over 1,000 papers.

 

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