Penmen of the Past (a Comic Chronicles issue)

Mike Rhode reports on Sara Duke revealing that The Library of Congress has received
a new addition from 1918 to their collection by Harrison Cady, a master of the arts.


“Written by Jim Edgar, ‘Matt Marriott’ was the finest and most atmospheric newspaper strip about the American Wild West that has ever been produced,” artist David Lloyd has previously enthused. “Tony Weare was one of just a very few strip artists here and in the US whose creative identities owed nothing to the heritage of stylisation which influenced many other newspaper adventure strip creators – he was primarily an illustrator who just happened to love drawing strips.

“His style on Marriott was that of a sketch artist – a portrayer of the instant,” he continued. “It was naturalistic, raw, and unsophisticated – perfect for depicting the primitive quality of a realistic-looking Wild West. One of his major strengths as a strip artist lay in his consistently creative compositions.”

John Freeman, at downthetubes, renews the plea for an English collection.


… This brings us to David Kunzle.

The professor emeritus of art history at the University of California is one of the foremost experts on 19-century comic strips and contemporary comics scholarship. During COVID-19, I read his superb book, Father of the Comic Strip: Rodolphe Töpffer (2007).

Michael Taube, for Troy Media, appreciates the cartoonists before the birth of newspaper cartoons, and the historian who brings them back from the forgotten past.

Kunzle’s books bring the comics of yesteryear magically back to life. If you take the time to read them, you’ll be transported to a 19-century playground where painters, illustrators and early cartoonists built an industry that continues to thrive today.


Iwerks’ relationship to Walt, and his contributions to the Disney legacy, make for a longer and more complex story. When they first met, it was as co-workers, two 18-year-old kids hired by the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Company as apprentice artists and destined for layoffs after brief service with the firm. Of any two artists there, they were an unlikely duo. Walt, even then, was eager, optimistic, and ambitious, in a hurry to learn and improve. Those who knew Iwerks described him as shy, monosyllabic and, unusually for a cartoonist, humorless. But the two men became friends. Not long after their layoff, they also became business partners.

William Fischer and Collider on Ub Iwerks and the seed that became Dsiney Corp.