Wayback Whensday: Classic Cartoonists

In the same month that famed cartoonist Milton Caniff signed the deal to draw Terry and the Pirates, he received the following note from an editor about his work:

“I think you’re losing something in your drawing — a quality you had when you first went to New York. Your sketches are getting to be cut and dried — and too cartoony. I wonder if you remember a negative-souled little artist who used to work in Kline-Roberts office in Columbus. I haven’t thought of him in years, but somehow your sketches remind me of his art which fairly breathed ‘small-town-commercial-artist.’”

The criticism was levied by Lonore Kent, who’d given Caniff a freelance assignment and wasn’t pleased with his latest work.

Michael O’Connell, for The Comics Journal reports on Milton Caniff‘s early 1930s commercial work for Lonore Kent of Save the Surface Magazine for the National Paint, Oil and Varnish Association, Inc., including correspondence.

50 Years Gone – Remembering Walt Kelly (August 13, 1913 – October 18, 1973)


Commonwealth Comics

The cartoon spaceman was hatched in the nimble brain of Dundonian Sydney Jordan and is widely regarded as one of the most influential sci-fi comic strips of all-time.

He escaped dour 1950s Scotland not just for London but for the Galaxy when he developed his earlier Orion idea which was commissioned by the Daily Express.

It was taken up but only after the Flash Gordon-like heroic character was renamed Jeff Hawke and given the position of a Royal Air Force Pilot.

Graeme Strrachen, for The Courier, profiles Sydney Jordan and Jeff Hawke.

While Nat Karmichael, as part of his kickstarter, gives a short rundown of John Dixon and Air Hawk.

Air Hawk” is the name of an Australian newspaper adventure strip that ran for many years. Air Hawk is the name of an air charter service based in Alice Springs, operated by pilot Jim Hawk. In addition to operating this enterprise, Jim supplies an Emergency Relief Unit to assist any Royal Flying Doctor Service base in need during times of special emergency. 

The Sunday adventures began in 1959 and appeared weekly until 1980. The daily stories commenced in 1963, finishing in 1986 when artist-writer-creator John Dixon (1929-2015) decided to leave Australia to begin magazine work in the United States of America.

2 thoughts on “Wayback Whensday: Classic Cartoonists

  1. After all these years, I still cannot accept the idea that Walt Kelly is really gone. I look at his work so often — Pogo and his comic book work and everything I can find — that he somehow feels like he is contemporary. Some cartoonists one admires and enjoys, and some cartoonists one loves, both the work and the artist. Guess which kind Kelly is. Damn, I wish he’d laid off the booze.

  2. Walt Kelly is really gone… I’ll just say, Gosh-a-mickle, dickle, pickle, dog-my-cats and Rowrbazzle…!!! (Pogo turning the air blue.)

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