Sunday, December 26, 2010


I'm having difficulty using the computer because it's in my kid's old room and my kid is staying with us for the holiday.  He's pacing up and down in the living room right now, waiting for me to finish typing.  Aaaargh! I can't think when I have to write this fast!

Anyway, here's some vintage comic strip Christmas pages from a hundred years ago. Many thanks to Allan Holtz of Stripper's Guide (link in the sidebar) for the swipes. Click to enlarge.

About the strip above, I like the way this artist lays out the page. It's an ignorant style but there's something funny about it.  Sort of Hugh Lofting (Dr. Dolittle) meets Opper.

Above, The Katzenjammer Kids. I didn't used to like this strip but it's growing on me.

I like the simple, linear layout showing stupid characters sitting at a dinner table (detail above).

Very nice (above)! If I were an editor I'd run a strip like this regardless of whether the character had appeal. Reading this makes me want to draw.

Here's (above) the final panels in a two week long series where Santa develops a military plan to bomb a town with toys. Oops...I have to surrender the room to my kid. 'Hope you guys had a good Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Hey Eddie. I just wanted to thank you for that fantastic advice that you gave me on the last post that you made, even though you did not have to if you didn't want to. It's helped me out tremendously and also made me realize that worrying about all these problems all the time is only going to make me ill mentally, which is why I've been keeping myself busy by reading, drawing (especially by doodling ideas in my smaller sketchbooks), and watching a few movies from time to time to help me take my mind off the issues for a while, no matter how grim the reality may be.

As for these vintage comic strips, I love all the ones that you posted, even though a few of these I'm not familiar with myself. Funny how I've watched more of the animated MGM Katzenjammer Kids (The Captain and the Kids) cartoons than I've ever looked at the original comic strips. Really interesting.

Steven M. said...

I love ignorance in cartoons (the good kind).

Anonymous said...

Seconded on the deliberate ignorance. It reminds me of your post on the Far Side where you pointed out all the comically artificial staging. I wonder if Gary was influenced directly by any vintage cartoons. For his cartoonist influences he only mentions Don Martin, B. Kliban and Gahan Wilson, as well as the Turok and Tarzan comic books.

He really did seem to just wing it, it would be fascinating to be able to watch the process of him drawing a cartoon. There's some great stories in The Complete Far Side about him constantly erasing and redrawing characters to get their faces right. As someone who isn't the greatest draughtsman in the world in is comforting to hear him say things like "squirrels are hard to draw".