San Clemente and Comics

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 Hi everyone,

Cathy and I spent last weekend (June 26th and 27th) painting in the beach town of San Clemente at the annual San Clemente Plein Air festival. We painted from a model named Peter at the “Quick Draw”, at Ole Hanson’s (the founder of San Clemente) home: the Casa Romantica, and at the San Clemente State Park Campground, where Cathy did this oil study of an airstream trailer. She loves the streamlined classic look of these old trailers. Click on the image to enlarge it and study how she created her twilight lighting effects up close.

In comics, here’s Milt Gross’s NIZE BABY from 4/24/1927:

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It looks like Looie Dot Dope is at fault for stuffing Isidore’s mouth with that pool ball. I love the panel with the Italian grocer chasing and hitting Papa with a banana stalk. The last panel with Looie hiding under the stairs ties the story up well. This strip was really brittle, I had to piece it together to take the picture. I used to tape newspapers together when I was a kid, now I never get any adhesive anywhere NEAR old newspapers. The tape just winds up staining whatever it touches. Much better to just piece them together, then photo or scan. If I knew Photoshop, I could make the joins in that program, but it’s too expensive for me.

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Krazy this week is from 9/25 to 9/30/1939. Garge does a whole week’s worth of gags featuring a half-a-brick. We get to meet a mouse pal of Ignatz’s: “Skweeky” (9/28)! I think this is one of Herriman’s more inspired strings of gags. He might have been tempted to do just half-a-strip for one of the dailies, but maybe his editor wouldn’t have understood.

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In Marvelous Mike this week (5/5 to 5/10/1957) Cliff puts Billy the orphan in the foundling home. (By the way, did you notice that in the first panel of the May fifth strip, Kuwahara drew the wrong arrow on the speech balloon, Mike isn’t talking, Billy is! Another clue is that the balloon isn’t lettered in Mike’s special font.) Mike feels like a fink for “ratting” on Billy, so he turns Cliff in to the IRS!  Talk about being a fink! We’ll see how this strange move fits Mike’s plans next time. Enjoy the strips over the Fourth of July weekend!

THIS JUST IN: Cathy and I were in San Clemente over June 26 and 27th, so we missed an historic Estate Sale in Van Nuys. It was the estate of Manuel Gonzales, the great Disney comic strip artist who drew the Mickey Mouse Sunday page for many years. His wife is moving into a care facility, so she sold the house and all the contents. There were many King Features Syndicate proof sheets on Mickey Sunday pages, Courvoisier cels from Snow White, many old art books, antiques, all sorts of things. If you go to www.AversaEstateSales.Com right away, you will find pictures of the three Snow White cels, all Dwarf images. They are still up for grabs. I met Manuel, or Manny as they used to call him, many years ago when I visited the ramshackle building that held the Disney comic strip department on the lot in Burbank. I also met Floyd Gottfredson that day, I was absolutely in awe of him. Meeting Floyd for me was better than meeting Clark Gable, or Ronald Colman! He was such a modest man, who drew his Mickey dailies with a crippled hand. Imagine that beautiful ink line coming from a hand that was too crippled to be good for anything but holding the pen! Manny told me that Floyd was the grand old man of the department, and much admired by all. Manny and his wife lived at 15215 Marlin Place in Van Nuys, should any of you want to make a pilgrimage to the shrine!

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