Comics and Scaduto

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In our comics this week, we pay tribute to the late Al Scaduto, who drew and wrote “They’ll Do It Every Time” for King Features Syndicate for many years. He continued the feature started by Jimmy Hatlo in 1929 for the sports page of the San Francisco Call. Scaduto used gag suggestions from his readers as did Hatlo and Bob Dunn before him. Hatlo’s family, the Tremblechins originated in TDIE, as did his devilish little girl: L’il Iodine. TDIE was syndicated in 1936 and continued up to Feb. 3, 2008, the last Sunday page, a run of 72 years! (That’s the last daily, Feb. 2nd, and the last Sunday page above.) Hy Eisman and Scaduto were assistants to Hatlo and Dunn originally, now Hy Eisman is the sole surviving member of the Hatlo “gang”, he still draws The Katenjammer Kids and Popeye for King Features. Milt Gross is tacitly connected to this gang, as Bob Dunn was Gross’s assistant for awhile.

Here is the text of an e-mail I wrote to Al Scaduto’s family:

Hi Scaduto family,
> Please accept my sympathies on the passing of Al Scaduto.
> I’ve been a fan of Al Scaduto, Bob Dunn and Jimmy Hatlo for a
> long time. I’ve noticed that “They’ll Do It Every Time” is
> continuing under his by-line. Are these strips that Al Scaduto
> back-logged, reprints or done by a new artist under the Scaduto
> name? I really have enjoyed the feature, and hope it can
> continue, if only My Daily Ink would display the Sunday page
> larger with more detail! Again, I think Al’s work was funny and
> I love his drawing, his attention to detail in props was
> especially impressive. He kept pretty much up-to-date with the
> feature right up to the end. He will be missed.
> In Sympathy, Mark Kausler, a fan

And here is Al Scaduto’s daughter Pat’s reply:

Mr. Kausler:  Thank you for writing.  My father worked approximately two months ahead of schedule so the strip will continue until February 2nd which is the last piece of artwork that he submitted.  From what King Features says, they will not have another artist continue with the strip.  I can’t imagine anyone else doing it.  My dad was one of a kind.  I wish you could have met him.  He was one terrific guy.  Thanks again for your sympathy.  Pat Violette

     It was very nice of Pat to write me back, I really didn’t expect a response. I think this is an important milestone; the conclusion of a strip that ran a total of 82 years going back to the local run! Scaduto’s drawing remained pretty strong all the way up to the end, I liked how the characters always looked a little like the 1940s, even though they were using cell phones and Hi-Def TVs. I noticed that the hospital jokes were more numerous in the last few months, maybe Mr. Scaduto did some of those strips from his sick bed. I wish I could have met him, as Pat said. It’s very unusual that King Features elected to discontinue the strip, look how long they’ve continued The Katenjammer Kids, for instance. King Features must have recognized how personal Scaduto’s version of the strip was. So long, Al and goodbye to “They’ll Do It Every Time”. 

Also this week, I have reprinted the next two pages of “Fair Weather Enemies” from Felix #3, by Jim Tyer. Jerry Beck thinks that maybe Joe Oriolo did clean-up on Felix, because he seems to be drawn “on-model”. That may be so.  “Marvelous Mike” continues with the strips from 3/26 to 3/31/1956; the next episodes of the “Kimball Ad Agency” storyline. That Mike was a genius, he could write and he could draw. I have started to do real scans of the strips, but they are from inadequate microfilm copies. They are murky, but you should be able to make most of them out.  This is probably the only reprint you will ever see, so enjoy.

Cathy and I went out to Encanto Park in Duarte, Ca. last Thusday to paint with our group. We did studies of Mount Baldy all covered with snow. Snow is rare around here, so we all thought it was worth turning out to paint. That brilliant white mountain with dark hills and Eucalyptus trees in the foreground was quite a challenge. I did two watercolors, and was criticized for leaving too many white outlines around my trees. It was a good call, I do tend to carefully brush around my tree branches and left gaps. Cathy did a very nice oil of the scene, using a lot of purples for her foreground hills. Afterwards we were all invited to a nearby artist’s house for the critique led by Walter McNall and Brenda Swenson. Hot tea was provided, very welcome on a cold morning. An old friend of ours, Dick Tarkington, visited our group from Arkansas, where he lives in a house that’s buried in the side of a hill, on 30 acres. Dick does some of the best figure indication I’ve ever seen in watercolor, he can really give a great impression of humans and animals in action with only a few strokes of a brush. He looked a little thinner and has developed a cough, but still had his old sense of humor. It’s so inspiring to paint with all these great artists! You should come to Encanto park and paint for awhile, now’s the time. While you’re there, visit the Duarte Museum, a beautiful little building on the park grounds. See you soon!

2 Responses to “Comics and Scaduto”

  1. Larry Loc says:

    Mark,

    Sad to hear about Scaduto and the end of his comic stripe. Hy Eisman is my former teacher if you want to talk to him about the glory days. I have his contact info. It has been about a year since I called him but the number should still be good.

    Larry Loc

  2. Mark Kausler says:

    Hi Larry,
    I’ll be in touch with you about Hy Eisman’s contact info. Thanks for reading the post, if you have any more information about Al Scaduto or Bob Dunn, especially, please steer me to it.
    Mark

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