REVISED POST: Comments on Taffy Allerdyce (sort of) and the September 24, 1950, “Rusty Riley” Sunday comic strip original art and third-page version . . .

Note:  This is a revised version of a post I first posted on (probably) July 19, 2013. I was looking at some of my Rusty Riley Sunday strips (as extracted from newspapers), looking for a certain Sunday for which I have the bottom tier of the original Sunday art, thinking I might want to sell that original art.

Well, at some point I noticed Taffy Allerdyce’s name, and I seemed to remember that I had done a post relating to that character. I found the newspaper strip. I checked for the post, and I found that as well, and I was surprised at the horrible quality of the images (which were not based on scans). So I decided to revise the post with better scans and a few little revisions.

I think I have in the past made pretty clear certain reasons for believing the “third-page” version of some Rusty Riley Sunday strips are a significantly inferior format in which the view the Sunday strip. (For example, see this post.)

This post further supports that thesis.

Some years ago, I came into possession of the bottom row of a Rusty Riley Sunday for September 24, 1950. Since the back is covered with dried glue, it appears that the entire row was a “replacement” row. I also have in my collection a daily strip in which the center panel is pasted on top of other artwork — another apparent example of wholesale replacement of a large section of art.I believe, however, that this phenomenon is quite unusual in examples of original Rusty Riley art.

Below is an image of a small portion of the original art showing the entire height of the art (and frame as well). This is probably as it appeared in the half-page version, although I believe that even the half-pages were not always identical to the original art. The differences between this and the published third-page version are numerous. These are the kinds of changes that were sometimes necessary in adapting the half-page (three-tier) art to the third-page format. (I think in recent years of the strip they probably tended more toward dropping certain panels, and perhaps dropping the top tier, but I do not know that there was any hard-and-fast rule.)

Plainly, the changes impaired the art (when compared with the original). In essence, the left portion was chopped off, and so was the right portion. The top edge was raised.  The left speech-balloon was modified (note the pointer) and was raised and moved to the right. Quite a bit of shadowy area was added under the balloon.

9 24 50 Rusty Riley cropped orig 3 300

Below is an image of the corresponding section of the third-page version of the strip, as published. Anyway, the speech balloon has been completely redrawn, and the speech is now ten lines instead of five. Also, part of the right-hand side of the panel has been cropped off. The cigar smoke was modified. The right-hand speech-balloon was verticalized and the words were rearranged. The whole frame went from an attractive (though wordy) horizontal format to a rather square format. It’s all okay, but it is inferior to the original, and it ain’t really Godwin.

9 24 50 Rusty Riley_0001 color cropped

—Tom Sawyer

July 19, 2012

Revised August 15, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clues that Frank Godwin did not have much to do with the December 29, 1940, “Connie” Sunday strip . . .

Please note! My big announcement will be here soon, possibly sometime late this week. –Tom

Frank Godwin seems clearly to have made his exit from the Connie Sunday strip in the latter part of 1940, though presumably his work continued to appear for several weeks after he left. (Undoubtedly he worked a number of weeks “in advance.”)

The latest Connie Sunday strip in my collection is the one for January 5, 1941. The OSU collection listing online reports one for January 19, 1941, so it appears that the Sunday strip lasted at least through that date. It is obvious that Godwin had a diminished role toward the end, though it is not clear when, if ever, he had zero role. In part it depends on when the strip ended. If it ended a few months into 1941, then I would think he had no role toward the end. But as to the December 29, 1940, strip and the January 5, 1941, strip, it is quite possible that he may have created a rough layout or even penciled them.

But let’s consider briefly the December 29, 1940, Sunday strip. Here are some signals that Godwin was not handling the strip by himself, and in fact he possibly had nothing to do with it.

1. His name does not appear in the “title box,” which it normally, or always, did (after that style of title began). (You can compare it to the images shown in the preceding post. There, the box includes “By Frank Godwin.”)

2. The inking is not really Godwin’s normal style, though it is fairly close, and pretty nicely done.

3.  The same applies to the clouds.

4.  Connie’s face does not quite look like the usual Connie. (My scanner did not take in her whole face.)

5.  The lettering is distinctly non-Godwin in style.

6.  The shape of the speech-balloon is not a usual Godwin-style.

Connie 1940 72715 adj 2 in

—Tom Sawyer

August 3, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Connie” in full color, and “Connie” in black, white, and red . . .

This post continues the discussion of the preceding post.

Overall, one would have to say that it is best when a Connie Sunday strip is in full color. The red-black-white and orange-black-white are nice as well, but they portray the events quite differently than the full-color.

Below are shown portions the strip for Sunday, February 11, 1940. The one on the left is from the Boston Sunday Post. I do not know where the other one first appeared.

One is obviously full color, and the other is red, black, and white.  You can see that a wide range of tones is available, even though only red, black, and white ink were used. The color in the image on the left is probably a little tamer than I would have preferred for this comparison, and unfortunately Connie herself does not appear in these images, but they demonstrate the general idea. I am not certain that I have any sets that are parallel to this one for any other Connie strips during the “adventure” era of the Sunday strip. Those strips in general are quite hard to find.

Connie723157f532am_0005 adj only cropped 70 croppedConniefineenough723 improved cropped only 70cropped

* * * * *

It is interesting to see the manner in which the full-color version “translates” into the more limited palette. Note that some judgment was used as to when the solid red should be used and when it should be rendered in different densities.

—Tom Sawyer

July 31, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The “Connie” Sunday comic-strip exists in a variety of color schemes . . .

Anyone collecting old Sunday comic-strips learns pretty quickly that the modern norm of full color had frequent exceptions back in the olden days. I have seen Connie Sunday strips in the following different varieties. The “white” color is supplied by the paper itself, meaning that it is usually some kind of “tan”:

Full color (printed with four colors of ink, including black, but usually portraying a wide range of colors)

Black and white

Blue and white

Red, white, and black

Orange, white, and black

Of course, it is possible that other varieties exist. These are the only ones I know of for the Connie Sunday strip.

All of the color schemes mentioned above are rather attractive, but the full-color strips are best overall. To me the black and white ones almost present the illusion of looking at original art, but I realize that I am deceiving myself on that. Ultimately, they are beautiful, but — black and white.

I may get into this a little further in my next post.

—Tom Sawyer

July 31, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Connie”: Second banana?

It is hard to generalize, but I know that on occasion the Connie Sunday strip appeared on the final page of the Public Ledger Sunday comics section. I’ve never seen anything official on this, but it has always seemed reasonable to me that this would be the second most important strip in the section.

Below is an image showing another instance of the Connie Sunday strip on the final page. This example is from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Of particular note here is the fact that, if you did not know better, you might assume that this was the front page of the comics section, based on the title of the newspaper. I have several entire comics sections from that era from that newspaper, and it is plain that Connie was on the last page. The smaller image shows the original pricing information from the same page, which perpetuates the false idea that this was the front page of the comics section.

Connie fine 7 24 15 adj 72

Connie fine 7 24 15_0001 cropped 72

This is a more or less typical segment of a Connie Sunday strip from that era.  This one isn’t exactly a gag strip. It is more of a detective strip. Connie foils a “Santa Claus” who had attempted to purloin some Christmas gifts.

—Tom Sawyer

July 24, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A rather different “look” for Connie — 1929 versus 1938 . . .

As is more or less typical of characters in the comic-strip world, Connie did not “look” the same during the entire run of the Connie Sunday strip. This is not at all surprising, in view of the fact that the strip ran for many years (1929–1941). I tend to picture Connie more as the adventurer and time traveller, but early in the Connie Sunday strip she was frequently more of a socialite. Here she is in the third Sunday strip (May 12, 1929). She is more “hairdo” than “derring-do.” She is seemingly a somewhat delicate creature.

In that third episode, she seemed a bit detached from reality, as well. She had purchased a factory, and she worked with some friends to give the factory a woman’s touch.

This was actually a departure from the second Sunday episode, in which Connie was an aviatrix.

Connie third one723_0002 blog

Connie third one723_0002 cropped blog

But what a difference a decade can make! Below is what I would call “adventurer Connie.” This is fairly typical of Connie’s appearance in the time travel stories and other adventure stories. (This is not from a time-travel story. It is from a jungle adventure.) A native has saved Connie from a leopard attack. The image is from the August 28, 1938, episode.

Connie1full72315 cropped blog

—Tom Sawyer

July 23, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I only waited 12 years — that’s no big deal — comments on Frank Godwin’s “Paulette” comic strip (“Connie,” in the French language) . . .

(Brief update:  Back on June 29, I said I would be making an exciting announcement in 13 days.  Well, it has now been about 16 days, and I have not made the announcement.  I need to defer that announcement, for perhaps another week or so.)

When I was young, and expected something in the mail, the time passed rather slowly. Now, I could digress here and talk about that, but I want to get to the point reasonably fast.

As I grew older, I grew more patient, or perhaps an ennui set in. I have so many Godwin items (including many duplicates and near-duplicates, of so many things) that unless something I have acquired is really, truly outstanding, I am not very impatient to unwrap it.

Early today I finally opened a package that arrived more than 12 years ago. The postmark shows “2002 12 24,” meaning December 24, 2002. It was shipped from Canada, and the declaration shows $900 (which nowadays is about $700 US). And that is probably about what I paid for the item(s).

What is the item? Well, it is a run of the Paulette strip.  On a quick glance, it looks as though the run is from May 1930 through November 1935. It’s not necessarily a complete run for that period. But I imagine that there are about 250 strips, so if I paid $700 for that many, that would only be less that $3 per strip — probably a pretty good deal.

I have not seen all that many Paulette strips offered for sale, other than  the ones I bought (though the man I bought them from did offer me an additional large batch, and it’s probable that he sold those to someone else).

I’ll start out by saying: When I purchased the items, I knew that I ALREADY owned examples of probably ALL, or very nearly all, of those strips. So that explains why I was able to wait so long! So, I am kidding around when I pretend that I was all that patient. When I first acquired my almost-complete run of the entire Paulette strip, 1930-1941, it really was a big event in my collecting life.

I have been thinking a lot about the Connie Sunday strip lately, and the Paulette strips are a very good version of the Connie Sunday pages. The strips are in French, and they are basically tabloid-size, and the colors are a little on the vivid side. Still, they can make a really good substitute for the Connie Sunday strips. However, since I do not read French, that poses a problem. (But my daughter reads French, so I’m sure she would translate for me if I ask her.) Now that I think about it, though, I suppose that if I were French, or if I were a French-speaking Canadian, or if I were from Belgium — I might actually prefer the Paulette strips. Those are the three principal countries I think of regarding the French language, but I see from Wikipedia that French is the official language in 13 countries, and an official language in 16 others.

I can say this: not all translated Godwin strips are in the same “coolness” category as the Paulette strips.

(I hope to continue this post in the near future.)

—Tom Sawyer

July 15, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment