A few observations regarding handwritten markings on “Rusty Riley” Sunday original art . . .

Even those people who own examples of Rusty Riley daily original art may not have seen any Sunday originals.  The reverse could be true as well, but I tend to assume that original Rusty Riley Sunday art is far more scarce than Rusty Riley daily art.  As I mentioned in a previous post, there were 3,648 (or thereabouts) daily Rusty Riley strips drawn by Frank Godwin.  Yet there were only approximately 593 Sunday Rusty Riley strips.  That might actually be the exact number, but I just established the number in a quick and informal way.  It is probably very close, at least. (It is pretty well known that Bob Lubbers drew the final two Sunday strips.)

Based on the relatively small number of Sunday Rusty Riley strips I have seen, I would guess that a significant percentage of them have handwritten notations on them. There are a number of types of such comments that are found on orignal art.  Sometimes the notations were placed there by the syndicate, and presumably some of the notations were in Godwin’s own writing. It is probably an extreme example, but I have a 1948 Sunday with the following notations:

a.  A “color note” on how to handle the sky.

b.   A note regarding cleaning a speech-balloon border.

c.  A query as to whether a word in a note written by Rusty was misspelled intentionally.

d.  A note regarding making the correction.

e.  A note (apparently by Godwin) regarding dropping a panel.

f.  A penciled date.

I don’t think that such comments normally detract from the value or attractiveness of the art.  The comments themselves are (from what I have seen) rather unobtrusive.

—Tom Sawyer

April 22, 2012

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