A couple of follow-up comments regarding the March 1, 1956, “Rusty Riley” comic strip discussed in the previous post . . .

The picture of Patty shown in the previous post, as I mentioned there, is not one of Frank Godwin’s better portrayals of Patty.  It looks somewhat “wrong.”  For example, maybe her eyes are too far apart, and maybe the contours of her face are not adequately shown.  In any event, it appears that Godwin did not lavish his usual care upon her image.

As a matter of fact, the entire episode (that is, that particular strip) is quite mundane.  The first shows Mr. Miles, Patty, and Rusty, talking.

The second panel is shown below.  Do you see a problem with it?  Other than the glue stains?  I do!  I’ll tell you the problem, beneath the picture.

IMG_4732 Godwin perspective

Here’s the problem!  It looks like Patty is in the foreground, somewhat nearer the viewer than Rusty.  Based on the picture, Rusty does not seem to be speaking with Patty.  He seems to be speaking with someone in the farther background.  The image of Rusty is far too small for him to be nearer to us than Patty.

One might naturally wonder what was going on!

Well, that’s the only original Rusty Riley daily art I have from that general time.  And I don’t think I have seen any of the Rusty Riley newspaper strips from that time.  So I don’t know what was going on in nearby strips.  But I suspect that Godwin was under time pressures.  I am not saying that every strip needs to be a masterpiece, but this one could have been much better.

One of the most insightful discussions I have seen relating to Godwin art deals with this general topic in connection with a series of Connie dailies that are shown on the Words and Pictures blog.

—Tom Sawyer

October 25, 2013

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