Additional observations on Frank Godwin’s third-to-last “Rusty Riley” daily art . . .

In the preceding post, I discussed Frank Godwin’s third-to-last Rusty Riley daily art.  That episode, from September 17, 1959, has Mr. Miles and his daughter, Patty, driving “to the old barn” in the middle of a rainstorm.  The barn was a former playhouse, and Rusty had gone there to retrieve a manuscript.  Anyway, in the September 17 episode, Patty and her dad discover that the barn has been set ablaze (by lightning).

Below is another section of the art.

In addition to the things I mentioned in the preceding post, I wanted to say a little about Godwin’s method of showing that a rainstorm was going on.  Of course, Mr. Miles says, “Maybe we can save Rusty from getting soaked.”  But also Godwin uses diagonal lines to suggest rain.  And these lines are not only ink lines.  Additionally, Godwin scratched away the ink with a sharp implement.  This can be seen in the following image:

Rusty additionalnew

To help communicate “wind,” Godwin has a few leaves blowing of the tree to the right.

It is notable that in Godwin’s final four Rusty Riley daily strips (as a group), Godwin has included a panoply of natural forces: lightning, rain, wind, and fire.

—Tom Sawyer

November 15, 2013

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