A few more comments about the non-Frank Godwin “Connie” discussed in an earlier post . . .

This post was originally published on November 23, 2013.  I took it down less than a week after that, but in light of a comment by Dennis Wilcutt, discussed in the preceding post, I have decided to re-post it.  I have left it mainly unchanged, though I did make some small revisions.

I want to say a few more things about the December 29, 1940, Connie comic strip discussed in an earlier post.  As mentioned in that post, that was not the final Connie Sunday, but it is very nicely drawn, even though the artist plainly was not Frank Godwin.

First, the strip is black and white.  That may have come as a surprise to many people.  After all, all of the Sunday Rusty Riley strips are in full color.  I don’t look at the current comics much, but as far as I know, all of the Sunday strips are in color.  Some people would wig out if they opened their Sunday comics section and found Peanuts in . . . black and white!

But in the olden days, it was quite frequently the case that Sunday comics were in black and white.  Or, for example, they might be blue and white, or green and white.  And sometimes, they might be black and white, but with the addition of one color.  For instance, below is a segment of the Connie Sunday comic strip for July 28, 1935.  In those days, the Connie Sunday strip was a “gag” strip, and this strip does not represent one of the strongest gags, but the art is nicely done.  The clouds are great examples of Godwin clouds.  The lettering is plainly by Godwin.  The strip is red, black, and white (the white being the paper-color).

This 1935 "Connie" episode is beautifully drawn, but appeared in this newspaper in red, black, and white.

This 1935 “Connie” episode is beautifully drawn, but appeared in this newspaper in red, black, and white.

Or consider the following image, from the strip of January 24, 1937, when the strip was well-into a science-fiction story — Connie had traveled a thousand years into the future.  This strip shows some of the carefully drawn equipment that abounds in the science-fiction Connie strips.  (By and large, the gag strips tend to appear more spontaneously drawn, but the art in the gag strips is generally beautifully done, and probably somewhat underappreciated.)  Again, the lettering is obviously by Godwin.  This example was in orange, black, and white.

This extract from a 1937 “space” episode of Frank Godwin’s “Connie” comic strip was printed by this newspaper in orange, black, and white.

I’m sure these particular strips were usually printed in full color.  Most of the examples of the Connie Sunday strips in my collection are in full color, but still a large percentage are not.

Anyway, to return to the December 29, 1940, strip (from the Boston Sunday Post), that one is in plain black and white.  In the case of that particular strip, one wonders whether the black and white was used for reasons other than “normal” reasons (the normal reasons presumably being to save money for the newspaper).  For instance, maybe the Ledger Syndicate stopped distributing a color version toward the end.

One also wonders whether the strip was widely distributed.  I do  not think it can be said that the Connie Sundays were a traditional wide-distribution strip at any time.  It would not be beyond belief that the Ledger Syndicate might have pretty much dropped the strip, but just kept it on for a few papers — or maybe for only the  Boston Post, which was one of the main newspapers that carried the strip.

Now, I have mentioned that Godwin lettered the two examples above.  But, clearly, he did not letter the December 29, 1940, strip.

Again, though — the art in the December 29, 1940, strip is really quite good.  And, as I mentioned before, certain aspects of the strip are very Godwin-like.  This is shown in the segment below.  The water looks like a Godwin handling.  The fish, likewise.  The layout (somewhat seen below) is also rather typical of many of the Godwin layouts.  The compositions are nice.  The inking is great.

This undersea scene, while beautifully done, was not by Frank Godwin.

This undersea scene, while beautifully done, was not by Frank Godwin.

Hey, wait a minute!  Maybe . . .

But, no.  No way.

Frank Godwin’s name is gone from the strip.  And there are features that are very NON-Godwin-like — for instance, the portrayal of Connie herself.  Again, my Connie blog (not viewable at this time) showed pretty clearly that Godwin must have been gone from the strip at this time, and that this strip was not by Godwin.  (And the January 5, 1941, Sunday is decidedly less Godwin-like.)

However, it is certainly possible that Godwin penciled the episode, or that he had some involvement in it.  But unless and until further proof emerges, I think this should be considered not by Frank Godwin.

I guess that’s it for the moment!

—Tom Sawyer

November 23, 2013

Slightly revised February 6, 2014.

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