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

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