Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Sacha Zaliouk
Kiki, a Model for Cubist Painters
Published in Fantasio—15 May 1925

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paper Books

This was a graphic header for a Science magazine review of science books, thirty (!) years ago. It's a swell vision for those of us who hope that paper books will survive and be valued and referenced even when we return to space and are poking about the cosmos.

Oh, and facial hair in space! Yes!

© Lance Miyamoto 1981

Sunday, August 28, 2011

King Arthur Connections

Neil O'Keeffe was an illustrator/cartoonist that had a long career in the early/mid 20th century. He illustrated the book immediately below, In the Court of King Arthur, published in 1918. The color illustrations in it are reminiscent (to me) of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant, even though it predates that comic strip by a generation.

I have to wonder what connections there may be here between O'Keefe and Foster. They were born within a year of each other in the 1890s, and died within a somewhat close time of each other in the 1980s, both working as illustrators turned cartoonists during those long years of the 20th century.

O'Keeffe's style in this book looks somewhat like Foster's, even with Valiant's pageboy haircut on display. Yet O'Keeffe's cartoon style that he used in Dick's Adventures, years later (seen at the bottom of this post), looks (to me) very similar to the comic strip style that John Cullen Murphy used when he replaced Foster on the Prince Valiant strip.

O'Keeffe and Foster seemed to cross paths in Chicago and elsewhere in their early illustration careers. O'Keefe, Foster and Murphy all worked for the King Features Syndicate (owned and guided by William Randolph Hearst), during a concurrent period in the 1950s, Murphy drawing Big Ben Bolt.

To further mystify my curiosity, the fellow who wrote Dick's Adventures was Max Trell, and that same Max Trell wrote the text for Hal Foster's hard cover Hastings House adaptations of Prince Valiant in the 1950s.

I've casually tried to find an official connection between O'Keeffe and Foster, such as a friendship or sitting at the same table at the NCS gatherings, or anything—to no avail. There may be no connection whatsoever, but if anyone knows more of the backstory alluded to here, please do let me know. The most curious thing to me is the similarity of this book's illustrations to the later Prince Valiant, not saying whether Foster was influenced or not.

Neil O'Keeffe — In the Court of King Arthur — cover

This and most other black and white illustrations in the book (most not shown) seem stylistically to belong to another hand.
The one below initialed G.G.


frontis piece and title page

Below, an O'Keeffe magazine illustration from 1950

Below, O'Keeffe's cartooning style on Dick's Adventures that I feel is reminiscent to John Cullen Murphy's style on Prince Valiant.

Four Color #245

Friday, August 26, 2011

What, My Lai?

I can hardly believe it's been 40 years since this magazine issue came out, although it's been some 43 years since the My Lai Massacre itself. Those of you too young to have any idea what that was about should really Wiki it, to get a perspective on comparatively recent history.

This NatLamp cover by Kelly Freas, after his great run on Mad magazine, is brilliant for its Alfred E. Neumanesque caricature of William Calley. Yet it belies the horrific My Lai backstory.

My experience in the army, shortly after this time, gave me some perspective on how such a crime could occur. It was a very bad time to be a soldier, as if there is ever really a good time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

After Hamlin

Even after VT Hamlin retired from the Alley Oop strip in the early 70s, and his assistant Dave Graue took over, much of the charm and characterization remained. Yet I only kept a couple of the Graue Sunday strips, but only because after Walt Kelly died and Pogo wasn't the same, clipping the funnies wasn't the same either, so I had ceased collecting strips on a regular basis.

These two examples of Graue's work are not continuous by any means, but they're fun to look at even out of context.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When They were Very Young

I should have included this image with the previous post, but, well, I forgot. From the same book is an 'official' portrait of baby Mickey, as part of a 2 page spread showing all the contributors to the book, 'when they were very young'.

© Walt Disney Productions

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mouse's Finest Era

Created specially for then Princess Elizabeth, now Queen, way back in 1935, this art of Mickey and friends, charming and cheerful as they spend time in London, appeared in The Princess Elizabeth Gift Book, In Aid of the Princess Elizabeth of York Hospital for Children.

Donald is still pretty primitive in appearance, Goofy is still Dippy Dawg, the Limeys are loopy—and this is definitely the mouse's finest era.

Note how Horace is demonstrating the royal backhand wave.

Mickey Mouse and His Retinue Arriving at the Party

The End of the Party: Mickey Mouse takes a Photograph

© Walt Disney Productions

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wally's World

I've fallen behind in gearing up the premier of my new blog, because I'm still tied up with overwhelming deadlines. But I don't want you to give up on me and our mutual love of the pictorial arts. So every few days for a while I'll try to give you some reasons to keep coming back to this blog.

Herein are some illustrative graphics by the beloved Wally Wood, from his pet project, The World of the Wizard King, a foray into adult fairy tales, as Wood was wont to do.

All art this post ©1968 Wallace Wood