Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recent Acquisitions: Two Clear Line Strips

fritzi ritz
Ernie Bushmiller, Fritzi Ritz, ink on bristol board, April 21, 1946

I've never been a "Nancy boy," even though I understand why they love the strip so much. But I always preferred the Fritzi Ritz strips, with their pin-up style depictions of Nancy's sexy aunt. And Bushmiller's ultra-clean style is extremely eye-catching. The original art here is huge--24" by 17". It's kind of astonishing how varied strip artists were in how they created their originals.

bring up father
George McManus, Bringing Up Father, ink on bristol board, December 10, 1937

In contrast, George McManus worked quite small on this strip (18" by 4 3/4"). The gag here is not very funny, although Jiggs's line in the first panel made me laugh. McManus is said to have invented the clear line style. I'm not sure if that claim is really true, but his crisp drawing does remind one of Herge, but even more of Joost Swarte. Swarte and McManus both seem to exemplify a moderne art deco approach to drawing comics--Swarte as a postmodernist and a nostalgist, and McManus as a cartoonist perfectly in tune with his times.


  1. Wow, those are both awesome scores. Gorgeous. I can't believe the Fritzi Ritz was in your price range! Maximum quality. Can I axe what you paid for that monster?


  2. How would you know what my price range is, Mr. Anonymous SAG? Just kidding--it was a bargain. I got it on auction for $130.00. I would have paid more, but that's as high as it got! I got very lucky.