Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rufus and Flook Versus Moses Maggot

I've finally gotten my hands on a Rufus and Flook collection!
I've been curious about this English daily strip since I read its intriguing entry in Maurice Horn's WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMICS. The cartoonist and jazz musician Wally Fawkes (using the pen name Trog) drew it from the 50s through the 80s, with various writers. According to what I've gleaned online, it was inspired in part by Barnaby and began as a whimsical mid-century "kid and magical pal" adventure strip. It grew to resemble Pogo in that it mixed humor with social and political commentary. Readers from the UK will please excuse my having to put everything in terms of American comics.

As for this book, which hails from the earlier period, it's pretty good! Eccentric characters having lighthearted fantastic adventures--not as dry and witty as Barnaby, but probably a better attention-grabber for kids. The drawing is pretty great in a style I can only call "British" (because it reminds me of other Brit comics I've seen--if anyone knows what specific tradition/influences Fawkes came out of, please post a comment and let me know!)

Mr. Fawkes recently retired from professional cartooning (he was an editorial cartoonist too).

Would folks be interested in scans of the entire book? I can post over a few weeks. Let me know after you get a taste!

Nice endpapers...


The collection starts with a collection of strips retelling how Rufus met Flook.


And now I'm a blogger!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Robotman "Around the World in 24 Hours", drawn by Jimmy Thompson

Jimmy Thompson drew great Robotman backup comics in Star Spangled Comics and in Detective Comics in the 1940s. I've been on the lookout for Thompson Robotman stories ever since reading an enjoyable one in DC's GREATEST GOLDEN AGE STORIES EVER TOLD (bizarre title, yes). Recently, Pappy's Golden Age posted a great one from Detective 152.

Here's the only Thompson Robotman story I own--from Detective 151. I don't know who wrote it and neither does the Grand Comics Database.


Even in this era of "let's reprint everything" Thompson's Robotman probably won't be getting a collection. Neither artist or character is that famous, and for that matter Thompson didn't even create the characters; Jerry Siegel and Leo Nowak did. It isn't brilliantly weird (like Fletcher Hanks's comics). It's just imaginative, funny, and well drawn (and nicely lettered, if I may be so nerdly). Still, I hope I get to see more of these stories.