Download E-books The Art of the Funnies: An Aesthetic History (Studies in Popular Culture (Paperback)) PDF

By Robert C. Harvey

This paintings examines the cartoon all through its historical past for the weather that make cartoons probably the most beautiful of the preferred arts. The sketch was once created by way of rival newspapers as a tool of their flow battles. It quick validated itself as not just an efficient machine, but additionally as an establishment that quickly unfold to newspapers world-wide. This ancient research unfolds the heritage of the funnies and divulges the delicate paintings of the way the strips mix be aware and photographs to make their influence. The ebook additionally reveals new details and weighs the impact of syndication upon the medium. Milestones within the paintings of cartooning featured contain: Mutt and Jeff, Dick Tracy, Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Popeye, Krazy Kat, and others. newer classics also are integrated, comparable to Peanuts, Tumbleweeds, Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes.

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As Coulton Waugh tells it: It was on this voyage to Dice Island that Popeye revealed the great quality that endeared him to Thimble Theatre readers. His mean employers had been depriving him of his  slender wages through the use of the Whiffle Hen. Discovering the trick, Popeye very justly got to the Whiffle Hen first. Result: two "broke" employers. Cap'n Oyl ordered Ham  Gravy to thrash the offending one­man crew. Ham Gravy sought a solo audience. "I'm gonna wipe up the deck with you and step on your face. I'm like that. " Crack! But it wasn't Ham Gravy's fist that set off the explosion; it was Popeye's. Ham Gravy, angrily, with black eyes: "You're just what I thought you was—a low­down roughneck. I won't fight with you. "5 Popeye was ready with his fists from almost the moment of his introduction. Rather than redress      Page 164 Figure 87. In two daily strips from late in Segar's tenure on Thimble Theatre, a typical Popeye fight scene exploits the visual character of the  medium. The brutish villain's hulking size contrasts ridiculously with the sailor's puny build, making Popeye's eventual triumph  comic because it's so unlikely. Segar lends credence to the improbable, however: with exaggerative comic logic, he concentrates all of  Popeye's muscle and fighting weight in his bulging forearms and fists—right there, at the end of a swinging arm is the very instrument  of pugilism, at the point of impact with the villain's jaw. When Popeye throws everything he's got (as in panel 5 here), the weight and  centrifugal force of his punch bring the rest of his body along with it, adding to the impact of his blow. With comic visual exaggeration,  Segar mocks the fine art of fisticuffs, but he also evens the odds for his hero, heightening suspense and making impossible victory  credible. injustice with words and sweet reasonableness, Popeye simply bopped it on the nose. Waugh concludes: "The readers liked this. Here was someone who did what,  ideally, they would have done. Letters began to pour in to Segar, praising the new character. Segar took the hint. If they wanted a fight, they'd get it. " Before the fighting got too fierce, though, Segar made his fighter a gladiator who could last through any series of battles. Since he reacted with his fists instead of his  feet or his mouth (like the other, less violence­prone characters in the strip), Popeye seemed, in comparison, more than ordinarily strong. What began as a simple  comic comparison between a roughneck sailor and a pintsized schemer became, as Segar fine­tuned the focus of his comedy, an exaggerated comic contrast. Popeye's ordinary (probably) prowess at waterfront tavern brawling was elevated over the years to superhuman strength as he proved himself again and again superior  to a series of successively more intimidating foes. Before too long, his reputation as a superman was well established. The process began almost immediately, when Segar enabled Popeye to survive otherwise mortal gunshot wounds. Shot sixteen times during the escape from Dice  Island, Popeye recuperates in the ship's hold—cradling the Whiffle Hen, rubbing the hairs on its head, and hoping he'd have the "luck" to survive.

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