Powerhouse Pepper by Basil Wolverton -- Who’ll Guard the Bodyguard?

Powerhouse_Pepper_Basil_Wolverton_Bodyguard (1)Powerhouse_Pepper_Basil_Wolverton_Bodyguard (2)Powerhouse_Pepper_Basil_Wolverton_Bodyguard (3)Powerhouse_Pepper_Basil_Wolverton_Bodyguard (4)
Powerhouse Pepper
from Tessie the Typist #10 June 1947
story and art by Basil Wolverton
Basil Wolverton's Powerhouse Pepper appeared in various comic books published by Timely Comics, the 1930s and 1940s precursor of Marvel Comics, from 1942 through 1952. The strip was characterized by alliterative, rhyming dialogue, screwball comedy and throwaway gags in background.

Stumble Inn by George Herriman

There's a lot of George Herriman's Krazy Kat being reprinted these days, but not so many people are familiar with one of his other newspaper comic strips from the 1920's, Stumble Inn.

Stumble Inn is kind of like Fawlty Towers in that it all takes place in a small hotel with a small cast of regular characters...

The Main characters are:
Uriah Stumble,
Stumble Inn by George Herriman comic strip scan
-- the long-suffering proprietor of the eponymous hotel...

Mr. Owl-Eye,
Mr. Owl-Eye the detective house dick Stumble Inn George Herriman comic strip scan
the "house dick"
(or hotel detective, if you please...)

Mr. Weewee (oui, oui)
Mr. Weewee the French chef who works in the kitchen in George Herriman's Stumble Inn comic strip scan high-resolution
the French chef who works in the kitchen

and Joe Beamish --
cat man asleep in couch chair George Herriman scan
a character who does absolutely nothing but sleep in the soft chairs in the lobby. I gather from the strip that he's not a paying guest, but rather just a lazy local who takes up space. It's amazing how much mileage George Herriman can get out of a character that never so much as opens his eyes!

Oh -- and a never-ending supply of "guests"
A guest at George Herriman's Stumble Inn speaks with Uriah Stumble in this detail from vintage comic strip scan
that can "stumble in" to the strip for added comedy situations.

Okay -- enough intro!

On with today's Stumble Inn comic strip ...

George Herriman Stumble Inn motel interior lobby high resolution hi-res comic strip scan

Joe Beamish asleep in chair wih kitty cat asleep on his lap George Herriman Stumble Inn high resolution hi-res comic strip scan

Uriah Stumble calls upstairs to his wife Ida

Uriah's wife tell him to put the cat outside George Herriman Stumble Inn

Uriah carries the whole chair outside with sleeping Joe Beamish and the cat on his lap

Interior cartoon bedroom 1920's lit by candlelight man takes off his suspenders

Here's the whole Stumble Inn comic strip at 300dpi...

George Herriman Stumble Inn high resolution hi-res comic strip scan

Yes, folks...this giant 6-panel strip is a DAILY comic strip! It measure about 6 inches tall by 12 inches wide. Too big to fit in my scanner. It's bigger than today's Sunday strips! I bought a small run of 26 consecutive comic strips on eBay a few years ago, and every single one of them has just as much love and detail and early 20th century urban funkiness as this one does.

I love when Herriman is drawing in this mode. It reminds me of his illustrations for the Archy and Mehitabel books.
archy and mehitabel comic illustration by George Herriman from book of poems by Don Marquis
His pen strokes are so assured and bouncy, filling his cartoons with vim and vigor!

According to Allan Holtz at The Stripper's Guide, George Herriman's Stumble Inn ran 10/30/1922-1/9/1926. That's right in the middle of his Krazy Kat output. George Herriman worked on at least 27 different comic strip titles in his life, and oftentimes many different strips ran at the same time. During his 1913-1944 run on Krazy Kat, he also concurrently created strips such as this one and Baron Bean ( I always liked that play on words: barren bean = empty head. I love it when people called someone's head their "bean.")

There's a nice example of a Stumble Inn color Sunday page HERE.

On a personal note, it is the cartooning genius of George Herriman (along with Roy Crane, and Harvey Kurtzman) that got me really excited about the boundless possibilities of cartooning. Now that there are so many reprint projects going on, I urge you to seek out the work of these "old masters" of cartoon art.

George Herriman Self Portrait drawing with Krazy Kat

Mister Breger and the Beaurocratic Genie

Mister Breger by Dave Breger 05
Dave Breger was the creator of the WW2-era comic strip, “Private Breger Abroad,” which later morphed into “G.I. JOE” for the U.S. Army’s own “Yank” newspaper. (Breger created the term GI Joe…but had nothing to do with the toys or cartoons that came much later)
When his character, “Private Breger” got out of the army after the war, his comic strip was reborn as “Mister Breger.”

Mister Breger by Dave Breger 01
Katzenjammer Kids #6 - Cover
This One-page filler comic is from the Katzenjammer Kids comic book #6, Autumn 1948
cartoon boy and dog reading book of Arabian Nights by fireplace
cartoon boy  rubs an oil lamp and says abracadabra
Cartoon genie comes from oil lamp rubbed by boy with glasses. Scared dog runs away
cartoon boy with glasses is amazed to see a genie come from his lamp
cartoon boy with glasses is amazed to see a genie pull out a contract
cartoon boy with glasses is shocked to see a genie pull out a wish application
 cartoon boy with glasses regrets asking a genie  for wishes
 cartoon boy with glasses wakes up by the fireplace with his dog 
Here’s the whole page…click for a BIG version!
Mister Breger by Dave Breger Katzenjammer Kids #6 - Page 11
…and here’s a bonus page from the same comic…
”Right Around Home” by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher KKids6 - Page 23

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How to Draw Cartoons the "Old-School Way" by animator Bill Nolan

How to Draw Cartoons by cartoonist Bill Nolan

A couple years ago, our pals at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive scanned in this "how-to-draw" book by animation pioneer William C. Nolan: "Cartooning Self-Taught"

Update: seems like all the old links to the Archive site are broken, so I'm posting all the images right here until they return to the Asifa Archive blog.

Bill Nolan is one of the hugest unsung heroes and animation -- is often credited with creating the rubber hose style of cartoons. It was Bill Nolan that helped Otto Messmer refine Felix the Cat into the bouncy, round, cartoony character that he became in the mid-20s.

I just love the giant hands on all these characters, reminding me of Bud Fisher's Mutt& Jeff, Elzie C. Segar's Thimble Theater (Popeye) and George Herriman's Stumble Inn. It's kinda strange how different decades have different cartooning styles. I wouldn't mind at all if this old-timey "bigfoot" style started to make a comeback!

This book is a quick survey of the most basic building blocks of how to draw cartoon characters: There are different mini lessons on how to draw the head, hands, feet, full figures, action poses, animals and kids. Like a lot of books of this type, it doesn't go into great detail, but it's fun for what it is!