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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I've been looking at a lot of kid's comics since we started the John Stanley Library--partially looking for lost Stanley gems and partially because I've become fascinated by all the Dell Four Color one-shots that never seemed to pan out. There have been some favorite diamonds-in-the-rough like Miss Peach written and drawn not by Mell Lazarus but Jack Mendelsohn who did the fascinating Jacky's Diary that I first found out about from Dan Nadel's essential Art Out of Time. Or Out Our Way with Worry Wart by J. R. Williams which looks a bit like R. Crumb drew it (although it pre-dates him, of course). Maybe it was one or both of Williams' assistants, Neg Cochran and George Scarbo? Anyways, I've come across a couple issues of Timmy by Howard Sparber in my search and picked them up primarily because of those crazy noses. the story features a great bumbling dad who imperils the lives of his children and gets in a fight with a neighbor. And he uses great words like "sissies" and "pantywaists." Also, look at that crazy oversized shirt that Hanky wears. I can't tell if he keeps slipping his arm in there or if it's a stylistic tick but it's a great touch. {Click for a larger version.}

I don't have a lot of information from the research we've done around the office but we did find this:

The Dell Timmy comic books are based on Howard Sparber's Timmy, which began as a cartoon weekly in Collier's, around 1947. The strip was written by Raymond Abashkin. The Chicago Tribune-New York News began publishing Timmy as a syndicate strip and kept that up until 1960. Other syndicated cartoons by Sparber are Crax and Jax, Trix of the Trade, and The Byrd House (which was referenced in Joe Matt's Spent). Sparber's work has shown in major newspapers and magazines as well as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These days, Sparber spends his time on graphic design and "Concept Cartoons" for institutional and corporate clients in New York. His current cartoons present controversial or difficult subjects in safe contexts, the subjects of which include a child's first hospital stay, domestic violence, spouse abuse, and the changing culture and practices of the corporate world. Check out Sparber's website but be prepared to find it a little frustrating.


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