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Saturday, March 05, 2011


More Dell kids comics. I'm sure I was lead to this comic by one of the regular bloggers of old comics but I don't recall who (just did a search, it was Cartoon Snap). Ponytail (1960-1989, King Features Syndicate) was a daily strip created by Lee Holley. Holley ghosted for Hank Ketcham on Dennis the Menace Sundays which is apparent from the general look of the Ponytail art. I actually like him better than Ketcham--he's looser and the designed elements seem softer, more integrated.

As a Dell comic, it seems to have been moderately successful in that it ran for 12 issues. Certainly the strip fared better. In this interview by John Province in Hogan's Alley (highly recommended for a great snapshot of the working cartoonist life in the late 50s/early 60s), Holley states that he drew most of the covers while Frank Hill did the bulk of the comics stories. It's great cartooning and a perfect example of an assistant anonymously doing great work.

Looking at these pages, one can definitely see a blueprint for Jaime Hernandez's kids comics. I know he's gone on record as being a fan of Ketcham and his various assistants although if he singled out Lee Holley or Frank Hill I'm just not sure. There are some good gags and setups here and the strips read just fine. The endings tie up perhaps a little too neatly--everything works out in the end. Those pat endings disappoint me as an adult but I bet I would have enjoyed it just fine as a kid.


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