Richard Marshall and Bill Blackbeard's grand "The Sunday Funnies" from 1978 comes to a close this week with coverage of the 1940's. The decade of WWII and when America truly reached maturity. Not modernity maybe, but certainly we knew who we were then, like that "All in the Family" theme song says.
The apex of the Sunday Funnies before they started their slow decline into banality. Sure there were still plenty of highlights to come. "Peanuts", "B.C.", Doonesbury", "Calvin & Hobbes", "The Far Side" and a few others but for the most part, more and more mainstream guidelines and financial shifts in importance and competition from other mass media limited the gorgeous tabloid, four-color landscape from here on out.
Luckily, thanks to publication like these by Messrs Marshall and Blackbeard and mass ready inexpensive communication media like the World Wild Iintertube, we'll never lose the art these masters created.
From just a few decades ago, but seeming so far away, here's the mastery of Chester Gould ("Dick Tracy"), Burne Hogarth ("Tarzan"), Bill Holman ("Smokey Stover"), Clifford McBride *"Napoleon"), Bill Freyse ("The Nut Bros.", "Our Boarding House"), Jerry Siegel/Joe Shuster ("Superman"), Hal Foster ("Prince Valiant"), Milton Caniff ("Terry & the Pirates"), Ham Fisher ("Joe Palooka"), Al Capp ("Li'l Abner") and Walt Kelly ("Pogo") all side by side and delivered to your doorstep for mere pennies.
There's lots of reasons that "the good 'ol days" weren't really so good. This is one of the reasons they were great.
Talk to you soon.