Monday, September 10, 2012

Some Nize Milt Gross Rarities


Presenting a small basket of miscellaneous Milt Gross goodies this week.

First up is a terrific inscription, supplied by Screwball scholar Carl Linich,by Milt to what appears to be a fellow co-worker, a female that he refers to seeing around in the newspaper offices. The inscription is totally charming. It's fun to see Milt using his genius for comic structure and details to woo a lady. As far as I know Gross was a devoted femily man, so his flirting here is all in fun -- or perhaps to butter up the lady who might be of some help to him? I really have no idea. In any case, it's way cool to see Milt's own scrawling handwriting -- his line in forming these words is identical to the bold squiggles of his comics in which we find so much delight and screwball magic.

A charming and flirtatious inscription from Milt Gross,
in his own gracefully screwy handwriting -
written on the flyleaf of his book Hiawatta
(from the collection of Carl Linich)

Next up is a Gross Exaggerations column by Milt Gross from 1926, with some great prose humor. Milt had an ongoing column all about various tenants in a multi-story tenement building in New York. This column begins with tales from the fourth floor, where the "nize baby" episodes take place:

June 16, 1926

One of the things I love about Milt Gross is that he was equally talented with words and pictures. Gross Exaggerations was also a daily comic strip. Here's a beautiful wordless example.

Gross Exaggeration by Milt Gross - November 23, 1925

That is all for this time around. I hope you enjoyed these rarities and be sure to tune in every Monday for more Milt Gross screwball madness!

Till the next time we may say hello,
Paul Tumey

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