MIXED NUTS WEDNESDAYBasil Wolverton (1909-1978) is one of the true masters of screwball comics. Wolverton pushed screwball comics into the grotesque in a way that few others have dared. This blog has not focused on him because much of his work is currently available in handsomely printed books with excellent commentary. Nonetheless, I've managed to dig up a few obscurities to play today, Ray... so whattaya say?... Shall we sashay?
First up are two very rare pieces of Wolverton art currently up for auction at Heritage that you can buy and own for yourself, if you've got the cabbage, Babbage. First is a suberb rare panel cartoon that was published in a Humorama girlie mag circa 1963 (the exact mag is not known). The details on this piece are sketchy, but this sketch sure is detailed!
Wolverton's concept for this cartoon is very similar to the approach that Rube Goldberg took in many of his cartoons, pointing out annoying and bizarre human behaviors. Love dat hatching, too!
Also up at Heritage is one of the very earliest comics Wolverton created, a screwball parody from the early 1930s of Buck Rogers, called Chuck Rawjors. Never published, this was part of a group of sample strips Wolverton worked up for submission to the syndicates. Because this work is so early, his art style is less controlled, but the comic is screwball to core:
|Chuck Rawjors #3 - an unpublished early try-out comic strip by Basil Wolverton|
Here's another wacky Chuck Rawjors. This one sold for $1,673.00 in 2008 in a Heritage auction. You can make an offer to the owner if you've got the scratch to match and feel rash.
|Chuck Rawjors #7 - an unpublished early try-out comic strip by Basil Wolverton|
To round this post with the most and inspire a toast, here's a rare Scoop Scuttle screwball story from Horsefeathers #1 (1945):
Woverton created 15 Scoop Scuttle stories. Here's a bibliography, from the excellent Basil Wolverton Comics Index, compiled by Henry Steele and Dick Voll (who edited the 2003 Fantagraphics Powerhouse Pepper collection)
Silver Streak #20 (Apr 1942), 21 (May 1942)
Daredevil #12 (Aug 1942) thru 20, 22 (Apr 1944)
Captain Battle Jr. #2 (Winter 1943)
Candy #l (Fall 1944), 2, 3 (Spring 1945)
Horsefeathers #l (Nov 1945)
Here's another excellent screwball Scoop Scuttle, from Captain Battle Jr. #2 (Lev Gleason, Winter 1943). Note that Wolverton includes the word "screwball" in the title:
Want another story, Cory? Here you go, Joe. From the hard-to-find Human Torch #8 (Timely 1942):
|Wolverton produced an endless stream of funny faces and often built entire pages|
around nothing else, as in this example from Human Torch #8 (1942)
Love that fishy guy! And that could be the only Wolverton caricature of Miss-and-Hitler. Thanks Basil, for the great screwball comics -- you're one of the greats, mate!
You can find another Scoop Scuttle story as well as more Wolvertons guaranteed to put a sheen on your bean at Pappy's Golden Age Blog here.
A few more Basil Wolverton rarities can be found on our Mixed Nuts Page.
DON'T MISSGene Ahern Thursday coming up tomorrow
AND...Yestidday's post on Rube Goldberg
The big essay this week on Boody Rogers and Bill Holman's unpublished meta-screwball comics
The Mixed Nuts section of our blog will, from time to time, feature cartoonists who produced notable screwball comics for a only a brief part of their careers. This section will also occasionally include lesser-seen work of more well-known screwball masters (such as Basil Wolverton and Jack Cole) that is currently well-represented in print and digitally.
That's all, ya'll ~
- Screwball Paul