Friday, July 20, 2012

The Compression of Smokey Stover Comics

Smokey Stover Fireday

A new Smokey Stover or Bill Holman comic every Friday!

Here's a Smokey Stover gem from 1937, during the second year of the strip. It's no secret that Bill Holman was a great cartoonist. What we don't realize when we read a comic like the one below that has about 25 gags in it, is that Holman was also an organizational genius.

Each Smokey Stover is a unique, magical matrix of jokes, gags, one-liners, and surrealism. Holman must have had a huge collection of such material in order to be able to generate a weekly matrix that condensed and collected so much into such a small space. It requires a certain kind of genius to be able to collect, archive, and retrieve vast amounts of scattered bits and pieces of humor. Each weekly Smokey was like a patchwork quilt, made of these scraps. Sometimes, the result was quite beautiful.

Smokey Stover by Bill Holman - November 14, 1937

Well, you know what they say: "Foos rush in where angels fear to tread."

Screwily Yours,
Paul Foomey

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