Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Number 32

Bizarre Boody Rogers

I'm not sure, but I think Boody Rogers might have been chewing peyote buttons in his native Texas while drawing most of his really bizarre comic strips. He was the creator of Sparky Watts, "World's Strongest Funny Man," and Babe, Darling of the Hills. There is an hallucinogenic quality to his work.

Rogers started out as assistant to Zack Mosley on Smilin' Jack, where he learned to draw girls. Smilin' Jack called them "de-icers," and they certainly could melt any man with their curvy bodies and accentuated bottoms.

Rogers is dead now, but quit cartooning many years before he died. His heyday was in the 1940s, and especially the postwar era. Sparky Watts was published every month in 6-page installments in Big Shot Comics and his irregularly published solo comic book, Sparky Watts, which went 10 issues.

An especially appealing and strange strip is his Babe, a Li'l Abner imitation, which went 11 issues in the late 1940s.

Put "Boody Rogers" in Google and see what comes up. Several people have posted some nice strips that show how wonderfully bizarre was Boody!

This is the middle of a story, this episode originally published in Big Shot Comics #86 about some really oddball little characters. I don't have the previous or next episodes.

The more people get into Boody Rogers the more they appreciate the really whacked-out humor of his comic strips. Artwise he doesn't really remind me of anyone except Zack Mosley, but his stories were original, on a level with Basil Wolverton's Powerhouse Pepper, Dick Briefer's Frankenstein, or Bill Holman's Smokey Stover. Someday someone may collect all of the really screwball work that Boody Rogers left behind in 1952 when he opened some art supply stores in the Southwest and dropped his cartooning.

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