Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The Mighty Check-up!
Warren Kremer was a great cartoonist, the "look" of Harvey Comics from its transition to a kiddie-comics line until the company was shut down in the 1980s. He began as a comic book illustrator on standard features, and was good. His exceptional talent came out when he drew the kids' comics. He took over from the animators who had drawn the Casper feature before him. Kremer was prolific and if there was a lead artist at Harvey Comics, it was him. He died at age 82 in 2003.
Stumbo the Giant began as a back-up feature in Hot Stuff, The Little Devil, in 1957. The character had to be drawn bigger than everything else around him. It had to be a challenge for Kremer, and anyone who followed on the feature to draw in those proportions. Stumbo had a certain size in relation to Tinytown, the people who populated it, the mountains. That had to remain consistent, and Kremer did it.
The story, "The Mighty Check-up," is from Harvey Hits #60, September 1962. It was inked by cartoonist Frank Carin. The printed version of the strip is from my collection, but the original art scans are from the Internet. It's always interesting to look at originals and compare to the printed version. In most cases layers of colors would obscure parts of the story. The cartooning is kept fairly simple, not only for the young readers, but so the artwork reproduced in some decent fashion.
Several classic Kremer Casper stories are reprinted in Leslie Cabarga's book, Casper The Friendly Ghost. Maybe someday we'll see an all-Kremer book with some of his Stumbo stories.