Sunday, May 06, 2012

Number 1152: Out of this world with Buster Brown and Tige

The original Buster Brown Comic Book, with adventure stories and continuing features, was published until issue #43 in 1956. After that the direction of the comic was changed  This particular issue, produced by ACG subsidiary Custom Comics, Buster Brown in "Out of This World!" (1959), was probably written by ACG editor Richard E. Hughes but drawn by . . . whom?

The Grand Comics Database equivocates. On the one hand they say the cover is by Kurt Schaffenberger?, but even though it's the same artwork as the inside they drop the name and just give us the ?  I'll leave it up to you art spotters and Schaffenberger fans. Is it by Kurt?

Karswell showed the 1958 edition of the Buster Brown giveaway in his And Everything Else Too blog. You can check it out here. Despite a similar outer space theme to the 1959 issue the artwork is completely different.

UPDATE: After getting a comment on a possible artist from comics historian Alberto Becatini, he says this is the work of Dan Gordon, an animator who did many comics for ACG in the forties and fifties.

ANOTHER UPDATE (May 23, 2012): Just heard that funny animal comics expert and artist Jim Engel says the artist is Ken Hultgren, another of the animator-comic book artists who did so much for ACG, and who was a contemporary of Dan Gordon. This puts me in a quandary. I trust both of these men and their comic art knowledge, and all I can do is present their opinions.


Mykal Banta said...

What magnificent art! I thought at first perhaps more than one artist is at work here, but after looking at it for awhile, I think not. The hands for all "human" characters have a thin quality that is uniform.

I really hope someone can spot this artist, but if not - at least we can enjoy it anyway!

Pappy said...

Mykal, my instinct is that it's Schaffenberger, just drawing in a more exaggerated and comedic style than he used at Fawcett and DC. If not the pencils, for sure I believe it's his inking. Kurt's crisp, clean inking is almost a signature.

The story itself is bizarre, fitting into that ACG/Richard E. Hughes style, and since ACG was Schaffenberger's home away from DC (and Lois Lane) I believe his hand is evident in this shoe store giveaway comic.

"100Aliases" said...

The design of the spaceship and the villains sort of reminded me of Ogden Whitney, but the facial expressions say otherwise.

Jeff Overturf said...

Wonderful under-exposed stuff! Thanks, as always, Pappy!

Don said...

Great posting! How about a story from "Buster Brown Comics" featuring Smilin' Ed, Midnight the Cat, Squeekie the Mouse, as well as the rascal, Froggy the Gremlin? Also, how about a Reed Crandall story from a Buster Brown Comic? Just suggesting.

Don Yost

Pappy said...

Thanks to all for the comments. I didn't know how this comic would go over. I'm glad to see it's met with some approval.

Alberto said...

Hi Pappy.

Great Post! I'd never seen this one before...

IMHO it is *not* Schaffenberger... I do think this is the great Dan Gordon, who did a lot of funny animal stuff for ACG and Better in the forties and early fifties.

In fact this looks like his later stuff, what he drew for "Funny Films"...

Tell me what you think about it, please.


Pappy said...

Bless you, Alberto! Thank you for the identification. Dan Gordon, who also signed his name "dang," appears to fit this strip. I even have a Dan Gordon strip from Cookie scheduled for May 23.

I will change my text to fit what you told me. I was not aware that Dan Gordon was still drawing comics as late as 1959, but I can see him now.

Mykal Banta, of The Big Blog of Kids' Comics, what say you?

Mykal Banta said...

Pappy: As happens so often when Alberto makes an ID, I can see it once he says it!

I concur with Mr. Becatini. I can really see Gordon's great style most evidently in the dog, Tige; and in several of the military, two legged characters. I can see evidence of his inking throughout as well.

Good going, Alberto! And great post of a real find, Pap!

Pappy said...

Mykal, I agree...I'm not as familiar with Dan Gordon's '50s work as with his 1940's strips for ACG, but once identified I also see the similarities. I wish I had the eye of a great art-spotter, but I don't, so I have to depend on an expert like Alberto.

Thanks for your input.

Alberto said...


You know, after looking at these pages again and again, I agree with Jim Engel that this is Ken Hultgren's art.

Thanks for opening my eyes, Jim!


Mykal Banta said...

Credit to Pappy, Jim, and Alberto. This is what great comic book blogging is all about!