Thursday, May 12, 2011
A Closer Look at Detective Riley
Strip numbers 83 and 84, done in a pleasant semi-cartoony style. Looks a little like Ben Batsford work, but he was gainfully employed elsewhere at the time. There's something about that drawing of Private Buck in the last panel of #83 that I feel should be the big clue, that distinctive pose and the style of the face seem really familiar.
Strip number 85 welcomes in a new artist, who preferred a more realistic style. This guy used swipes for practically everything:
Strip #133, and our same swipist has taken a real shine to Alex Raymond. Is there any part of this strip that isn't a direct Raymond swipe?
In December 1937, another abrupt change. H.T. Elmo himself is now the cartoonist, and takes credit for them too (numbering obscured, probably #144 and 145). Elmo was woefully unsuited for drawing a realistic adventure strip:
In January 1938 (numbering also obscured), Elmo is still struggling away but no longer feels the need to take credit:
In February 1938 (again, number obscured) either we have another new artist, or Elmo decided to do some swiping of Chester Gould. My guess is that it is still Elmo here because of the distinctive lettering style.
Finally, here is the man himself, H.T. Elmo in a 1925 passport photo. Thanks so much to Alex Jay for submitting this interesting material!
I like the layout of the first panel in the second strip. It looks as if the MP is addressing the Chinese servant! Riley in disguise?
Elmo's Gould fixation started earlier than you indicate...that sure looks like Steve the Tramp in the first strip and a typical generic Gould cop in the third.
FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW!!! by Bob Dart
DID YOU KNOW? by Topps
NAPPY by Irv Tirman
SOCKO THE SEA DOG by Teddy
all running in a few papers from 1939-44.