Monday, June 15, 2020

 

The Long Slow Demise of Buster Brown, Part 4 -- January - March 1916

1916 starts off with a seemingly all-Outcault strip, a good gag well told but the art is rather indifferent:
1/2/1916
 On January 9, though, Penny Ross seems to have done the figures of the two guests in story panels 1 and 11, and maybe others?
1/9/1916
 On January 16, Outcault once again draws indifferently, but breaks the fourth wall in a fun strip:
1/16/1916

January 23 has Outcault drawing better than he has all month. 
1/23/1916
 On January 30 Outcault is drawing well enough, but the script is instantly forgettable. Well, except for the horse threatening to have a cow bite Buster on the eye. My goodness!
1/30/1916
February 3 offers us a very energetic action page. Seems to me Grandpa's poses are more like something I'd see from Ross than Outcault, but the art style still seems Outcault. Maybe Ross did layouts?
2/6/1916

February 13 looks like Outcault except for that strange delivery boy. That doesn't look like Outcault or Ross to me. 
2/13/1916

February 20 seems like a tailor-made page for Ross's help. He's so good at depicting women in action like this. Yet I see no evidence of his style at all. 
2/20/1916

On February 27 I'm not seeing any evidence of Ross, but these first two months of 1916 just in general seem rushed-looking. 
2/27/1916
Here's Ross again, this time supplying the body and even at least once (story panel 2, and maybe 3 and 5) the face of Buster Brown. What makes this doubly weird is that Outcault is a character in this strip. Why would he get a ghost to draw a strip in which he appears? Just seems very counterintuitive to me. Did Outcault draw himself !?!?!
3/6/1916
 We seem to be back to Outcault on the 13th, but it is very poor work. Some of the faces are just awful.
3/13/1916

Another apparent Outcault production on the 19th, this time showing considerably more effort, though the faces are still rather simply drawn. . 
3/19/1916

On March 26 Outcault introduces a new character, Smithy. Smithy manages to out-prank even Buster, all while maintaining an over-the-top sunny attitude toward his victims. Poor Buster can't figure out whether to love or hate his new  neighbor. Looks like Outcault throughout to me.

3/26/1916


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