Wednesday, June 17, 2020


The Long Slow Demise of Buster Brown, Part 6: July - September 1916

The Smithy era continues, with Outcault seemingly at the helm consistently. Any evidence I see of Penny Ross is so ephemeral and fleeting that I feel I might just be chasing ghosts (which, of course, I am!)




 After a long stint of seemingly working on his own, on August 13 we have what I feel is most likely some help from Ross; the visitor has a Ross feel to her, and even Mrs. Brown in story panel 11 looks to be by Ross.


On August 27 there's no doubt in my mind that Ross is drawing Buster in drag. 

In September we seem to be back to little or no involvement by Ross. In fact these are all quite strong Outcault productions; any rushed look to the art is more than amply made up by strong gags all month.





I have really been enjoying your focus on "Buster Brown" and the search for what so far appears to be Penny Ross' elusive contributions to it. It is the perfect Summer excuse to indulge in some great cartooning! Thanks!
Geeze the 07/09/16 episode was a bit bleak. These are great by the way. A lot of these are all the one artist, but there are a fair few the heads being redrawn by someone with a much less deft hand for some reason. Can't say if they are Ross or not but they are definitely of much lower quality. I also notice in some of the ones you believe Ross had a hand in, the characters other than buster are all very rigid in movement and lack a lot of Pitcairn's signature characterisation.
I am going to guess and say Pitcairn had a template of the main characters that were used over and over again as standard poses, like in animation, which allowed others to have a hand in the strip when outcault was too busy. His strips have so much detail I can only have sympathy for the sheer amount of time it would have taken to get one of these up and ready for the presses on any given week. Dan.
Pitcairn is auto-correct for Outcault by the way.
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