Thursday, June 18, 2020


The Long Slow Demise of Buster Brown, Part 7: October - December 1916

In the final quarter of 1916 Outcault's new co-star Smithy continues his reign of terror, and Outcault calls upon Ross more and more often.



Out of the blue, Ross pretty much does the whole October 15 episode except the masthead and maybe a few of the faces. You have to love the line, referring to the newspaper put out by the kids, "There are no imitations in it. Illustrated by good artists. It's all the real thing." in light of the circumstances.


 Starting on November 12, Ross is definitely involved, but his contributions are harder for me to quantify. In this strip I'd say story panels 7 and 10 look like Ross' work. The figures in those just don't look like anything Outcault would have drawn.

On the 19th, the whole page looks a bit slapdash,  but panel 11 only seems like a Ross production.
 On November 26 I see almost all Ross, except in the masthead. The faces mostly seem to be Outcault, but much else has that Ross look.
Here we have a mostly Ross page on December 3, once again Outcault just putting his signature touch to the faces of the main characters?
December 10 is an odd one, looks like several different cooks working on the soup, and none of them putting in a lot of effort. Ross is evident in some of the dresses, and story panel 8 has the 'tootor' in a signature Ross pose.
Out of the blue, good ol' Smithy has moved away. His note threatens to visit, but he seldom appeared later on. I think Smithy was a great character and his leaving makes no sense to me.

I see what looks like a Ross panel in story panel 6, but the rest seems like Outcault to me.
Back to what appears to be a 100% Outcault production on December 24.
On the final Sunday of the year, it looks to me like Ross is doing layouts and some random bits and pieces. This seems to me to be a real collaboration between the two cartoonists.

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