Monday, April 27, 2020

Milton Caniff, Steve Canyon, April 27, 1960

This daily was published 60 years ago this very day. Far out.

This is not one of my favorite pieces. I’m not sure why I bought it, 25 or so years ago at San Diego Comic Con (as it was known in those halcyon days). I don’t particularly like it now. I only like panel 2 out of the four. The woman, Miss Barker, annoys me; she’s a dead ringer of Summer Olsen, Poteet Canyon, Bitsy Beekman and Stalky Schweisenberger. Which is to say all of his women looked alike by this time in Caniff’s artistic evolution.

The only enjoyment this particular piece gives me is from studying panel enlargements to luxuriate in Caniff’s fearless freehand brushwork. He makes it look so easy. I suspect his penciling was minimal, that he did most of the drawing in the inking stage. I cite the generous swaths of white paint on the reclining figure in panel 1 as evidence of my theory.

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