Friday, June 10, 2011

Art Collection: "Nuts And Jolts" Gag Cartoon By Bill Holman, 1956

Click for bigger, screw-ballier.

I don't really have much to say about this one; it doesn't pose any mysteries like the last drawing I showed you from my collection. This is the original pen-and-ink drawing by Bill Holman for his daily "Nuts and Jolts" newspaper gag panel published on January 12, 1957 (but drawn, as a stamp on the back proves, in 1956). It's about 9"x11".

Holman is best known for his incredibly, relentlessly wacky "Smokey Stover" comic strip, as well as "Spooky," a side feature. In fact, that's Spooky the cat observing the goings-on in the right foreground. This panel shows the kind of giddy nihilism characteristic of his work.

One thing this original drawing shows that isn't evident in published versions of his comics is that he really labored over his work: the whole thing is a mass of chaotic pencil scribblings, scraped-off parts, and endless corrections and refinements. It's amazing that the finished drawing comes across as spontaneous and fresh as it does. A close-up detail of Spooky really shows the wonderfully spastic qualities of his technique:

Why isn't there a huge, multi-volume set of his work? Too nutty for most to take seriously, I guess.  God, I love his stuff.


TexasYankee said...

Loving Spooky! Thank you for sharing.

Lucy The Wonder Dog said...

Aww, the embiggen is broken!

Peteykins said...

Whoopsie! Fixed.

Cranky Old Batt said...

I love these posts Peteykins. Its history and its cool. Thanks for these!

jg said...

Grew up w/Smokey Stover and am glad to see him and Holman remembered fondly. Thanks