Monday, August 26, 2013

Art Collection: "Outdoor Sports" Drawing By "TAD" Dorgan, Ca. 1918-20

(Click for bigger.)

Annnnd another great Tad drawing enters the Peteykins collection of comic strip art. Yay! This one follows the same specifications as the others I featured here: brush, pen, ink, and blue pencil on cotton rag illustration board, with the image size measuring 8" x 12".

The last Indoor/Outdoor Sports panel I posted showed the artist in a lazy mood, cutting corners and, as the saying goes, phoning it in. That's certainly not the case for this drawing, which is an absolute riot of all of Tad's different hatching, crosshatching, stippling and shading techniques. His graphic shorthand for "wicker" is economical and brilliant. Furthermore, unusually for the artist, this is an open-air park scene, with a view that goes far into the distance, trees, a fragment of a statue, buildings, etc. It's a nice contrast to the "shallow stage" compositions upon which Tad usually relies.

The gag is simple and funny: a group of gentlemen observe a gaggle of gals positively assaulting an infant with baby talk. Feeling superior, the men comment on the women's silliness, evidently  unaware that their own lingo is as opaque and ridiculous as the goo-goo noises they're disparaging. The bewildered look on the baby's face is pretty hilarious.

I love the little song Tad quotes in the corner gag. I did some research, and either the artist made this song up off the top of his head, or it's a vaudeville obscurity which hasn't survived.

Here are a couple of nice details:



dianegsocialist said...

The women's faces are amazing.

Peteykins said...

And their clothing! I think he was one of the keenest observers of period wardrobe.