Monday, May 18, 2009

The Genius Of Ernie Bushmiller

These images come from a 1951 Nancy comic by the brilliant Ernie Bushmiller. The actual dates of the comics are difficult to determine, as Ernie had already been producing the strip since 1926. Also, Nancy comics always seem so be stuck in time, even when Ernie introduced beatniks and hippies into the strip. I wager some of these date from around WWII. Click on the images for a better look.



The bottom strip here shows off Bushmiller's clever use of wordplay. Ernie's clean, precise drawing style was the trademark of the strip. Note the archaic images of washboards and dunce caps (they show up frequently).



Mmm...Boople's Cookies and elegant popcorn.



The women's outfits and hairstyles are pure 1940s. The reference to white cord being hard to find has to be about wartime rationing.



Fireworks by mail! Impossible in this day and age.



More fireworks. Note the clever co-branding. "The Captain And The Kids" is pretty much the same as "The Katzenjammer Kids," as both were created by Rudolph Dirk. Dirk changed the name in 1915 after a dispute with Hearst. A version of "Katzenjammer" competed with the Kids until 1979!


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