Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cubist Nightmares in Comics

Newspaper comics came of age during the same time that modern art made its appearance, and the comic artists took notice.

In 1916, just a few years after the Armory Show, Penny Ross portrays "a Cubist Nightmare in the Studio of Monsieur Paul Vincent Cezanne Van Gogen Ganguin."


In Polly and Her Pals (1929) by Cliff Sterrett, Paw accidentally tries on his wife's glasses, with disorienting results. 

Uncle Walt and Skeezix visit an art museum and find out what it's like to walk around in Modernist paintings, as portrayed in Gasoline Alley (1930) by Frank King.

Bill Watterson continued the tradition decades later in Calvin and Hobbes.
You can find these pages and more in The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics


nuum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nuum said...

It had to be in the smithsonian ...
Where else ?

Luca said...

I've always loved that strip: Calvin is completely clueless at school, but he's the only 6 y.o. kid in the world able to identify cubism, ah ah! :D It seems that the poor Miss Wormwood (Calvin's desperate teacher) does some pretty good art lessons at school! :D

rock995 said...

Penny Ross at first seemed to be Winsor McKay due to the drawing style. Would have loved to see Mr. McKay take a stab at cubism in Little Nemo.

Unknown said...

Interesting. There were also several cartoon shows that used this kind of motif - I didn't realize it actually dated back to early comic strips. For example there's an episode of Darkwing Duck where the characters pursue a villain who has the ability to enter paintings. They pursue her through several different paintings and styes of art, including a cubist painting. There were other episodes of other shows with similar themes. For me, as a kid, these programs were my introduction to modernist art.