By: Dave Astor
Brian Walker’s “The Comics Before 1945” has just been published.
The coffee-table-size hardcover is a “prequel” to Walker’s 2002-released “The Comics Since 1945,” also from Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
His new 336-page book includes 575 illustrations, with more than 100 of them in full color. The numerous sources Walker used for art and his text include issues of Editor & Publisher magazine dating back more than 100 years.
Among the many comics spotlighted in the new volume are “The Yellow Kid” and “Buster Brown” by Richard Outcault, “The Katzenjammer Kids” by Rudolph Dirks, “Happy Hooligan” by Frederick Opper, “Little Nemo in Slumberland” by Winsor McCay, “Krazy Kat” by George Herriman, “Bringing Up Father” by George McManus, “Gasoline Alley” by Frank King, “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray, “Popeye” by E.C. Segar, “Blondie” by Chic Young, “Dick Tracy” by Chester Gould, “Li’l Abner” by Al Capp, and “Terry and the Pirates” by Milton Caniff.
The Connecticut-based Walker (see E&P, Oct. 28, 2002) has written and edited more than a dozen books on cartooning. He also does the “Hi & Lois” comic (along with Greg Walker and Chance Browne) for King Features Syndicate, works on “Beetle Bailey” for King, and has curated 65 cartoon exhibitions.