Thursday, March 17, 2016

HUCKLEBERRY FINN Illustrations by Creig Flessel

One of the nicest things that could happen to me was meeting and chatting with Creig Flessel (1912 - 2008) a number of times. He was in comic books before the Golden Age, as you know. He was also a prolific cartoonist, whose work could be seen in comic books, newspaper comic strips, advertisements, and, well, of course, books.

Here is a sample of some of his many (over a hundred) drawings for the "Illustrated Classic Editions" of THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain, adapted by Deidre S. Laiken for Moby Books and is copyright 1979. Waldman and Son, Inc.

The book is in a square format, similar in many ways to the Big Little Books series. Each gatefold has a page of text on one side and a full page illustration on the other.

Creig was a master of composition and black-spotting. His breezy illustrations are impressive. And, if you'll notice, he knows just what to put in and just what to leave out. Look at the the dock in "The King and the Duke Go ko Pieces" or the railing of the steamboat: simple, clean lines. The details tend to be in the people and in nature here. I have to wonder how long it took for him to research and draw all of this. It looks so deceptively easy, it seems like he just did these with little effort. I suspect the opposite is true.

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