Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Happy Birthday, Chic Young

The original "Blondie" cartoonist was born in 1901 on this day. He was born in Chicago, and went to William McKinley High in St. Louis where he got the nickname "Chicken Young." The nickname stuck. His older brother Lyman drew the King Features comic strip "Tim Tyler's Luck." He encouraged Chic to draw.

Here is an old magazine ad for US Savings Bonds showing Chic Young's drawing process for a BLONDIE daily comic strip. My pal Leif Peng came across this while scanning magazines for his terrific Today's Inspiration blog. Here's Leif:
Found this while scanning something for Today's Inspiration. Thought you might like it for your blog...

Supposedly a Chic Young 'step-by-step'... but if it really is, then Young must have been a frigging Zen Master Cartoonist, because there's no sign of any real construction, its just a sort of "coming into focus" process, unlike anything I've ever seen!

More likely, he did the strip the usual way, then, for the sake of this ad concept, did a two stage "deconstruction" to reverse the process down to something that looked like a rough sketch but less messy than the real rough sketch. What do you think?
I agree with Leif. It all looks pretty slicked up and doesn't have the necessary construction lines. It appears like dear ol' Blondie just pops into focus out Mr. Young's amazing cartoonist brain!

1 comment:

Mike Peterson said...

There's a pretty widespread rumor that Chic quit drawing the strip after the death of his son, who was the model for Dagwood and Blondie's baby. He did take a sabbatical from the strip -- that much is documented -- but word is he never actually returned and that the strip was ghosted from then on, with him providing ideas but not art. I tried to track this with KFS and the archivist there (this being a decade or so ago) said he'd heard the rumors but had never been able to verify them.