Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Roy Crane "How to Draw Buz Sawyer"

"Mix good characters ... action, sex ... into a well-composed picture with blacks, whites and grays. Then with good drawing, good planning, and good luck you should have a pleasing strip."

Roy Crane talks about his work in "Roy Crane and Buz Sawyer" from issue no. 3 of Cartoonist PROfiles, Summer 1969. "The unique quarterly magazine for the professional, the cartoon buff, the student, and all who enjoy cartoons" it's noted under the masthead. This is so early in the history of Jud Hurd's great magazine that he felt obliged to have an explanation on the cover.

Roy Crane shares "How to Draw Buz Sawyer," which originally was part of a scrapbook he donated to the Syracuse University Manuscript Collection. Mr. Crane would continue his series during the early years of Cartoonist PROfiles magazine. (Click here for his "How to Draw Women.")

Roy and Ebba Crane in their home in Orlando, Florida.

He describes the work and pressure of coming up not only with the story, but maintaining the quality, cramming drawings "with endless detail of aircraft carriers, planes and flight gear, all of which had to be done accurately, or the new strip would would fail to gain a sense of reality and prestige."

And, yeah, he talks about "The Reason for Benday."

Below is the article, in its entirety, which begins with "Damn Sunday pages!"

A big hat tip to Don Orehek for this issue of Cartoonist PROfiles!

- Originally published on February 28, 2011.

1 comment:

DBenson said...

Remembering as a kid (early 60s) that we had the Sunday "Buz Sawyer", but not the daily (I think he was in the afternoon edition, and we got the morning). The title was "Buz Sawyer featuring his pal, Roscoe Sweeney", and I have no memory of Buz ever being a presence.

Roscoe was now an orange grower living with his spinster sister, and each week was a stand-alone comic episode: Roscoe and his rural buddies pranking each other, Roscoe spinning tall tales to slightly doubtful local kids, and Roscoe trying to impress the occasional pretty visitor. I remember only one mention of Buz, and that came in one of Roscoe's tall tales. I sort of grasped that somewhere out there Buz Sawyer was the hero of his own strip, but it was a few years before I saw samples in a book. I kept confusing him with Captain Easy, who I did discover in another local paper.

Been following the vintage Buz Sawyer on the Comics Kingdom website. Lately Buz is in Antartica, where it's mostly a battle between men and the elements. The deep research is on display, although for the last week or so it's been a bit of silliness: Friendly Russians gave Buz and his crew a female mannequin in a swimsuit, and Buz playfully radioed his base that he was bringing back a woman.