Mr. B.C., R.I.P.

Evanier reportsthe death of Johnny Hart. Younger folks – heck, folks of my age who haven’t delved into cartoon history – would be forgiven for thinking of him as just a somewhat trite factory cartoonist who turned to a sometimes ugly form of evangelism. (Some people can combine humor with their evangelism, but at best Hart could do one or the other.)
But if you ever get the chance to read the first collection of “B.C.”, 1959’s Hey, B.C.!, do. Here was stuff that was edgy and fresh and funny. I really can’t chart the strips whole path into blandness, but it’s worth it for that first batch.

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Published in: on April 8, 2007 at 5:06 pm  Comments (4)  

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  1. I haven’t read much on Mr. Hart yet, nor did I check out Mr. Evanier’s write-up. I was just wondering and will simply ask… Is there any indication whether Hart’s strips will continue on a la other classic whose authors/artists have passed on?

    My local paper carries B.C. and had recently held a comics competition trying out a few strips and letting readers vote for which one would fill an open slot. Am wondering now if they’ll have another slot to fill and how they’ll go about it if so. Maybe they’ll just slide the runner-up from the competition in there.

  2. BC will continue, with the involvement of his family, who apparently were already involved in the strip. Given that they’d already been recycling the art (really, one doesn’t need to draw Fat Chick looking at Wiley’s Dictionary too many times) this is not apt to be a radical change.

  3. The B.C. web page does indeed confirm that Mr. Hart’s strips will continue on (not that I doubted your word on the matter in the least). Apparently there will be six weeks of classic strips run in tribute to Mr. Hart before new ones start up again.

    I only just thought to check for official word because my local paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, announced late this week that they are dropping B.C. as of tomorrow (monday, April 30) in favor of Sherman’s Lagoon. Sherman was the first runner-up in the paper’s recent comics page competition (Pickles won) which finished up last month.

    Personally, I’m looking forward to the change as it will be an upgrade over modern-era B.C. in my opinion. I would have chosen Sherman in the comics competition if it had been up to me, but I couldn’t spend that much time on the phone calling in my votes.

  4. Sherman’s Lagoon is indeed readable, and well-drawn. Not a must-have strip, but not a bad thing to have on the funnies page. I’ve got a couple books of it (and original art of one Sunday strip.)


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