|Comics Legend Rube Goldberg|
Rube Goldberg was born in 1883. At twenty-one (1904), his sports
and editorial cartoons were already being published in various California
newspapers. Before he would lay down his pen, he would create dozens of
Sunday and daily comic strips, found the National Cartoonist Society and
the Famous Artists Cartoon School, and leave a legacy that remains
Boob McNutt (1915-’34) is his best remembered Sunday-only strip. It began as a showcase for low-brow humor based on societal observation, and evolved into a comic adventure.
Most of his short-lived strips were full of kinetic energy and
drawn in a scratchy style that added much visual humor to his observations
about life. But his amazing inventions based on a falling domino flow of
action and reaction remain unique to this day.
As example, a boy throws a ball that bounces off a man’s head and
breaks an aquarium suspended from the ceiling.
Its water pours down a sluice that turns a waterwheel that animates
a knife that cuts a string suspending a boot.
The boot kicks a frog....etc. and etc. and etc.
Rube Goldberg won the Pulitzer prize in 1948 and helped produce the
first issue of Feature Funnies in 1937. He died in 1970.
His only comic book work was Side
Show (1940-’44, Quality).
Books by Goldberg included: Foolish Questions, Chasing the Blues,
Seeing History at Close Range, Is There a Doctor
in the House?, The Rube Goldberg Plan for the Post-War World, Rube
Gold-berg’s Guide to Europe, How to Remove the Cotton from a Bottle of
Aspirin, and I Made My Bed.
The work of Rube Goldberg is highly recommended for all ages.
Some older comics are expensive or difficult to locate. Price guides or comics dealers help. Comics shops, conventions, mail order companies and trade journals are good sources. Prices vary; shop around.
Review by Michael Vance
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