Thursday, January 04, 2007

I Got Another Clue!

At this time I'd just like to say "Thanks!" to my pal, Drazen Kozjan, for giving me a copy of The Complete Guide to Cartooning by Gene Byrnes.
Drazen dropped by for a visit one day late last year and brought me this amazing book. I will be eternally grateful to him! This baby's chock-full of incredible art and info on a vast selection of classic cartoonist/illustrators. For instance, its got a two page step-by-step by one of my favourite artists: John Ruge.
I fell in love with this guy's work the first time I saw it. He did this great illustration back in 1954 for Adventure magazine...
I think it was the fact that Ruge's style reminded me a bit of the ligne claire school of European cartooning that made me sit up and take notice... I was determined to find more work by Ruge. This proved to be a frustrating endeavour. For some time the only other piece I could locate was a tiny spot in Coronet magazine... At the time I didn't have much in the way of Collier's magazines in my collection. Once I added some issues of that publication to the TI vaults, my Ruge archive began to expand. Ruge had a regular gig drawing a silent four panel strip called "Clancy", about the hijinx of a mischievious Irish Setter, for several years in Collier's.This strip, although nice, was a bit of a disappointment to me. It was Ruge's human figure work that I wanted to see more of - and his more illustrative style I really loved.

Well Ruge also supplied Collier's with a steady stream of single panel gag cartoons, including quite a bit of exceptional cheesecake!
And he wasn't only working for Collier's... I've found a few of his single panel pieces in The Post as well.
More of his "straight" illustration work, mentioned in the tidbits of biographical info in the Complete Guide to Cartooning, still eludes me - as does a comprehensive bio - but I am indebted to Drazen for providing this first clue to the career of John Ruge with his fabulous gift - thanks D!

You can see these images at full size in my John Ruge Flickr set.


  1. Great post, thanks for sharing. Love Ruge's stuff.

    Hey Draz where's my book ;)

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  3. okay, now you do need to stop because my shopping list has just gone over my budget for the upcoming birthday....!

    Seriously, thanks for sharing the info on these, without seeing them it's hard sometimes to know if they're worth tracking down.

  4. The comic for collier's reminds me a classic spanish illustrator named Coll, which is one of my favourites.

    So the european ligne-claire influence may be true.

    Yo can see some ultra-low resolution images of the work of Josep Coll here:

  5. Thanks for that, stereotopffer! And as if the emphasize the point, don't you think the piece with the rocket in the bottle from my second post looks like it came straight out of a Tintin comic?

    It makes me wonder if Ruge was casting his gaze across the Atlantic!

  6. sarah; all I know is... you are going to have one very happy boyfriend! ;-)

  7. This is why I love old Art "how to books". They are a contained universe of information, from the most basic, to the complex; and the best are the inspirational quality of the artists...

    I got today in the mail a copy of the Byrnes's "Complete Guide..." It's all your fault, Leif!