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.