Well, Tim’s still away and I’ve kept my gripes to myself, so no trouble yet. I’m very pleased that Paul Tumey has rejoined us, and this time with a video piece about Clare Victor “Dwig” Dwiggins, a mostly forgotten cartoonist with a wonderfully spindly line.
For about the first third of his busy and active career, Clare Victor “Dwig” Dwiggins (1877-1958) employed an effervescent, dense and decorative visual style. He also drew numerous depictions of appealing and slightly screwy Gibson Girls, which tied in to his Bohemian take on life.
But, around 1913, something happened – and DWIG shifted. The sexy women and screwball exuberance of his work changed to a simpler, less dense, more abstract style. He became obsessed with dwelling in the idyllic past of his small town childhood growing up in the mid-west in the late 1800’s — putting the names of his boyhood chums into his work, and disappearing into his studio for hours every day to live in simpler times.
Today, these indulgent and loving depictions of boyhood by Dwig can seem cloying and overly sentimental, but Dwig was sincere and authentic in this work. Perhaps one reason his later work fails to connect with many readers today is simply that we did not have the sorts of adventures he did — digging up dead cats at moonlight to remove one’s face with punk water, or tramping around the country with a pack of friends. If he were working today, perhaps Dwig would be turning out a comic strip version of “Freaks and Geeks.”
Tom Spurgeon interviews Rob Goodin.
13 great R. Crumb drawings in honor of his 72nd birthday.
Not comics, but relevant: I love lists like this guide to Tarantino’s influences/references. There’s comics-relevant stuff in here, too.