Wednesday, July 15, 2009

HAL RASMUSSEN/ "AGGIE MACK"

These images come from one of the old 'Walter Foster' how to cartoon books I had as a kid. The cartoonist was named Hal Rasmussen, and he drew a teen age comic about a bobby soxer girl named AGGIE MACK.
The comic seems to date back to the late 1940's which seemed like antiquity to me as a kid in the early 1970's. Because of that, I assumed that such books would be in print forever.

They nearly were--this is an edition I must have bought in the 1980's or later, although I don't think the book is in print any more. If it is, it is likely to be revamped almost beyond recognition. The figures are very deft--Disney-esque Fred Moore types, and like most art of that era, it shows a lot of skill.

The whole book (which is short) contains only a few more pages by this artist, but I will scan what I can over the next few days.
AGGIE MACK seems to have lasted a long while but it must have been relatively obscure. I never heard of it outside of this book, until I noticed several anthologies of it for sale on AMAZON FRANCE. She seems to be very well remembered in France, although the later version I saw there a while back looked like it was done by another artist than this one.

14 comments:

cartoonretro said...

Beautiful. I've long admired these drawings, and spent a lot of effort tracking down copies of the old Aggie Mack sunday pages and comic books, but most are over-inked and clumsy, with little of the charm and grace of the Walter Foster book examples. No idea why that is, but it's frustrating.
S.

Paulo Brabo said...

I have this one book! I love the lettering as well.

Will Finn said...

paul--the lettering is really cool--kind of streamline era freehand.

shane --i wonder if the examples of AGGIE in the book were samples done to sell the strip, but the reality of doing it every day compromised the style either that or the strip started great and then got handed off to an assistant?

this was the book was the first place i ever heard of Geo. Scarbo also...

Javier Suppa said...

nice and amazing work!
congratulations .
im from argentina and i am an artist 2d and comic work.

good luck

chrisallison said...

The inking in these is AWESOME! So loose yet so descriptive. Lots of life. Thanks for sharing, Will!

Weirdo said...

These drawings are terrific. I'll have to look for this on Amazon. Thanks for putting this up.

Will Finn said...

Weirdo i don't have the book at hand at the minute, but it think it was called (ironically) MODERN CARTOONS in the version i had and would be listed as written by Walter Foster.

Bill White said...

I haven't seen or thought about this book in years! When I was growing up, this book and Preston Blair's were about the only how-to cartooning books you could get your hands on. At least in my tiny town. (Oh, and the Walter Lantz book!) I used to draw out of this book for hours!

I always assumed Aggie Mack was a comic strip that had maybe been shopped around to syndicates, but never published.

Live and learn.

Sherm said...

I was blown away the first time I saw these Hal Rassmussen drawings...the linework is so dynamically curvy and elegant and springy! That Modern Cartoons is definitely worth tracking down. (Amazon has a bunch of inexpensive old copies)

Will Finn said...

Thanks Sherm!

Just to be clear: COMIC CHARACTERS is the name of the book these excerpts come from.

MODER CARTOONS also has Rasmusson artwork, but I don't have a copy at hand so I can't recall exactly what or how much...?

Floyd Norman said...

I had this book when I was a kid, and the stuff still looks great.

What an inspiration!

Simon W-H said...

Thanks for this...I had this book, and a whole lot more of the Walter Foster range. No idea what happened to them all. I love the Hal Rasmusson work shown here...gorgeous!

Barbara said...

Hi, I came across Modern Cartoon by Walter T. Foster at my goodwill store nearby. I was facinated by the age of the cartoons and bought it. I have been trying to find out how old it is and if it is worth anything and of course if anyone is interested in it. I ran across your website and thought you might be interested. Anyways thought I would post this. Peace.

Pokey said...

Nice pictures!! I like that name.