HEY! KIDS! COMICS! : Arch Dale’s Doo Dads at Punch in Canada : September 2nd, 2008


TODAY’S FEATURED COMICS: Today is an easy pick, in spite of there being the usual bunch of great stuff. My friend John Adcock at Punch in Canada has started posting a bunch of gorgeous examples of the obscure but wonderful comic The Doo Dads by Arch Dale. I haven’t seen that much of Dale’s work, as it is exceedingly difficult to see! It has never been reprinted, and if you want to read more of it you’ll probably have to hunt down the actual newspapers from when it was printed. What I have seen of his work has left a big impression.

Dale is often seen as a Herriman clone, and clearly Herriman was a large influence on him. It is terribly unfair to dismiss his work for this, though… his work is unique and he very much has his own voice and style.

John also shares the story about how he scanned a huge stack of these strips he borrowed and then had the files corrupt or disappear on him… it just makes me wanna cry. Fortunately these scans survived. Boy would I like to see more of this stuff… someone, please make a book on Arch Dale! You Canadians can get government grants for this sort of thing can’t you?

See the first post here and the second one here… sounds like there is more to come!

4 thoughts on “HEY! KIDS! COMICS! : Arch Dale’s Doo Dads at Punch in Canada : September 2nd, 2008

  1. Excellent links! We’ve got some Doo-Dads on BP, but these are great color scans!

    I can certainly see where the Herriman ripoff rap comes from, but Dale is much more “cartoony,” which is very pleasing to my eye, weaned as it was on funny animal comics and cartoons.

  2. Thanks, Holmes!

    Dale does indeed have a more “cartoony” appearance to his work. Herriman’s stuff has a roughness and looseness to it that is nowhere to be seen in Dale’s work… Herriman liked to texture stuff a lot with razor blades, scratching away ink. The main similarities between the two artists would seem to be the backgrounds and the kop as a main player, although clearly there are a lot of other similarities there as well.

    Hope all is good with you!

  3. eBay seller here and came across your site, searching a book 1923 “The Adventures of the Doo Dads” by Arch Dale. It is about 10″ x 12″ stories on one side of page… full page detailed art on the other.
    I thought it look as though Dr. Seuss when influenced by him, and wonder if he had this book as a kid. ‘Horton’ looks like the Elephant who is in many man of Arch’s comics, “The Doo Dads from Dooville”, and Crooked chimney tops. Well now I must check out Herriman.

  4. I saw some scans from that book at some point. It does seem very possible Dale’s work could have influenced Seuss… I can see similarities. The Doo Dads was pretty obscure, though… it didn’t run in many papers, most or all of which were Canadian, which has a lot to do with it’s rarity today.

    Don’t miss Herriman… there are no better comics to be found than Krazy Kat, and there are lovely reprints galore to be found.

    Thanks much for visiting and commenting!

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