Friday, February 27, 2015

George Wildman on Sick--and Felix?

George Wildman, Charlton's editor for most of the Seventies, was the company's main Popeye artist, and continued with the strip late in the decade when the book was returned to Western Publishing (Gold Key and then Whitman).

He used a pen name (or pen initials) at Sick, which had came to Charlton to end its run. This article, "Who's Watching What" from 119 (Feb/78) is signed D.E.K. in the final panel; as it happens, its script (credited on the splash page) is by Popeye writer Bill Pearson.

Sick 119

I believe I see Wildman's art, anonymous, much earlier—before he's otherwise known to have worked in comic books—on Dell's Felix the Cat. "Felix Forgets to Call Ohm"/"Packaged Lightning" (Felix 9, Oct-Dec/63) and "Testy Tester"/"Tested Tester" (12, July-Sep/65)—each a two-chapter story—suggest his work to me.

The best place to look for any artist's style would be secondary figures, but here I chose a panel of Sappo from a Wotasnozzle backup to Popeye, because his straight-to-the-side pose, with a head almost perfectly round, is typical of Wildman, like the character George in the Felix tier below. In the Felix stories there are backgrounds of massed clouds with a few distant birds by their edges; the same can be found in Wildman's Popeye stories.

Popeye 162, 171, Felix 12

So George Wildman would be my guess on those two Felix stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment