Our Daily Sykes #94 – Smokey Stover

This cartoon sat up among Horace Syke's kodachrome slides. Bill Holman was the complete artist for the Smokey Stover strip that ran from 1935 until his retirement in 1973. He both wrote it and drew it. It was a model for a variety of screwball comics, and Holman's capacity for puns is by now legendary. Here's some of Wikipedia's summary of Holman's accomplishment. "Although most of the stories in the strip (and the occasional comic book) centered around Smokey's escapades with his chief, the plots were mainly a framework to display an endless parade of wild humor, sight gags, puns, mirthful mishaps, nonsensical dialogue and fourth wall references. An 'anything for a laugh' atmosphere pervaded the panels, and Holman's continuing inventiveness managed to keep Smokey Stover going for nearly 40 years. Holman often reached moments of surreality that did for comic strips what Tex Avery's wacky cartoons offered in animation." For myself it is gratifying that the only cartoon to show up among Horace's stuff is an example of Holman's fireman. (Click to Enlarge)

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