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1065

H. John Jay (John Jay Humski) - Original Comic Strip Art for The Brown Boys, Group of 115 plus proof sheets (American Features ...

2004 April Comic Auction #810

 
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Auction Ended On: Apr 2, 2004
Item Activity: 7 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: NewYork, NY
Description:
H. John Jay (John Jay Humski) - Original Comic Strip Art for The Brown Boys, Group of 115 plus proof sheets (American Features Syndicate, ca. 1936). Offered here is a true rarity, a nearly complete record of what appears to be an unpublished comic strip from the mid-1930s. Presented in an attractive wooden box with a hinged lid measuring approximately 26" long by 8.5" wide by 4.5" deep, which bears a lovely metal plaque with color engraving of Tom and Tim Brown and Wow the dog, with the words, "The Brown Boys by H. John Jay," are 115 original daily strips, numbered 6-121, and a proof sheet reproducing strips one through five. John Jay Humski was apparently an advertising illustrator in Chicago in the 1930s, as is evident from his business card that is included, affixed to a piece of illustration board. The Brown Boys seems to be his attempt at a daily newspaper strip, one that was picked up by American Features Syndicate (of which little is known) but never bought by any newspapers. The work itself is a charming, engaging adventure strip, in the style of The Rover Boys or The Hardy Boys, both popular adventure series' of the time featuring young heroes. The art is strong and attractive, and the initial storyline, regarding the boys' missing father and a mystery unearthed with the discovery of a wrecked car, is engaging and fun. It's a shame that this strip apparently never saw print, as it is quite well done and deserves to be read and enjoyed. The first twenty or so original strips in the collection have had light blue watercolor applied as shading, and all the strips, which measure approximately 24" x 6.5" overall, are in excellent condition. Each strip is signed by the artist, typically in the last panel. This is a unique opportunity to own an unpublished chapter in the story of the American newspaper comic strip, an opportunity that may never again present itself.

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