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    Cliff Sterrett Polly and Her Pals and Sweethearts and Wives Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 6-8-30 (Newspaper Feature Service, 1930). If you're wondering why Sterrett was called "the Picasso of the comics," take note of the oddly angled character drawings and slightly bizarre background plants in this example. This is just the second time in our history that we've offered a full Sunday with the topper strip Sweethearts and Wives. Each strip was created in ink over graphite on Bristol board. Polly was created on two sections of Bristol with a combined image area of 26" x 24", and Sweethearts measures 26" x 8". Signed by Sterrett in the last panel of the Polly strip. The far left panels of the Sweethearts strip are both stat paste-ups. The lightly toned boards are mounted together in a custom mat that measures 33" x 41". In Very Good condition.

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    In his landmark book, America's Great Comic-Strip Artists, comic Historian Rick Marschall featured just 16 artists. Tucked after George Herriman and E. C. Segar, but before Roy Crane and Harold Gray, sits the creator of Polly and Her Pals, Cliff Sterrett. Marschall calls Sterrett, "arguably the most gifted graphic artist is this book". It is an amazing badge of honor, considering the level of genius found with the other artists of this fine volume on comics.

    Similarly, The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics, edited by Bill Blackbeard, has this to say about Sterrett. "Cliff Sterrett was, after George Herriman, the unbridled and unflagging graphic master of the comic Sunday page.

    High praise indeed.

    Polly and Her Pals pioneered the way for the genre of the pretty girl strip back when Sterrett worked side by side with Winsor McCay at the strip's birth. Originally titled Positive Polly, the strip morphed into more of a family strip, featuring Maw and Paw and their daily antics. The title was changed then to Polly and her Pals. The "Pals" were funny and memorable in their own right, but that is not what makes this strip a work of genius.

    What lifts Polly into the rare atmosphere with McCay and Herriman is Sterrett's playful and amazingly imaginative design skills. He seems to be dabbling in cubism and surrealism at times, though there is no evidence Sterrett was an ardent follower of those art styles. He messes with his audience's perceptions in ways no other artist has done.

    His houses and cars, flowers and cityscapes became beautifully abstracted. The Sundays from his best period (approximately 1927-1935) are integrated wholes. The entire page work together as a work of art, with wonderfully placed blacks and glorious compositions.

    In many ways, Sterrett and Herriman shared much in their whimsical and unconventional approach to the comics medium. Their works are often compared.

    In the case of Sterrett, just a few examples of his original Sunday artwork from this peak period exist today.

    This full Sunday from June,1930 falls right at the sweet-spot of that period of Cliff Sterrett's journey with Polly. It is complete with its original matching topper strip, in beautiful unrestored condition, complete with their syndicate tags.

    This Sunday is a classic example of the strip, with its homey family setting with the whole cast included. It features a cute gag about a lost ring and insurance fraud. Wonderful shots of the family cat, Kitty, and Paw.

    The three black windows in the background strung across the piece showcase Sterrett's amazing eye for layout of the entire page, tying all together into a singular work of art. Sterrett's almost merry sense of design showcases his talent in this great, and super-rare example of one of America's giants of the comic strip.

    You would be hard-pressed to find a better example.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    15th-17th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 31
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