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    Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann and Andy Sunday-Style Comic Strip Original Art (c. 1930s). The existence of a Raggedy Ann comic strip will likely come as a surprise even to many an advanced collector. Here's a fantastic treat for fans of early comic strips and anyone who ever had a "Raggedy Ann" doll as a child. John Barton Gruelle was a newspaper cartoonist who specialized in editorial cartoons until he was approached to create a fantasy strip to replace Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland; Mr. Gruelle came up with the wildly innovative Mr. Twee Deedle, which began in 1911.
    However, Johnny Gruelle's greatest claim to fame was the creation of Raggedy Ann. The history of this rag doll character is the stuff of legend, with stories about Johnny's daughter Marcella serving as the inspiration for a series of books. Somewhere along the way, there appears to be a comic strip; we say "appears," because there is practically no information about any Raggedy Ann multi-panel strip that our researchers can find. A daily panel cartoon was produced from 1934 to 1938, but no Sunday that we know of. We believe this Sunday-style page was done for a proposed syndicated strip for the George Matthew Adams Service that was never picked up. There are no dates or syndicate copyright notices, or even a title, but this is definitely Raggedy Ann, complete with her "candy heart." The two children in the strip are obviously inspired by Gruelle's real-life children, Marcella (who tragically died at age 13) and her younger brother Worth (who would go on to create new Raggedy Ann stories after Johnny's death in 1938). The artwork is simply wonderful, light and expressive, with not a line wasted or out of place, and the humor is whimsical (like including a "mud puddle" made of chocolate ice cream). It's in ink over very light graphite on Bristol board, with an image area measuring approximately 19.25" x 21.25". There is handling wear and some staining along the bottom edge, and a tiny abrasion in the border of the last panel; overall condition is Very Good. The page was inscribed by Johnny to Art Wood.
    If there was no Sunday strip like this, there certainly should have been; if there are more examples out there, we want to see them! Wonderful stuff, to be sure! From A Collection of Great Cartoonists and Illustrators.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    4th-6th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,289

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

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