Archive | The Little King

The Diminuitive Monarch

Jared Gardner joins the Library of American Comics team, writing the lengthly introduction to our new Otto Soglow book. Here he is with his very own copy of Cartoon Monarch, hot off the presses.jared

Earlier this week, we posted some bonus Sundays that didn’t make the final cut. Here are four that did!

 

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He’s Coming! He’s Coming! Long Live the King!

CARTOON MONARCH: Otto Soglow and The Little King is on sale in comics shops this week (and online by the end of the month). Although the book is a staggering 432 pages, we obviously couldn’t include every Sunday he ever drew, so here are some that are NOT in the book. More on Monday!

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A Big Book for a Little King

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Otto Soglow wrote and drew The Little King for more than forty years. In preparation for theupcoming release of our Otto Soglow book, we had to read upwards of 2,000 Little King Sunday pages in order to choose which strips we felt were the most representative of his minimalistic genius. Think about it: we had to read more than 2,000 Sunday pages. Sometimes I have to kick myself in the pants: Does anyone really have a better job than this?

Sheesh!

The book, though, is more than just The Little King. It also presents every installment of The Ambassador, the strip Soglow created for King Features as a stand-in for the King until such time as his contract with The New Yorker (where Soglow created his diminuative monarch) ended. Soglow’s career, of course, began before The Little King. As Jared Gardner notes in his lengthy introduction, Soglow was a man whose origins and political sensibilities were always with the working man on the street—and even the angry mob—but whose career brought him into the loving embrace of the most powerful men and corporations in the country, including most importantly William Randolph Hearst. Out of this tension is born everything we love about this cartoon monarch.

Here’s some examples of what the book has to offer:

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A 1933 ad, one of a series for Standard Oil.Alimentary_Apple

An book illustration from 1930’s Through the Alimentary Canal.

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A King Features promo sheet for the strip.

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A 1942 ad for Fleischmann’s Yeast.

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An early Little King strip from the New Yorker days.

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A 1951 Sunday page.

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Above: A 1958 Sunday—Soglow was still fresh and funny after doing the strip for twenty-four years.

Below: samples from 1962 and 1963 that show Soglow as a true master of the form.

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