Rare Sparky Watts Screwball Strips…or Who Put the Boody in Rogers, Steve?

SCREWBALL! The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny will be in stores and on sale tomorrow! To whet your appetite, here’s another Guest Blog by the book’s author, Paul C. Tumey

Before he became a soldier, Gordon “Boody” Rogers fought the Third Reich with pen and ink. In his Sparky Watts daily strip, he put his unlikely hero to work fighting Hitler. In his singular bawdy screwball style, Boody Rogers has Sparky combat Hitler by going to bed with him!

The last chapter in Screwball! The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny is about Boody Rogers. As with each of the fifteen chapters, the book offers a biography with some new research and rare art and then a gallery of comics. For the Boody Rogers gallery in Screwball! I am pleased to present forty-eight examples of the “war effort” continuity from Rogers’s truly inspired daily comic strip, Sparky Watts, which ran eighteen months, from 1940 to 1942.

Curating the art for this book presented a number of challenges. The Sparky Watts section is one of several galleries of selected daily comic strips throughout the book. Selecting a few examples from a pool of hundreds of gag-a-day strips is challenging enough. In the case of Sparky Watts, I faced the additional issue of squeezing a long-running continuity into limited space. To accomplish this, I carefully edited out a few strips here and there from the continuity, which reads just fine without them.

As a special bonus, here are some of the excised strips from the continuity. These originally ran from March 9 to March 13, 1942.

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