Tag Archives | Dick Moores

Never Before seen art by Dick Moores!

Back in the early 1950s when Dick Moores worked at Disney, he also took on outside freelance work. Original sketches for one of these jobs recently came into our possession. What a delightful find! Dick was hired to design character sketches for a miniature golf course in North Hollywood locally owned by a husband and wife.

The sketches are done in pencil on vellum and feature two characters: Puttin’ Polly and Golfin’ Gus. One or the other character was used in different poses at each hole of the course. The characters were also used on the scorecards, as well as the firm’s stationery.

The final inked drawings were printed on color decals (one shown below) and mounted on the metal sign at each hole.

Also in the folder is a sketch of an elfin character, pencil on bond paper.

It’s all classic Dick Moores art! Amazing how consistent his style was from the ’30s through the ’50s and all the way into the ’80s with Gasoline Alley. (Shameless plug: if you’re a Dick Moores fan and haven’t seen our collection of his mid-’60s Gasoline Alley dailies, what are you waiting for?!)

The miniature golf course was sold years ago and no longer exists. Any long-time Los Angeles residents out there with photos of Polly and Gus in action?

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Dick Moores, Master Cartoonist

I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t love Dick Moores’s delightful and charming art and stories inGasoline Alley. His long run on the strip is one of those few cases in which the cartoonist taking over from the original creator actually improves the creation.

Frank King first met Dick Moores in Chicago in the 1930s, when Moores was Chester Gould’s assistant (and letterer); the two then shared a studio while Moores was drawing the adventure strip Jim Hardy. By the early 1940s Moores was in Southern California drawing exclusively for Disney. His much-admired work at that company includes inks on Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse, art on the Brer Rabbit and Scamp Sunday pages, and many, many great efforts in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, some of which he was allowed to write as well as illustrate.

By the mid-50s, Frank King was looking for an assistant who could eventually take over the daily strip (Bill Perry had been doing the Sundays since 1951) and remembered his old colleague from Chicago. Moores left Disney and moved to Florida in 1956 to assist on Gasoline Alley.

There’s no hard evidence that indicates when Moores took over full responsibility of the Gasoline Alley daily, but our friend Jeet Heer, who co-edits the magnificent Walt & Skeezix series reprinting the early Frank King dailies, tells me that it was most likely in 1960, although King may have continued suggesting story ideas until 1964 when Moores was given a byline, sharing it with King until the elder cartoonist’s death in 1969.

This is all a preamble to announcing that we’re very happy to bring Dick Moores’s fantasticGasoline Alley strips from 1964-66 back to print. Both we and our friends at Drawn & Quarterly think it makes a nice bookend to the early Frank King dailies.

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Frank King in a 1964 interview announcing Dick Moores’s byline.

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A promo piece to celebrate Skeezix’s 40th birthday!

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Three strips from the beginning of 1964 that feature lamps designed by Clovia and Slim. (Click for larger view.)

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A publicity photo of King and Moores holding the self-same custom-made lamps!promo2

Above: A later Moores promo drawing (note Nina at left). Below: a past-over head for the final version.

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And a wonderful piece of art by Dick Moores, which we’ve used for our cover.

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