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Rusty Riley, Dailies 1948-1949, Vol. 1 by…

Rusty Riley, Dailies 1948-1949, Vol. 1

by Frank Godwin

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Frank Godwin was the creator of "Connie", "Roy Powers, Eagle Scout" and "Rusty Riley", along with being a prolific and highly regarded illustrator for books and advertisements. For a time he lived with his family in Cuba, becoming close friends with Ernest Hemingway, fleeing the island when Castro's regime took over.

"Rusty Riley" is a boy's adventure strip, with Rusty an orphan who is taken under the wing of a wealthy widower who owns and races thoroughbred horses. Rusty soon becomes a valued helper at the stables, a natural with horses, reliable and honest, and a close friend to Patty Miles, his benefactor's daughter. Rusty is of indeterminate age, perhaps just entering his teens, and as yet there is no hint of romance between the two youngsters, just a close wholesome friendship. "Wholesome" is the word for this strip, whose villains even seem to never entertain thoughts of violence, meekly giving up when their nefarious plots against Mr. Miles are exposed (generally with Rusty's help). Frank Godwin wrote the strip himself for a time, eventually hiring writers and focusing completely on the art. The art is what carries this strip; the plots are predictable and pedantic. Godwin's art, lovely with its dense texture and crosshatching, is some of the most gorgeous in comic strips. Still, there are weaknesses. Action scenes (admittedly few and far between) are static, and facial expressions are muted and unchanging. This, and the mediocre plots and writing, make it difficult to engage with the characters, even Rusty himself. Godwin may have been better suited as a children's book illustrator than an adventure strip creator. But this is a long overlooked strip of near unequalled beauty that has been long overdue for the complete run reprint. ( )
  burnit99 | Mar 4, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 098592845X, Hardcover)

Classic Comics Press is pleased to present the first volume of Frank Godwin's masterful comic strip Rusty Riley.

First appearing on January 26, 1948, the comic strip follows the adventures of orphan Rusty Riley and his faithful dog, Flip. Leaving the orphanage, Rusty is hired by wealthy racehorse owner Mr. Miles in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. Soon Rusty is thrust into the world of horse racing with dreams of becoming a jockey and riding the thoroughbred Blaze!

This first volume of Rusty Riley dailies reprints the beginning of the strip January 26, 1948 to November 28, 1848. There s also an introduction by Howard Chaykin (Black Kiss, American Flagg, American Century), an interview with Frank Godwin s daughter Diane, as well as a number of Frank Godwin illustrations covering the span of his long and productive career, many if full glorious color!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:17 -0400)

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