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Fontaine Fox's Toonerville Trolley by Herb…
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Fontaine Fox's Toonerville Trolley

by Herb Galewitz

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201515,329 (4.25)None

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For over 40 years Fontaine Fox drew the single panel cartoon Toonerville Folks which, at its height, appeared in over 300 papers daily and on Sunday. Given this output it is not surprising that Fontaine Fox’s Toonerville Trolley is a sampler of Mr. Fox’s output (weekday black and white - no Sunday color panels). First and foremost among the people of Toonerville was the Toonerville Trolley That Meets All Trains and its operator “The Skipper”. The trolley, in its day, received all of the public attention that one associates with later cartoon strips like Peanuts and Bloom County. This attention included the sale of wind up tin floor toys featuring the trolley and The Skipper, as well as clockwork toys of some of the other inhabitance of Toonerville.

The book opens with a selection of cartoons focused on the trolley and the skipper. This is followed by selections of Toonerville cartoons with a focus on various members of the Toonerville community – The Powerful Katrinka, Mickey (Himself) McGuire, The Terrible Tempered Mr. Bang, “Suitcase” Simpson, The Absent Minded Professor, “Skyscraper” Smith, Aunt Eppie Hogg (Fattest Woman in Three Counties), “Tomboy” Taylor, The Little Scorpions, and others.

Fox’s cartoon drawing style is very sparse – he makes every line count – and he leaves the viewer with a sense that they have seen more than has actually been presented on paper. The humor of the cartoons is mild and most of it has aged well. Fox retired and quit drawing his strip in 1955. He died in 1964. Given my interest in trains, the only thing this reviewer wishes is that the book had more of the trolley/skipper cartoon panels and less of the others. I think this book provides a good overview of Fox’s work. ( )
  alco261 | Feb 7, 2016 |
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