Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jocular Tales Of Anthropomorphism : Erich Schenk

Until a few days ago I’d never heard of cartoonist Erich F.T. Schenk, but discovering his work has tickled me no end. The pages I’m  posting today all stem from an unnumbered comic released by LaSalle Publications in 1944. The book was a gigantic 132 page release called MERRY-GO-ROUND COMICS, filled exclusively by funny animal strips. A less than complete copy was loaded up to the DCM recently and as I perused it I was thunderstruck by a strip called Sleepin’ Lena. The artwork was unlike anything else in contemporary comics of the era. Schenk rendered his animals more naturally than his peers and in the splash Lena looks like a real cat, dressed in human clothes. To be truthful, the style resembles the artwork produced earlier in the century by the newspaper artist Windsor McCay. Thematically Sleepin’ Lena recalls McCay’s “Dreams Of A Rarebit Fiend” as they work as variations on the same idea. The protagonists fall asleep, then dream and then deal with the consequences their slumber has wrought. With McCay’s boy he has usually fallen from his bed, but with Lena her ‘on-duty’ naps result in her getting fired. But I’m very impressed with the fantastic tableaus we see in her REM-sleep.















Blowaway the horse pays homage to Baron Munchausen, telling improbable historical tales to his unbelieving stable mates. Regrettably we only have 3 pages of this tome.



 
My inquires about Schenk have led me nowhere. Could these 3 stories represent the entirety of his cartooning career? If so it’s a damned shame. If any readers know of any other work by him, please make sure to clue me in!

Pat

3 comments:

  1. He drew a story for Ha Ha issue #3 as well!

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  2. I have an abstract nude drawing from this Erich Schenk I'm looking to sale. Email me at mrfantastic321@yahoo.com

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  3. I have an abstract nude drawing from this Erich Schenk I'm looking to sale. Email me at mrfantastic321@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete