Here are two more strips by Rod Ruth, from our slowly expanding collection of original art; the first is from 2-20-58, and the second, from 3-12-58:
[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
Rod Ruth is by no means a well-known figure in the history of comic strips, but I, for one, find his work terrifically appealing. Ruth’s character designs are distinctive, and the expressions always appropriate to the action: look, for instance, at the way Ann’s expression changes from panel to panel in the first strip as she struggles to stand up for the man she loves in the face of her parents’ stern expressions of disapproval, and then retreats into sullen silence as her mother pointedly puts her father in his place. Ruth’s staging of the action is also first rate: in the first strip, notice how he changes from a three shot in the first panel, with the father on the left, facing right, to a closer two shot of mother and daughter, back out to a three-shot, with the father close on the right, facing left — which, taken together with the first two panels, I read as a sign that the father has been pacing back and forth while the women have been talking — and then ends with a lovely low reverse angle that not only maintains spacial continuity between the three but also places the now visibly weary Ann, both compositionally and symbolically, right in the line of fire between her domineering mother and her stuffed-shirt father; and I especially like the bits of business the artist gives to Ann in the second strip — panel one, she files her nails; panel two, she pumps a bit of moisturizer into her palm; and panel three, she absently rubs the moisturizer into her hands as she wistfully contemplates lost love. Finally, Ruth’s handling of clothing, furniture, props, etc., is always economical and convincing: notice, for instance, the way he uses little dabs and checkmarks of ink to give dimension to the quilting on Ann’s jacket in the second strip, or the way he suggests the folds on the nurse’s overcoat with a few deft strokes of the brush.
To see all three of the “Toodles” strips I’ve posted so far, click here.
The Haunted Closet: Baleful Beasts and Eerie Creatures (illustrated by Rod Ruth), posted by Brother Bill
The Haunted Closet: Baleful Beasts and Eerie Creatures: The Patchwork Monkey (illustrated by Rod Ruth), posted by Brother Bill
The Haunted Closet: Baleful Beasts and Eerie Creatures: Nightmare in a Box (illustrated by Rod Ruth), posted by Brother Bill
The Haunted Closet: The Rest of Baleful Beasts and Eerie Creatures (illustrated by Rod Ruth), posted by Brother Bill
The Haunted Closet: Album of Dinosaurs (Tod McGowen, Rod Ruth, 1972), posted by Brother Bill