The following “Toodles” daily, with art by Rod Ruth, is from 2-19-58:
I recently purchased the strip to go with the daily from 2-20-58, which my wife and I already own. I posted a scan of 2-20-58 previously, but here it is again:
In part because they come one after the other in the ’58 continuity, and in part because of good fortune and careful selection on my part, the two strips read very nicely as a self-contained vignette and will look great matted together in a single frame!
To view all four of the “Toodles” strips in our art collection, and learn a little bit about Rod Ruth, click here.
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.
Here’s a piece of original art, a daily dated 7-23-57, by Rod Ruth, from the comic strip The Toodle Family, a.k.a. The Toodles. The strip was written by Stanley and Betsy Baer and was drawn by Ruth from 1941 to 1958. It was then drawn by Pete Winter from 1958 to 1965. Apparently, besides The Toodles, Ruth was an illustrator for Amazing Stories and other Ziff-Davis pulps. Truth be told, I had never heard of either The Toodles or Rod Ruth before I noticed a series of ebay auctions for Ruth’s artwork, but I was happy to pay US$44.00 total (shipping included) US$38.00 total (shipping included; the next day, the seller gave me a partial refund on the shipping charge, presumably to bring it more into line with the actual cost) to add this lively and charming work from 53 years ago (!) to our collection.
I also recently won an ebay auction for a “Miss Peach” daily by Mell Lazarus, and let me tell you, that thing is HUGE! I love it, and I intend post a picture soon.