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Suspended Animation: Rube Goldberg

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There is a wealth of entertaining comics besides the X-Men. One of the
greatest comics creators was also a founding father of the artform.

Rube Goldberg was born in 1883. At twenty-one (1904), his sports and editorial cartoons were already being published in various California newspapers. Before he would lay down his pen, he would create dozens of
Sunday and daily comic strips, found the National Cartoonist Society and the Famous Artists Cartoon School, and leave a legacy that remains unequaled today.

Boob McNutt (1915-’34) is his best remembered Sunday-only strip. It began as a showcase for low-brow humor based on societal observation, and evolved into a comic adventure.

Most of his short-lived strips were full of kinetic energy and drawn in a
scratchy style that added much visual humor to his observations about life.
But his amazing inventions based on a falling domino flow of action and
reaction remain unique to this day.

As example, a boy throws a ball that bounces off a man’s head and breaks an aquarium suspended from the ceiling. Its water pours down a sluice that
turns a waterwheel that animates a knife that cuts a string suspending a
boot. The boot kicks a frog....etc. and etc. and etc.

Rube Goldberg won the Pulitzer prize in 1948 and helped produce the first
issue of Feature Funnies in 1937. He died in 1970.

His only comic book work was Side Show (1940-’44, Quality).

Books by Goldberg included: Foolish Questions, Chasing the Blues, Seeing
History at Close Range, Is There a Doctor in the House?, The Rube Goldberg Plan for the Post-War World, Rube Gold-berg’s Guide to Europe, How to Remove the Cotton from a Bottle of Aspirin, and I Made My Bed. The work of Rube Goldberg is highly recommended for all ages.

Some older comics are expensive or difficult to locate. Price guides or
comics dealers help. Comics shops, conventions, mail order companies and
trade journals are good sources. Prices vary; shop around.
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