Friday, January 16, 2009
Billy DeBeck (1890-1942)
I used to read Snuffy Smith in the funny papers in the fifties and was puzzled by the fact that Barney Google was in the title but was never shown in the comics. Barney Google was begun by Billy DeBeck on 7 Jun 1919, taken over by Fred Lasswell (1916-2001) on DeBeck's death in 1942, and passed on to John Rose who is the current artist on the comic.
Whenever I come across the work of DeBeck while riffling through microfilmed newspapers I have to stop and read a few. DeBeck was one of the giants of the early comic strip. I have never seen, (and doubt very many other people have seen), DeBeck's version of the hill-billy Smith family until now. Five strips in sequence from January 1, 1935.