Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Making of a “Funny” by George McManus

Mr. McManus took them into so many lands with pen and paint-brush that now they are able to travel on their own, as befits the two most distinguished linguists of the comic section. For, in addition to the universal language of the rolling pin, the swift kick and the sock on the nose, they speak, through the papers in which they appear, German, Italian, Yiddish, Polish, several Slavic languages, Dutch, Spanish, Hungarian, Japanese, Chinese — virtually every language of the civilized world, “including the Scandinavian.” The Laugh That Circles the Globe by Llewellyn Rees Jones, 1926

EDWARD W. MURTFELDT wrote the following five-page article — The Making of a “Funny” — for Popular Science Monthly, Vol. 136, No. 6, June 1940, which was published when George McManus was 56. 

[1] page 84
[2] page 85
[3] page 86
[4] page 87
[5] page 88
[6] George McManus, Rosie’s Beau, Aug 19, 1917


  1. Looks like they skipped a few steps...

  2. Great stuff, John!
    Thanks a million for posting.
    They have inevitably simplified the process, to fit into their pages, but shown many really interesting steps.
    The photos are invaluable!
    Great to see the Ben Day screen and frame in use.
    Interesting to see an un-named assistant doing the colour guide.
    And I'm grateful for confirmation that the papier mache mats or "flongs" were mailed out to papers, who would use them as moulds to make their own printing plates.
    Imagine that... molten hot metal poured onto papier mache moulds, and the things didn't just burn up.
    Clever process.
    Mostly invented / perfected in France and Britain, it seems.

  3. Have recieved a few comments that long posts have "disapeared." Nothing showed up in my mail except for the complaints. We will publish any comments recieved!