The Long Slow Demise of Buster Brown, Part 11: October to December 1917

In this last quarter of 1917, the art continues to look a bit haphazard.


On first blush the October 14 strip looks like a real mess, but I think it is actually just that the black ink on the press was spreading like mad.


This is an odd one. To me the ladies’ faces look a bit Ross-ish, while the bodies look like Outcault work. Maybe I’m just getting too bleary-eyed….


Some pretty bad work on the secondary character faces on the 28th, and really doesn’t look like Outcault did much here to me. Only really definitive Ross thing I can point to are the kids in story panel 11, but really the rest looks more like rushed Ross than rushed Outcault. In fact, I’m finally starting to clue in to what Ross work looks like when he’s either rushed or trying to hide his distinctive style. Maybe there has been more Ross involvement these past months than I’ve given him credit for.


Here’s a good example of what I was saying above. There are hints of Ross all over, but mostly what I see is just very generic work. I’m going to say this is mostly Ross. What do you think?


Same thing on November 11. A few definitive Ross-isms (like story panel 6), but I’m now thinking we are seeing mostly Ross here.


On the 18th the piles of ladies’ dainties are giveaway Ross, and the faces in story panels 9 and 11 are definite. Shall we say this is also mostly Ross since there seems little that is definitely Outcault, other than maybe the masthead which seems to be an Outcault-like Mary Jane and Tige.


On November 25 there are no Ross giveaways at all. So is this Outcault or is Ross just successfully subsuming his own style for this plain one?


No sooner do I think that Outcault has pretty much left the building than we get the whole of December really looking like he’s got his hand in. On the 2nd much of the art looks rather generic, but that story panel 11 is vintage Outcault.


On the 9th I’m once again seeing elements that look like Outcault to me.


On the 16th once again I could easily believe that this is mostly Outcault work. Not great Outcault work, mind you.


On the 23rd there are Ross women, but I don’t think he can draw Tige that well.


On the final Sunday of 1917 we get a lovely Outcault masthead and no real Ross giveaways elsewhere.


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