Sunday, 14 October 2007
I've started reading Leonard Starr's On Stage and I'm very impressed. The story is about a young woman from a small town who moves to New York City to become an actress. Stage Door and All About Eve might have been influences and I would guess that That Girl and The Mary Tyler Moore Show were influenced by it. (It ran from 1957 to 1979.)
Starr's writing and art are of very high quality. The introduction to the first volume points out that some newspapers carried On Stage only on Sunday, some carried it only Monday through Saturday and some carried it seven days a week. Starr managed to structure the stories in such a way that you could follow them no matter what your newspaper did. He managed to do this without making it at all repetitive for those who read it every day.
This strip below shows how great Starr was at his craft. There are three people in this strip, and three panels. Each panel gives us a different point of view, one for each character. The last panel also makes great use of framing within the frame, something I associate more often with movies. The use of this technique here is quite arresting. I don't think you see anything this sophisticated in American newspaper comic strips anymore.