Percy Leo Crosby (1891-1964) created several comic strips before hitting gold with Skippy. These early efforts included The Clancy Kids in 1916, That Rookie from the Thirteenth Squad (which he produced from France while in the army during the first World War), and the single panel Always Belittlin' (which later morphed into a topper to the Skippy Sunday page). By the early 1920s Crosby was a mainstay drawing covers and illustrations for Charles Dana Gibson's Life magazine, where, in March 1923, he introduced the impish and loveable Skippy Skinner.
In the days before the separation between "high art" and "low art" became entrenched, Crosby criss-crossed the creative world, lauded by both "serious" art critics at major galleries and museum exhibitions around the globe, as well as the man on the street who read Skippy on the comics pages. Crosby wrote a best-selling Skippy novel, which in 1931 was adapted into an Academy Award-winning movie.
Perhaps more than any other cartoonist before him, Crosby brought philosophy and politics to the American newspaper comic strip. In the end, it would be his outspoken political and philosophical beliefs that would place him increasingly outside the mainstream of 1940s American culture, ultimately leading to his exile from comics and his forced incarceration in a mental institution for the last sixteen years of his life. As a result of his tragic end, Crosby's remarkable contributions to American culture have been largely eclipsed, until now.
Skippy © 2011 Skippy, Inc.. All characters herein and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Skippy, Inc.. All rights reserved.
|"Percy Crosby caught lightning in a bottle and learned how to draw with it," wrote Jules Feiffer in a 1978 appreciation. Milton Caniff marveled, "Boy, there's nothing faster than watching Skippy run the way Crosby drew him." Crosby was heralded as "the greatest apostle of motion in the field of art" by Edward Alden Jewell, art critic of the New York Times. His artwork has hung in the Louvre in Paris, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, and the Tate Gallery in London, among other venues, but it's his work as a cartoonist, as the creator of Skippy—the philosopher man-child—for which he's best known.
Skippy debuted as a daily newspaper strip in 1925 and as a Sunday the following year. and soon became a sensation, published in 28 countries and 14 languages. Crosby continued writing and drawing the feature until 1945. Today we see Skippy as the spiritual ancestor to Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes, among many other kid strips. Percy Crosby influenced cartoonists from Charles Schulz to Walt Kelly to Garry Trudeau.
This series, produced in cooperation with Skippy Inc. and the Crosby estate, reprints the complete legendary series for the first time.
Skippy Vol. 1: Complete Dailies 1925-1927
by Percy Crosby
Edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney, Designed by Lorraine Turner, Biographical essay by Jared Gardner
Coming Summer 2012: Our premiere volume includes every daily strip from the beginning—June 22, 1925 through the end of 1927—as well as the start of an extensive, ongoing biography of Percy Crosby by Jared Gardner, and is illustrated with a great many photographs and rare artwork from the collection of the cartoonist's daughter, Joan Crosby Tibbetts.
9.5" x 8.5" hardcover-with-dustjacket, with index, $49.99.