FINE ARTS

Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe

Farrar. Nov. 2017. 272p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780374298555. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780374713041. BIOG
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Murphy (The World According to Eve) recalls the heyday of comic strips in a tribute to his father, John Cullen Murphy, as well as other illustrators who lived in the Fairfield County, CT, area during the 1950s and 1960s. Trained by Norman Rockwell, John was among a group of artists who created strips like his own "Prince Valiant," Mort Walker's "Beetle Bailey," and Leonard Starr's "Little Orphan Annie." These comics, some enduring today, populated the pages of daily newspapers and magazines such as The New Yorker and the Saturday Evening Post. The author details how this group, known as the Connecticut School, flourished in suburbs outside of New York, selling their creations to large syndicates that distributed and licensed their work to publications around the country and throughout the world.
VERDICT Amply illustrated with examples of work from John Murphy and other artists, this heartfelt look back at this still-beloved Sunday morning staple will be appreciated by readers nostalgic for the comic strips of their youth and for fans of contemporary graphic media. [See Prepub Alert, 5/15/17.]

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