Weather or Not …

Here in my part of New England we got our first snowfall of the season last weekend (followed by five days of unseasonable cold, which meant no melting) — and forecasts are calling for a major mid-week storm ahead. So much for a mild winter!

To help me brace for what’s what’s to come, on top of what’s already occurred, I decided to take a look at how some of my LOAC favorites have dealt with wintertime throughout the years.

Chronologically, we start with a New Year’s wish from Pa and Kitty in a 1934 Polly and Her Pals. Bob Karp and Al Taliaferro were always willing to use the seasons as the basis for gags, and here’s a wintry grin from a 1946 Donald Duck daily. Al Capp could make Dogpatch look as cold as Lower Slobbovia, as this January Li’l Abner proves. Max Collins correctly pointed out throughout or Dick Tracy series that Chester Gould was a master at depicting harsh weather: here he sets a steadfast B.O. Plenty against O.M. Winter from the December 22, 1948 Tracy installment (“O.M. for “Ol’ Man”).

With a passing note that Noel Sickles drew winter scenes designed to take one’s breath away (as the late-1935 run from our Scorchy Smith and The Art of Noel Sickles so clearly demonstrates), I’ll finish with two very different snowy scenes from a pair of the artform’s capital-M Masters: Alex Raymond puts suspense into the storm in his January 20, 1950 Rip Kirby, and I conclude by going back in time five years from Kirby for perhaps my all-time favorite Christmas strip — Milton Caniff’s beautiful tribute to his late friend, Frank Higgs, in December 25, 1945’s Terry and the Pirates.

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