Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Milton Caniff, Part 1

In Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee (Henry Holt and Co., 2006), Charles J. Shields takes fewer than a handful of paragraphs to discuss rumors Truman Capote wrote part or all of Pultizer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. (He didn’t, apparently.)

But in Meanwhile …: A Biography of Milton Caniff, Robert C. Harvey consumes an entire 10-page appendix to ruminate on “How (Noel) Sickles Inspired Caniff But Didn’t Draw for Him.” Ten pages.

No question, at 952 pages in total, Meanwhile … is a doorstop of a biography, loaded with illustrations from Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon and other Caniff works, samples from other cartoonists, explanations of those illustrations and more post cards and letters sent to and from Caniff than you can image. Plus insights and recollections from the man himself.

Heavy stuff.

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