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Chuck Jones “Crawford”

About a year ago animator Kurtis Findlay asked if Brew readers would be interested in a book collecting Chuck Jones’ short-lived Crawford comic strip. Well, that book is now well under way and will be published by the Library of American Comics!

Kurtis is currently looking for the best available copies of every strip for this complete collection and is about 98% there. He’s gotten the cooperation of the Chuck Jones estate and family blessing to complete his research. Findlay is now reaching out to our community for help:

“Due to the obscurity of the strip, I’m having difficulty tracking down papers that actually carried it. Here’s where I need the help of you Brew readers: Do you know of any paper that carried Crawford dailies, Sundays or both? Please leave a comment! If you have any other information or material that relates to Crawford, please send me an email: kurtis-at-coveringthemouse(dot)com

I strongly second what Findlay is trying to accomplish. If you can help him with any further information on this obscure comic strip, please do. Above, one of the rare daily strips from the run (click to enlarge).

  • joecab

    Yup, the New York Daily News carried the Sundays for sure; I don’t recall seeing the dailies there though.

    • The NY Daily News only carried the Sunday page.

  • Scott Jeralds

    i remember the st. louis post dispatch carried it…i use to read it in the library when i was in high school around ’77/’78 back in illinois….and as long as we’re exhausting chuck’s later works….can a dvd of the complete curiosity shop be far behind?

    • Scott B.

      I second the Curiosity Shop love. I’ve never seen it, but my wife recalls it fondly. Ripe for the DVD/BluRay treatment.

      • Funkybat

        Wow…I’d never heard of “Crawford” or “Curiosity Shop” before now. Both of these were just a few years before my time, but were already consigned to pop culture oblivion. God bless the Internet for helping to spread awareness and revival of lost creative treasures…

  • “Crawford” is one of my all-time favorite comic strips.

  • Since the strip says “Chicago Tribune-N.Y. News Syndicate,” wouldn’t the Syndicate know what papers subscribed to it?

    • Unfortunately, the syndicate has no records on Crawford.

  • A quick check of shows a front page cartoon ad in the Aiken Standard from January 6, 1978 which read, “Read Crawford (and Morgan) a new comic strip by Chuck Jones. Starting January 9 in the Aiken Standard.”

    I did a quick search for that paper and found several Crawford dailies.

  • Chuck blue penciled & inked (with a brush) each panel on animation paper and pasted them to a rectangular sheet of Bristol board. Don Foster lettered the dialogue which was pasted onto the blank word balloons. The originals are breathtakingly beautiful.

  • I followed CRAWFORD while I was in college; I believe it ran in Orange County’s REGISTER. I wasn’t impressed, though; the strip bears the same “Hey, look at me, folks — I’m the great Chuck Jones and I’m not a mere cartoonist, I’m a philosopher!” vibe that ruined much of his output in film. That said, best wishes with the collected edition. Whatever my opinion of it is, I think it’s important to preserve CRAWFORD.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      If anything, it sounds like it’ll be a nice curio item for those that perhaps would like to see what else the man had to offer.

  • Alan

    Chuck Jones saw better days, with his worst cloying and overly-intellectual tendencies on full display here. I’m anxious to see the entire collection again as I don’t recall the strips being either funny, insightful, or particularly well drawn or composed.

  • The Gee

    I pretty much echo what Alan and Scott Shaw! wrote, though, from what I’ve seen the strip was well-drawn.

    It is amazing to me that the word “cloying” pretty much can only be used to describe Jones’ animation/art. I can’t think of work by another cartoonist or animator who deserves the word more. It makes him more unique, I suppose. Viva la Chuck!

    I hope it does get collected and a proper treatment. From what little I remember reading about it he did do it for long enough that it would be nice-sized collection.

    On a tangential note, but related, comic strip historian Bill Blackbeard passed away last month. If anyone would know about “Crawford”, he probably would know; he would have been the go-to guy.

    It took forever before I even found out about him passing. It is amazing how long it took for write ups to appear. That made it a double drag.

    But, I mention this knowing the last time I posted a side note about the Animation Archive temporarily shutting down that comment was edited to subtract that point of interest to the community.

    So we’ll see how much if any of this makes it through the filters.

  • Sounds interesting. Hopefully it comes together faster then the Pogo book that’s been in limbo since 2007.

    • The Gee

      Yeah. I know which one you’re referring to but there’s been a lot of reprints of the strip, so with “Pogo” and other older strips know that if you want to read them there’s a good chance you can.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        I can’t argue with that. Unlike Pogo, you really saw nothing out of Crawford besides it’s one-time in print in a select number of newspapers in the country. You’re lucky if someone actually clipped those strips out, or saved entire sections of the newspaper that had them in, or even go to a public library and make print-outs from microfiche records.

  • Mister Twister

    I will buy that.

  • Craig D

    The Buffalo Evening News (now known as The Buffalo News) carried Crawfprd back in the day.

    Hope that helps.

  • The Sunday strips were carried in the Seattle Times/Seattle P.I. (The papers did a combined Sunday edition.) The dailies were not.

  • Steven Rowe

    I read the strip when it was running, not 100% sure what paper. Columiba SC’s “The State”?

  • Peter Adamakos

    I have just finished writing a blog about my dealings with Chuck Jones, and recalled the day I suggested a comic strip to launch the little boy character he wanted to do in animation. I was doing a strip to introduce characters I wanted to animate. If you want details let me know, I would read it in the New York Daily News each Sunday. Somewhere I have the material he sent me on it and some strips.