Jan 7, 2010

WINDY BREEZE 4 – 1946-49

This is the fourth and final segment of my chronological publishing of Jack Cole’s one-pager series, WINDY BREEZE. To read earlier installments, click here.

This set covers the last appearances of the series in National Comics 51-60. Some of these were written and drawn by Bart Tumey. Tumey (no relation to me, Paul Tumey, that I know of) was the first of the half-dozen or so assistants and ghosts brought on to help keep up the rate of production of PLASTIC MAN stories to meet the demand. Tumey, a decent cartoonist, wrote and drew many comics for Quality during the 1940’s. It’s my guess that these few WINDY BREEZES were a try-out to see if he could measure up to the Jack Cole magic.

As a special bonus, my adventures as a comic book archeologist recently took me down the slick, dangerous curves of Quality’s sexy title CANDY, where I found a couple of wonderful last WINDY BREEZES by Jack Cole.

It’s a shame that Cole didn’t continue the series and keep creating these one=page wonders. As you’ll see, he just got better and better… and also funnier.

National Comics #51 (Dec. 1945)

Great opening panel, huh?



National Comics #52 (Feb. 1946)

Cole didn’t commemorate Christmas in any of his stories, but he often marked Valentine’s Day, usually with a comedy of unrequited love, as in this story. The drawings of the lovely Zinnia are classic Cole and prefigure his work in PLAYBOY 10 years later.



National Comics #53 (April 1946)
Cole may have roughed this out, the figures and staging
are all Bart Tumey.



National Comics #54 (June, 1946)

Another one-pager by Bart Tumey. Note how different the figures feel. Where Cole’s figures have a subtle angularity, Tumey’s figures are round and lumpy. Also note how he stages the strip so the funny part of the corset being drawn to the car is not shown… something Cole would have relished drawing.



National Comics #55 (August, 1946)

Cole’s back! Perhaps inspired by sharing his turf with Tumey, Cole clearly puts more effort into this dense one-pager, which contains one of his classic crowd-going-crazy scenes. 



National Comics #56 (October, 1946)

Another one-pager by Bart Tumey. This one appears to be exclusively by him, script, pencils, and inks.  Note how different his females are from Coles. Where Cole’s women are sexy, dangerous… Tumey’s women tend to be wholesome, bossy, and matronly.



National Comics #57 (Dec. 1946)

One of the best in the series! Lovely artwork, funny writing. Notice how there is MOVEMENT in this story, as opposed to Tumey’s versions. Cole has put a bit more elbow grease into this one, perhaps spurred by Tumey’s presence. His panels have a level of detail and density that is simply insane for a throw-away one-pager. Great, forgotten comics!



National Comics #58 (Feb. 1947)

Another classic by Cole. That middle tier is a lovely way to show a flashback sequence that also suggest pages from the book Windy is “borrowing” from.  nat58


National Comics #59 (April 1947) 

Wow. This is genius at work. This one never fails to make me laugh out loud. And then I admire the mastery of the layout, the drawing, and the beautiful sound effects. I love the first panel, where Windy’s sour notes are all falling from his mouth and crashing to the floor like lead weights. The idyllic country setting Windy and Stinky stroll through reminds me of some of Frank King’s Gasoline Alley sequences. But the pastoral beauty is merely a set up for the porcine stampede climax!



National Comics #60 (June 1947)

It’s the pose in panel two that makes me say that Jack Cole penciled this page. It’s the lumpy, round-jawed figure in panel three that makes me say Bart Tumey inked the page. Overall, the page ought to feel as dense and compositionally tight as the previous two entries, but it doesn’t. It’s still quite funny, though. This was the last WINDY BREEZE to appear in National Comics. With issue #61, the book reduced in size from 64 to 52 pages.  Cole did publish a a great BURP THE TWERP one-pager in National #65. You can read that here.



Candy #7 (Dec. 1948)

In 1948 and 49, as Quality juggled it’s titles to accommodate the changing market, Jack Cole’s one-pagers were shoehorned into unlikely titles. These last two WINDY BREEZES may have been left over from the National run, created for issues that never appeared. However, Stinky’s name has now changed to “Pee Wee,” so perhaps Cole did these fresh. This is another truly funny one-pager, dense with great ideas and art. Panel four made me laugh out loud.


Candy #8 (Feb. 1949)

This is the last published Windy Breeze, as far as I know. There may be a few others to be found. I hope so. I love how Windy is unimpressed by television in this story. This was a pretty early mention of TV. Cole was very interested in technology and inventions. The last panel is priceless. A great way to end this wonderful series!


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