Thursday, October 6, 2011

V.T. Hamlin...In His Own Words

Here is a brief explanation, published years ago by cartoonist V.T. Hamlin about working on his world famous caveman, Ally Oop he created in 1932, and illustrated for over forty years. It's still being published today by the only husband and wife team in syndiction, Jack and Carole Bender...I'm an outdoors man myself, and my life has been a pleasantly exciting one, and often quite hazardous. I actually dislike violence, although I was a football player, a semi-pro boxer, a race car driver and any number of other crazy things. Now, I mostly the Florida Keys, with a fly rod or, in late summer, on the Yellowstone River, which I navigate mostly in a rubber boat. My character Alley Oop, with whom I have been most intimately associated for the past thirty years, is a kindly and gentile soul...albeit his physical appearance belies it. Physically, Oop is the man I would loved to have been myself. Mentally, I figure maybe I'm a notch or two up on him, but not much more than that.

My methods of just sort of happens, if you get what I mean. Sometimes I know what I'm going to put down on that strip of blank paper. More often than not, however, I don't...and I'm often surprised at what I do put there. Now, I'm not just saying that for effect; it's the truth. As a young newspaper man in the Southwest, mostly in and around Fort Worth and Houston, Texas, I became fascinated by geology...especially the part devoted to the Mesozoic Age, the age of the reptile. In those days (1926) not many people knew much of anything about dinosaurs. So, being the good reporter that I was, I decided to tell them. What better way than with Alley Oop?


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