Maybe All Scrappy Art is Mystery Art

Every so often, I post examples of what I think of as Scrappy Mystery Art–pieces whose origins I can’t readily identify. When Debra Brossack bought an apparent Scrappy item at an estate sale, she emailed me to ask about it–and while I’m sorry I couldn’t tell her much, I’m glad she shared it.

Here’s Debra’s find…

That’s two pieces of art, which she reports seem to be painted on clipboards, connected by a piece of string. They depict the classic yanking-out-a-tooth-via-doornob gag. And the kid supervising the yanking certainly looks like Scrappy as he appeared in his later cartoons, when his proportions got a tad more realistic and his design evolved in what the Mintz studio probably thought was a cuter direction. (I suspect that if you’re reading this, you prefer the earlier, rubber hose-y Scrappy, as I do.)

I asked Friend of Scrappy Mark Newgarden, who knows about this kind of stuff, if he could shed any light on this artifact. He said that he has several examples of connected-frame Americana of this sort, and isn’t sure if they were sold at tourist traps or were home projects. Either explanation might explain the crudity of Debra’s art, which looks like someone’s unpolished rendition of what might have been a slicker pose by a Mintz artiste.

If you know more about this curiosity–or just want to idly speculate about its provenance–I’d love to hear from you.

3 comments on Maybe All Scrappy Art is Mystery Art

  • Hi Harry,
    This character just doesn’t look like early or late Scrappy to my eyes. Please tell us in which Scrappy cartoon this version of the character appears?

  • Harry

    Hi, Mark. I may well have jumped the gun in assuming this was Scrappy. The fact that you are skeptical certainly shakes my coincidence. It looked to me like the late Allen Rose-era Scrappy, but I just skimmed through some of those cartoons and didn’t see any where he’s a dead ringer for this character. It’s more of a general ballpark resemblance. (I did notice that THE CITY SLICKER’s Cousin Elmer has a similar vague resemblance to the kid having his tooth yanked.)

    Maybe this art has no relationship to Scrappy; maybe it’s by someone who drew a certain amount of inspiration. Mark Newgarden noted that the poses look kind of animation-y.

  • theorbys

    While it doesn’t look like Scrappy there is something Scrappyesque about it. Nice piece, but there is just something kind of off about that kid.

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