Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A. B. Frost (1851-1928)

Arthur Burdett Frost was a towering figure in a field which doesn't exist anymore, or at least doesn't have the prominence it once did: magazine and book illustration. Frost studied fine art under Thomas Eakins (his portrait by Eakins is at right) and produced stately outdoor sporting scenes of hunting, bicycling, and the like. He became famous for a more humorous style of drawing, illustrating humorous books like the million-selling Out of the Hurly Burly by Charles Heber Clark, works by Lewis Carroll, and the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris. The photographic motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge prompted him to take up the sequential stories like his popular "Our Cat Eats Rat Poison" decades before the appearance of what we know as comics were first produced. Perhaps because this work appeared in magazines instead of the newspapers that brought us The Yellow Kid and all his descendants Frost isn't seen as the important figure in comics history that he should be. Frost died on June 22, 1928.

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