Dotty Dripple, by Buford Tune
'Dotty Dripple'. 

Buford Tune was an American comic artist, best remembered for continuing the long-running family comic 'Dotty Dripple' (1944-1974). He was the second and final artist to do so. Tune was also the third and final artist to continue 'Doings Of the Duffs' (1928-1931).

Early life and career
Buford Malcolm Tune was born in 1906 in Eastland County, Texas. His father was a jack-of-all-trades until he passed away, leaving his mother to work as a telephone operator in order to feed her three children. Tune studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where he shared the same apartment with fellow student and future cartoonist Boody Rogers. In the early 1920s Tune worked as a messenger for Wester Union and by 1925 he was an employee of The Dallas News. In 1927 he moved to New York City. After being only two days in the city he was hired by the art editor of the New York Post. For a while he worked in Philadelphia on loan for the Philadelophia Public Ledger. Tune returned to New York in 1928.

Doings Of The Duffs
In 1928 Tune revived an old family comic strip for United Feature Syndicate called 'Doings of the Duffs', originally created in 1914 by Walter Allman and taken over by Ben Batsford since 1924. At the time the 21-year old Tune was believed to be the youngest cartoonist in the country with a widely syndicated comic strip. Tune drew 'Doing the Duffs' for three years, between 23 July 1928 and 15 August 1931. In 1930 he got married. His wife, Sylvia "Tibby" Newman, took care of the financial aspect while he drew one-panel gag cartoons for the Seattle Times and worked for Paramount Pictures' advertising department in New York City. Tune also painted giant balloons for the annual New York Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Doings of the Duffs
'Doings of the Duffs' (27 December 1930).

Dotty Dripple
On 26 June 1944 artist Jim McMenamy and writer Jeff Keate had published a family comic strip named 'Dotty Dripple' for Publishers Syndicate. Four months later McMenamy and Keate quit the series and Tune was asked to continue it, which he did from 16 October on. 'Dotty Dripple' was a family comic whose main characters were obviously a rip-off from Chic Young's very popular newspaper comic strip 'Blondie'. All family members were virtually the same. Dotty Dripple was just Blondie again and her husband Horace was the identical twin of Dagwood. Both couples had children about the same age. Blondie and Dagwood's son was named Alexander and their daughter Cookie, while the Dripples had children named Wilbert and Taffy. The families even had a similar dogs. Both Daisy in 'Blondie' and Pepper in 'Dotty Dripple' were mongrels who had similar expressive reactions. Considering that 'Dotty Dripple' ran for a staggering 40 years it's amazing that they were never sued for plagiarism.

'Dotty Dripple' (19 July 1950).

At the time, 'Dotty Dripple' was popular enough to be licensed for comic books by Magazine Enterprises, even receiving a title of her own in 1946. From the third issue on Harvey Comics took over production until 1955. From 1952 on the title was changed to 'Horace and Dotty Dripple'. Between 1955 and 1958 Dell Comics also issued several stories in its Four Color Comics series. Tune's 'Dotty Dripple' was a family product on its own. His wife helped him colouring the Sunday pages, while his eldest son Donald did the lettering. From 1949 on, Tune also took an assistant, Hi Mankin, followed in 1951 by artist Jim Westermann and in 1960 by writer Howard Boughner. On 9 June 1974 Tune retired and 'Dotty Dripple' came to an end.

Buford Tune passed away in Santa Ana, California, on 21 May 1989.

Buford Tune
Buford Tune. 

Ink Slinger profile on the Stripper's Guide

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