Caniff, Milton (1907-1988)

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Caniff, Milton (1907-1988)

A popular and innovative adventure-strip artist, and one who was much imitated, Milton Caniff began drawing newspaper features in the early 1930s and kept at it for the rest of his life. He was born in Hillsboro, Ohio, in 1907 and raised in Dayton. Interested in drawing from childhood, in his early teens he got a job in the art department of the local paper. By the time he was in college at Ohio State, Caniff was working part-time for the Columbus Dispatch. It was there that he met and became friends with Noel Sickles, the cartoonist-illustrator who was to have such a profound effect on his approach to drawing. Caniff created three continuity strips: Dickie Dare, Terry and the Pirates, and Steve Canyon. From almost the beginning, his story lines and dialogue were relatively sophisticated, influenced by the movies, as was his drawing style, which used cinematic shots and impressionistic inking.

—Ron Goulart

Further Reading:

Goulart, Ron. The Funnies. Holbrook, Adams Publishing, 1995.

Harvey, Robert C. The Art of the Funnies. Jackson, University Press of Mississippi, 1994.