Certainly, if there are any cartoonists from the early days of the medium, days in which the cartoons reached a huge audience and provoked strong reaction from loyal readers, Caniff is one of the ones that deserve a 1000 pages. Active for 50 years of serial cartooning alone, not to mention all of his extra curricular activities during World War 2, Milton was there with a generation of giants who bestrode the ink stained world of the syndicates and papers in the 1930's.
However, which is almost as meaningful as the Meanwhile.... title of the book,
And, in reality, Caniff comes off as a fairly nice guy, who enjoyed great success with his work, but he's less interesting for his lack of faults than the work is. by his very words, Milton makes a point out of what makes his characters interesting, and he has very few of those qualities.
Along the way we continually run into memorable bits:
Now the criticisms:
I wonder how many will be tempted to slog through the 944 pages. And the truth here is that you need not work your way thorough everything here. There is plenty good to be found along the way for the casual fan. I sometimes wonder that there are fans of the medium who will pick up a tome like this just as they would Finnegan’s Wake: they pick it up because they think that they should, not because they want to. They guilt themselves into making the effort. And
Oh yeah, I can’t stand the dust jacket. Tossed it out in favor of the cover that I’ve scanned here: simple, clean and beautful.