Biography of Milton Caniff (1907-1988)

Strip cartoonist American, born in Hillsboro (Ohio, United States) on February 28, 1907 and died in New York (United States) on April 3, 1988.


Son of John William Caniff, Milton printer become familiar since childhood with the world of graphic arts and journalism. In fact, his professional life will be linked to the press. When his father sick from tuberculosis, the family has to travel periodically from Ohio to California, where the future cartoonist occupies his time in several, among them trades acting as a helper in the filming of Hollywood. In 1922 it manages to sell his first works as an Illustrator at the Miami Daily News, Dayton Journal and Dayton Daily News newspapers. Three years later he/she began to collaborate in the Columbus Dispatch. In the drafting of this newspaper have their first encounter with cartoonist Noel Sickles, who will be his first teacher in the field of cartoon. At the University of Ohio Caniff follows the courses of fine arts, where they become familiar with the work of avant-garde artists such as Morris Graves, whose technique of brush in the oriental style, in the opinion of some specialists, influence on the drawing of the future "cartoonist".

Sickles and Caniff open an artistic agency in the city of Columbus in 1929, but the dire economic situation in the United States undermines the project. Caniff is forced to move to New York, where Associated Press accepts the offer of the Agency to assist in their newspapers. First as a cartoonist and then as a cartoonist, released in the press works as The gay thirties and Puffy the pig. In 1930 he/she gets married. By this time the enthusiasm of Caniff is extraordinary and dreaming of making a Fortune with his work as a cartoonist. In 1933, with the comic Dickie Dare, it starts in the comic adventures, genre that will provide you with their best hits. Hired by the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, published in October 1934 Terry and the pirates, whose popularity will be enormous. The quality of this comic is extraordinary, especially as regards the use of the brush, so refreshing to many subsequent illustrators to recognize his debt to Caniff. It highlights what this artist does contrasts between white and black, with amazing light effects.

It becomes an effective ideological vehicle in favour of the effort of war against Japan during the second world war, Terry and the pirates. Caniff was not a fanatic; rather, he/she knew the real parameters of the contenders in the Pacific, but I knew what was necessary for his country's interests and also what their readers, among them many soldiers expected. Terry and the pirates there is adventure and important doses of humor. Caniff created a comparsa East to the central characters, Terry Lee and Pat Ryan. His name was George Webster Confucius, known as "Connie", and soon became one of the most endearing characters in American comics. The villain was this time a woman, Dragon Lady, whose sensuality was only comparable with the of Miss Lace, the naive protagonist Male Call, a series commissioned Caniff by high command to entertain the soldiers destined for the front. This series is a collection of strips of pointed eroticism, a very typical of the time slyly.

In 1946 Caniff becomes a co-founder of the national society of Comics cartoonists, who presides over since 1948. Steve Canyon, a series of adventures, commissioned by the Field Newspaper Syndicate, is published for the first time on January 13, 1947, and remains in the market until the death of its creator.

Most outstanding works

1933: Dickie Dare.1934: Terry and the piratas.1943: Male Call.1947: Steve Canyon.


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