Crockett Johnson & Crockett Johnson

By | Friday, April 26, 2013 Leave a Comment
When I was a kid, one of those great children's books that got read repeatedly was Harold and the Purple Crayon. I think we had both the regular book in paperback, as well as a audio tape/filmstrip version that my dad must have picked up from the school where he taught. (Or perhaps just through resources he had access to because of his role as a teacher.) The story was simple, but very sincere and spoke to the ways in which kids wish the world worked. For me, it ranked up there with the works of Dr. Seuss and Ezra Jack Keats, and was only secondary because we only had the one Harold book compared to the much larger number of books from those other authors.

It's only been within the past five or ten years that I caught notice of the comic strip called Barnaby. I immediately recognized the art style and, though I couldn't remember Johnson's name at the time, it seemed very much like the same creator. But I never actually saw the strip itself. Usually only a couple of isolated panels. But there was no reference to any of Crockett's work outside Barnaby and I didn't really bother to look up anything because I was so certain it must be the same author.

I just read Philip Nel's TJC piece on Crockett and you might notice that, here again, there's no mention of Harold. I don't slight Nel for that -- his article is deliberately specific to Barnaby -- but I just find it really curious how much people on the whole seem to separate the two works. Articles discussing Harold gloss over Barnaby and articles discussing Barnaby gloss over Harold.Crockett created two well-respected, but perhaps not wildly popular, creations and people seem to treat them as created by two different individuals.

Offhand, I can't think of any other comic creator who has two works so distinctly viewed as separate from one another. It just strikes me as curious.
Newer Post Older Post Home