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solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 2
total score 6
myron moose funnies _ Myron Moose 2
Myron Moose #1
Myron Moose #2
REVIEW SCORE: 6
REVIEW SCORE: 6
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keyline
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Myron Moose
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1971-1973 / Myron Moose Comic Book Works

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Bob Foster moved from New York to Los Angeles to attend Chouinard Art School in 1961 as a film student. He was drafted into the army in 1966 and served two years at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, where he wrote and directed educational films (and worked with Steve Stiles, who was also stationed there). He also began a romance with a woman in New Jersey. After his discharge, Foster moved back to Los Angeles, but his girlfriend still lived in New Jersey, so they kept in touch by letter. In a postscript to one of his letters in December, 1968, Foster created Myron Moose in a four-panel comic strip (which he rediscovered decades later and posted on his blog).

While working for the animation studios Filmation and Hanna-Barbera in the early '70s, Foster self-published the first two issues of Myron Moose Funnies (a three-issue second volume, with some new and some reprinted work, was published by Fantagraphics in the mid '80s). Myron Moose is an anthropomorphic bull moose with a sinus problem, leading to frequent mucus drips from his snout, which is a central point in several of his strips. The first issue is almost entirely comprised of Myron Moose comics while the second includes contributions from several other cartoonists featuring other characters.

Foster often implemented a sparse rendering style and very simple compositions for his Myron Moose strips, focusing entirely on Myron and his movement (or lack thereof) within the panels. Some strips are completely wordless while others have minimal words and sound effects, along with minimal plotting. This approach has been used effectively and ineffectively before and after Foster employed it, and his utilization falls somewhere in the middle; at best these strips are amusing but sometimes they fall flat. However, Foster does not use this form of comics throughout the book and other stories have a more dense style and plotting with multiple characters.

Myron Moose Funnies #1 shows off some of Foster's extensive knowledge of comics, including underground comics, as Myron Moose is featured in several brief parodies of Batman, Little Orphan Annie, Carl Barks' Donald Duck, Buck Rogers, Dick Tracy and Fritz the Cat, among others. Foster not only demonstrates personal knowledge (and affection) for the original comics, but exhibits an adept skill for spoofing the original artists' cartooning style (within the limits of his own ability, of course).

The second issue, following two years after the first, integrates quite a bit more deviant underground content into its content, most of it supplied by Foster but some provided by Vincent Davis. A few others also contribute to the book, most notably Alex Toth, who did a one-pager featuring Fox, a minor comic costumed hero Toth sometimes illustrated, and Myron Moose. Myron Moose Funnies #2 suffers a bit of an identity crisis, as it includes comics with moose erections and sexual acts mixed in with what could easily be construed as children's comics.

The brief series was successful enough that Foster produced "The History of Moosekind" for the first 16 issues Marvel Comic's Crazy magazine from 1973 to 1975. Though he never developed truly exceptional cartooning skills, he did evolve into a very talented writer, storyboard artist and animator. In the 1980s Foster wrote the Donald Duck comic strip for Disney and Gladstone Publishing and later was the editor of Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, among other titles. He's also been an animation storyboard artist for Nickelodeon, Fox, Dreamworks and many others, which in 2010 led to Foster being elected President of The Animation Guild, a union that represents 3,000 animation artists and writers, mostly around Los Angeles, where he still lives.