The Press: Escape Artist

In the wacky world of the comic strips, Crockett Johnson found, all things are possible but one. A man may jump out of his shoes, a cow—or a rocket—may jump over the moon, but an artist has a hard time jumping the reservation. Chained in daily and Sunday captivity by his brain children, he can escape them only by dying or (worse than death) by flopping.

Johnson's brain children were the elves, gnomes, leprechauns and little men—and a talking dog—that peopled Barnaby, a fey and fanciful strip that began in Manhattan's tabloid PM in...

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