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Exhibition Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages

Cliff Sterrett (1883–1964). Polly and Her Pals. Pa Leaves the House on a Windy Day, 1937. Newsprint. George Sturman Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (006.01.00) © 1949 King Features Syndicate, Inc. World Rights Reserved. LC-DIG-ppmsca-67946

Cubist Influence on Comic Art

Although intended as a standard pretty-girl feature when Cliff Sterrett first drew Positively Polly in 1912, the artist hit his innovative stride in the 1920s, when he began to introduce Cubist-influenced art into his story lines. Here, he focuses on the hat belonging to Polly’s father, Sam’l Perkins—also called Paw. By principally using pantomime, Sterrett tells stories about the character on whom he preferred to feature, rather than the title character Polly. This prompted renaming the strip Polly and Her Pals.