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Comic Art News: Art Radebaugh Future Visionary

By George Hagenauer
Copyright 2005

Some of the most futuristic science fiction images of the 1950’s appeared not in science fiction magazines or comic books but rather in a host of more pedestrian venues like Motor Magazine, car catalogs, toaster ads and educational Sunday comic strips.  Their creator was Arthur Radebaugh  a Detroit area master of the airbrush who made a career out of creating imaginative visions of the future as wild as anything  created by Wally Wood,  Frank R. Paul or Alex Schomburg. I first saw his art years ago when I obtained a copy of his presentation folio with prints of 20 of his original paintings from paper premium inventor Fred Voges.

One of his outlets from 1958 to 1962 was the Sunday comic strip “Closer Than You Think” which each week explored how everyday life would be in the future. While done in pen and ink , Radebaugh illustrated everything from flying automobiles to cell phones detailing how we would all live in the streamline world of the future.

While occasionally his comic strip art appears on the market , his originals  overall are quite scarce. A traveling exhibit of his work however will be touring the country this year beginning at the Detroit Public Library  Skillman  Branch through October 22  before moving onto to other venues. The exhibit sponsors are also working on a book.  For more information or to see a web based virtual exhibit with a short story of Radebaugh’s life check .

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