Tuesday, July 23, 2019

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Nate Collier


Nathan Leo “Nate” Collier was born in Orangeville, Illinois on November 14, 1883. His full name and birth date were recorded on his World War I and II draft cards. A 1923 marriage certificate identified his birthplace.

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Collier as the only child of James, a painter, and Laura (Bobb). They were residents of Pearl City, Loran Township, Stephenson County, Illinois.

The Illinois History: A Magazine for Young People, April 1975, published Perry Eden’s profile of Collier. Below is an excerpt about Collier’s early life.
Because of my vivid interest in cartooning and comic books, I learned that one of the best cartoonists was from my hometown of Pearl City. Nate Collier was born on November 14, 1883, in a log cabin one mile north of Orangeville. In 1888 he moved with his father, James Riley, and his mother, Laura, to Pearl City (then called Yellow Creek, and changed to Pearl City in 1893). His father then operated a photography gallery which was located in a tent.

Collier is remembered by his friends in Pearl City, not for his little doodlings which appeared literally everywhere, but for his ability as a pitcher on the Pearl City baseball team, the Invincible Browns.

Before freelance drawing took him to New York he attended art schools …

The Rockford Daily Register-Gazette (Illinois), April 16, 1904, noted Collier’s early art training, “Pearl City, Ill., April 9.— … Nate Collier went to Indianapolis to attend an art school.”

In Art & Life, November 1924, Collier detailed his path to becoming a cartoonist.

Two years and a half after I started my first correspondence course in drawing I sold my first comic to the American Boy for $6. That was in 1906. I had taken a correspondence course from the National School of Illustrating, Indianapolis, Ind., and spent a few months at their resident school in 1904, also studied with J. H. Smith, contributor to Judge from 1904 to 1907. Took correspondence course in cartooning from Acme School of Drawing, Kalamazoo, Mich., 1905. Attended their resident school a few months at the start of 1906. In May same year obtained my first position as cartoonist on the Kokomo, Ind. Dispatch. In 1907 I sold a dozen or so drawings to Judge's amateur contest and also freelanced comics to The Chicago Daily News. In 1908 took Lockwood’s cartoon course and worked in a country print shop at $6 a week to get enough money to attend his resident school. Went to Kalamazoo in January 1909 and remained a couple of months, continued selling comics to Chicago News, and sold my first drawing for the regular pages of Judge.

Later in the same year went to Sandusky, Ohio, as cartoonist on the Star Journal of that place, remained there until November 1910.

Sold my first drawing to Life in 1910.

Caralee Aschenbrenner profiled Charles Sughroe and wrote
His [Sughroe’s] talent for drawing and painting culminated in going to Chicago to the Art Institute to school hoping to pursue an art career.

He had become acquainted with two other local artists-illustrators, Nate Collier, Pearl City and [J.] Howard Smith of Pleasant Valley, his dad’s home when young. They had all three graduated from the Art Institute so felt a kinship for that reason, too.

The other two both became noted in their field. Collier in cartooning and Smith for his excellence in portraiture, the western genre and outdoor life seen then in men’s sport magazine. …
Collier did not mention graduating from the Art Institute.

In Illinois History, Eden wrote “Collier married Alma Snetcher, a local Pearl City woman, on November 25, 1909. She died in Leonia, New Jersey, in 1922 …” 


According to the 1910 census, newspaper cartoonist Collier and his wife, Alma, lived in Sandusky, Ohio at 730 Perry Street.

In Art & Life Collier elaborated further on his career.

From 1911 to March 1913 I conducted a humorous column, made sport cartoons, and illustrated the Sunday Magazine Section for the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune; also freelanced work to Hope, Coming Nation, News Times, and sold a few to Life and Judge.

In 1913, ’14, ’15 to May 1916, Cartoonist, Chicago Daily Journal and freelanced a lot of comics to The Motion Picture magazine.

From October 1916 to October 1917 animated ads for a Cleveland Ohio Film concern.

Came to New York in October 1917.

1917, 1918 and 1919 Animated Katzenjammer Kids, Happy Hooligan and Jerry on the Job. Had comic strip put out by International Syndicate of Baltimore, Md., called “Our Own Movies” and sold a number of drawings to Life. …

… From 1909 to 1919 I submitted over four hundred drawings to Life out of which I sold 14, and I have made enough comic strips, that never landed to keep a syndicate going a year or more.

The Sandusky Star-Journal (Ohio), November 8, 1919, promoted Collier’s new comic, Our Own Movies with this article.
OHO! Look who's here!

Our old friend, Nate Collier, cartoonist.

Ten years ago, Nate was the Star-Journal’s special cartoonist, and many readers will remember his pictures which created a sensation at the time, and were decisive factors in political campaigns and in bringing about such needed projects as the elimination of grade crossings.

Well, Nate’s coming back to the Star-Journal.

Since he left Sandusky, he has specialized in comics and, with his frequent contribution to Life, Judge and other periodicals, his animated movie pictures, etc., has become famous. Now he is putting out a new feature, “Our Own Movies,” and the Star-Journal has secured it.

So Nate will make his initial bow as a “come back” in Monday’s Star-Journal, one of the new features of the Star-Journal's big DAILY COMIC PAGE.

Nate’s drawings are funny. They caricature the movies in fine shape and every one will get a laugh.

What is more, Nate plans to give the pictures a Sandusky touch. He asks for suggestions from readers.

“If you know anything funny about yourself or your neighbors, send it in,” he writes. He’ll endeavor to use his “camera” on such incidents and turn out “movies” that will have the whole city screaming with laughter.

When he was in Sandusky ten years ago, Collier was decidedly modest and shy. He was finally persuaded to write his own life sketch and draw a picture of himself as an introduction to the public. He told how he cut corn, painted, played baseball and a few other things, and finally studied art in the hope that he might become as famous a Joe Cannon. He said his teeth were curly, his hair pink, etc., etc. He might have said that he was almost as thin as the little scarecrow which decorated all of his pictures.

Today, Nate is fleshier—looks more prosperous, and all that—but he has the same broad grin and happy smile. He simply can’t see the hole in the doughnut. He’s optimism and fun, bubbling over all the time, and he imparts this feeling to those who look at his pictures.

The Star-Journal is mighty glad to have Nate Collier back on the job and believes its thousands of readers will rejoice.

There’s a big feast of fun, a whole riot, coming.

On September 12, 1918, Collier, a Pearl City resident, signed his World War I draft card. His occupation was editor. He was described as medium height, slender build with gray hair and dark brown eyes.

The 1920 census reorder Collier, Alma, seven-year-old Theron and six-year-old Thurlo in Manhattan, New York City at 500 Isham Street.

In Art & Life, Collier said

1920, Made “Our Own Movies,” was cartoonist for The Associated Newspapers. Freelanced to Life, Judge, Harpers, Brownings Magazine, Cartoons magazine, etc.

1921. Freelanced to Judge and Fun Book and animated Mutt and Jeff.

1922. Freelanced to Judge and animated Aesop’s Fables, and with Hearst Syndicate a while.

Since April 1923 have had my studio at home and am at present doing work for Saturday Evening Post, Life, Judge, Harper’s, McNaught Syndicate, The World Color Printing Co., of St. Louis, and others. …

… Most students think that they are ready to hold a position long before they are. It takes years of study, persistence and a never-give-up attitude; and above all a love of the work for the work itself to overcome all obstacles and discouragements.

After Alma’s passing in 1922, Collier married Nettie Florence Crane in 1923. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 16, 1923, reported the upcoming wedding.
Proposal Scene Is Wedding Spot
Artists to Marry in Grove Above Chagrin River Nears Gates Mill.
Here’s a story of two artists and a romance of perfect artistic temperament.

Miss Florence Crane, 955 Lakeview road N.E., head of the department of English at Spencerian school, and Nathan L. Collier, professional artist, grew up in the same Illinois county 120 miles west of Chicago. The romance began when they were both children, whether they recognized it or not.

Both wanted careers: Mr. Collier, whose fingers itched for the crayon of a cartoonist, and Miss Crane, who wanted to teach. They grew up and into their careers almost identically. Mt. Collier got to Chicago and into newspaper work, Miss Crane went off to Carthage college and then to Radcliff college for special study. Months in and months out they corresponded happily about their “life work;” occasionally they met to talk over the world and its ways—yes, finally—

Last October Mr. Collier, who jumped from the cartoonist’s berth on the Chicago Journal to feature syndicate cartooning in New York—he contributes regularly to Life, Judge and other periodicals, and incidentally draws the funny pictures for Will Rogers’ Sunday letter to The Plain Dealer—came on to Cleveland, very serious. The intent of his mission, during which he called on his old friend Florence, became somewhat more vague as he began a systematic search of Cuyahoga county for beauty spots.

Mr. Collier visited them all; the ones in the city guide books, the ones he was told of by friends. One day he announced to Miss Crane that he had found it—the prettiest spot in northern Ohio. They drove to a grove on the west bak of the Chagrin river, not quite half way between Gates Mill and Chagrin Falls.

Chooses His Setting.

You may remember the spot—it has some fame for its beauty. Out of a thick wooded west bank has been hollowed a little clearing; across is the sheer cliff of the east bank, solid rock; the water is like a mirror, and one tree on the west bank dips out above the stream.

When they got there, Mr. Collier, still very serious, said, in effect, that he had ben waiting to propose marriage to her; that he didn’t want to risk a refusal; and that therefore he had hunted high and low for a spot whose beauty would be too alluring for her to refuse him.

And did she? Well, Miss Crane, after admitting yesterday that all this was true, added that the wedding Sept. 8 is going to take place in this same grove. In other words, she said, she couldn’t let any soul out-art her soul—and it is one superb spot for a wedding, she remarked. There’s a winding path form the groom and the best man; another, emerging from the sylvan grove, for the bride and her maids, while the minister stands by the tree that dips over the placid Chagrin.

Miss Crane for two years has been the chief advisor to a good many students at Spencerian, something in the capacity of a dean of the women students.

The Freeport Journal-Standard (Illinois), September 25, 1923, said the wedding guests included Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Lockwood of the Lockwood Art School.

In the 1925 New York state census, the Colliers were living in Queens, New York City, at 24 Acorn Street. Collier’s occupation was recorded as illustrator and artist.

On September 11, 1926, Collier and Florence returned from their European trip. Aboard the S.S. Berlin they departed Bremen, Germany on September 2. Their address on the passenger list was 24 Acorn Street, Elmhurst, Long Island, New York.

According to the 1930 census, the Colliers were Leonia, New Jersey residents at 140 Paulin Boulevard.

The Lebanon Daily News (Pennsylvania), May 3, 1935, published Charles B. Driscoll’s interview with Collier.

Today's victim is Nate Collier, famous illustrator, cartoonist, artist. Let me show him to you. He is somewhere between 40 and 50, and that's an age at which I hesitate to inquire bluntly, "How old are you?" However, he has very little gray in his ample head of hair. The hair is fine, brown, combed straight back, but somewhat unruly. Eyes blue, eyebrows rather heavy. He wears pince-nez with gold chain over right ear. He is five feet six in height, weighs 127 pounds and you'd say at once that his ancestry was Scotch, since he has the Scottish complexion, with a tendency to freckle.

Where do you live and why, Mr. Collier?

In Leonia, New Jersey, because I consider it the most beautiful town in the New York metropolitan area.

Well, isn't there any other place in the world besides the New York metropolitan area?

Why, I suppose there must be, but I don't want to live in them. As a matter of fact I lived in Duluth two years, and I didn't like it a bit.

Where were you born, and how did you happen to leave there?

On a farm near Orangeville, Ill., but I moved to Pearl City, Ill., when I was four years old. My parents are both buried out there. I left there as a young man, to go to work on the Kokomo, Ind., Dispatch as cartoonist. I worked with chalk plate there, and later went to a cartooning job on the Sandusky Star-Journal. I was on the Chicago Journal four years, and then I came to New York.

What do you think of the present state of the country, and do you think we'll come out of the depression?

I know we'll come out of the depression but it'll be in spite of Roosevelt and his schemes.

What, then, will bring us out?

The spirit and hardihood of the American people? Even Roosevelt can't keep them down.

You're a bit hard on Mr. Roosevelt, aren't you?

Well, I think he is the greatest demagogue in history and has a lust for power that is dangerous in a democracy.

We'll change the subject. What is the most beautiful spot in the world?

The River Avon, viewed by moonlight from an English garden.

Do you enjoy sports?

Yes, I go in for baseball, boondoggling, steam shovel watching and golf.

What do you consider the greatest good in life?

Absolute faith in your own inborn, indomitable spiritual power.

The Evansville Courier (Indiana), May 26, 1937, reported Collier’s visit.
Mr. and Mrs. Nate Collier of Leonia, New Jersey, are guests of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Kae Knecht, 31 Adams avenue. Mr. Collier is a well-known artist who draws cartoons, comics and illustration for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, New Yorker, and Judge, as well as for newspaper syndicates. They have been touring the southeast and now are enroute for a visit at their former homes in Illinois, and on farther west before returning to New Jersey.
Four days later the Courier said
Nate Collier of Leonia, N.J., well-known free-lance artist, visited here with Karl Kae Knecht, Courier cartoonist, during the week. They are boyhood friends, having gone to Freeport (Ill.) high school together, and having begun their cartooning together.

Cartoonist for the late Chicago Journal, Collier now does comics for the humorous publications here and in Europe, and prepares syndicated material, including a full-page color comic for Sunday. Through McNaught, he was the illustrator of the late Will Rogers’ Sunday articles.

With Mrs. Collier, he is on a motor trip through the country.

In 1940 freelance cartoonist Collier and Florence were empty-nesters in Leonia at 100 Knapp Terrace. The same address was on Collier’s World War II draft draft card which he signed on April 25, 1942.

Collier was profiled in the Freeport Journal-Standard, (Illinois), July 7, 1960.

Nate Collier, Nationally Know Cartoonist, Keeps Close Tab on Hometown of Pearl City

Pearl City — A nationally known cartoonist, humorist and poet who grew up in Pearl City has kept in constant touch with the Stephenson County community which he left over 40 years ago.

Nate Collier, whose cartoons have appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, the old Judge magazine, Colliers and the London Opinion, to name just a few, still writes an occasional article of reminiscence for the local weekly newspaper, the Pearl City News.

In fact the 76-year-old Collier is known as the “New York correspondent” of the paper.

Returned in 1918

The amiable cartoonist returned to Pearl City from New York for six months in 1918 to edit the local newspaper while its editor, O. Glenn Hooker, served in the Army during World War I.

The semi-retired Collier is now living in Riverdale, N.J., a small community in the northern part of the state. His home is “only a stone’s throw from George Washington Bridge” which spans the Hudson River, joining New York and New Jersey.

Collier has been a free lance cartoonist and writer of humorous articles and poetry for the past 37 years. He does all his work at home now, mailing material to newspapers and magazines throughout the country. He resigned from his last regular job in 1952 with the National Assn. of Manufacturers for whom he worked 16 years.

Worked With Will Rogers

Some of the accomplishments of which he is most proud include the illustrations he did for the late Will Rogers. Collier illustrated a number of Roger’s newspaper articles and his book “The Illiterate Digest.” Collier later presented a copy of the book to the Pearl City library.

The easy-going Collier also played a role in the election of William Hale Thompson as mayor of Chicago in 1915 with his political cartoons. At the time, Collier was employed as an editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Evening Journal. Mayor Thompson thought so highly of Collier’s cartoons that he had three of his originals framed on the wall of his office.

Nate Collier was connected with movie cartoons at one time. He drew the animated figures for the Katzenjammer Kids, Happy Hooligan, Krazy Kat, Silk Hat Harry and Mutt and Jeff movie cartoons for four years.

Born Near Orangeville

Although he is far removed from the Midwest today, Collier still reminisces about his boyhood days in the Pearl City area. Born in 1883 in a log cabin one mile north of Orangeville, Collier says of the event, “I heard that Abe Lincoln was born in a log cabin so I did my best to come as close to that as possible.”

He moved to Pearl City with his parents in 1888, although the community at that Lime was known as “Yellow Creek.” His father, James Riley Collier, operated a photographic gallery in a tent here and also worked as a cooper.

Collier says he “vividly remembers the time he and several other local residents found pearls in Yellow Creek in the early 1890s. In 1893 the village was incorporated and its name was changed to Pearl City because of the pearls discovered in the stream,”

Ambidextrous Pitcher

The versatile Collier also has an avid interest in athletics. He pitched for the Pearl City “Browns” in the early 1900s and claims he could pitch with both his right and left hands. He said he will never forget one summer afternoon in which he was a “victim of circumstances.”

Collier pitched a one-hitter that day against the Stockton ball team but the opposing hurler, who had the unusual name of “Bunker” Hill, threw a no-hitter—beating the Pearl City club 1 to 0.

Then in 1904, at the age of 21, he began his artistic career, attending art schools in Indianapolis, Ind., and Kalamazoo, Mich. The following year, he had his first cartoon published, appearing in the old Freeport Standard. Collier joined the staff of the Kokomo, Ind., Dispatch as a cartoonist in 1906 and later ran an illustrated humorous column in the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune which he called “A Little Dope On The Side.”

Worked On Many Newspapers

He was then employed by a number of Midwestern and Eastern newspapers during a career which took him to Chicago, Cleveland and Sandusky, Ohio, New York City, and several other cities.

Artistic ability seems to run in his family as Collier’s two sons, Theron and Thurlo, have both followed in their father’s footsteps. They also live in New Jersey and work at an art studio in New York City. The younger Colliers draw animated figures for television commercials.

Collier’s main hobby now is golf, a sport he still plays with great enthusiasm. “My biggest thrill in the game came in 1954 when I carded a hole-in-one on a 205-yard hole on a New York golf course,” he said.

The Nate Collier of 1960, as witty a personality as ever, says “I want my friends back in Pearl City to know that I don’t feel any older today than I did at 50 and I’m still full of ‘wim,’ ‘Wigor’ and ‘witality.’ ”

Collier passed away February 16, 1961, in River Vale, New Jersey. The Freeport Journal Standard, February 27, 1961, published an obituary.
Nate Collier, Well-Known Cartoonist, Humorist, Dies
Pearl City—Word has been received here of the death of Nate Collier, River Vale, N.J., a nationally known cartoonist, humorist and poet.

Collier, a native of Orangeville, spent much of his youth in Pearl City. He left the Stephenson County community permanently 42 years ago but kept in close touch with his hometown in the ensuing years. He contributed humorous articles to the Pearl City News right up until his death.

He died Feb. 16, in New Jersey at the age of 77.

Collier’s cartoons have appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Life, the old Judge magazine, Colliers and the London Opinion, to name just a few of the publications.

Drew Movie Cartoons

At one time he drew animated figures for several movie cartoons, including the Katzenjammer Kids, Happy Hooligan, Krazy Kat, Silk Hat Harry and Mutt and Jeff. However he termed the animating profession “tedious” and turned to other fields after four years in business.

Collier had his first cartoon published in the old Freeport Standard in 1905. His long and varied newspaper career then found him employed on such newspapers as the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune, the Chicago Journal, Kokomo, Ind., Dispatch, Sandusky, Ohio, Star Journal and he once drew several cartoons for Hearst newspapers.

Collier also worked with Will Rogers for a time. He illustrated Roger’s book, “Illiterate Digest,” and a number of Roger’s newspaper articles. Collier told friends he was especially proud of his illustrations for the American humorist.

For the past 38 years, Collier had been a free lance cartoonist and writer of humorous articles and poetry. He did most of his work at his home in New Jersey.

Editorial Cartoonist

In recent years, he drew editorial cartoons exclusively. His formula for success as an editorial cartoonist was to “Draw one thing and call it something else.”

He was born Nov. 14, 1883, in a log cabin near Orangeville, the son of James Riley and Laura Bobb Collier. Of the event Collier later commented, “I heard that Abe Lincoln was born in a log cabin so i did my best to come as close to that as possible.”

He and his parents moved to Pearl City in 1888 where his father worked as a cooper and a photographer. He attended art schools in Indianapolis, Ind., and Kalamazoo, Mich., before launching his cartoonist’s career in 1905.

Collier married Elma Snetcher of Pearl City who died in 1922. He later married Florence Crane of Ohio. She also preceded him in death.

Surviving are two sons, Theron of Harrington Park, N.J., and Thurlo of River Vale, N.J. and one grandson.

Service and burial were held in New Jersey.


Further Reading and Viewing
Nate Collier on Cartooning Courses
Nate Collier on Cartooning
Postcard
One To Make You Drool
Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress

Nate Collier's Daily Panel


—Alex Jay

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Monday, July 22, 2019

 

Obscurity of the Day: Nate Collier's Daily Panel Cartoon Series






Associated Newspapers began offering a daily cartoon series penned by Donald McKee in May 1919, but something went awry in September 1920, because the series was abruptly passed along to Nate Collier. Collier's first cartoon seems to have appeared on September 7 1919 (a Tuesday)*.

Collier offered up his take on the Clare Briggs / H.T. Webster style of feature, using various rotating titles. Sophisticated urbane humor was mixed with liberal dollops of homespun wisdom and nostalgia for days past.  He picked up the flavor of the Briggs/Webster school so deftly that you would have thought that it had been his specialty for years. But that's just how good Collier was.

Not only was his humor closely patterned on other successful features, his cartooning style also underwent a magical transformation. His more typical bigfoot style was shelved for this feature and all of a sudden he was drawing in a very attractive cross between H.T. Webster and Frank King.


Despite the superior quality of the feature, perhaps its 'me-too' nature was too much for editors to overlook. Whether for that or other reasons, this feature ran in very few papers, much like the McKee version before it. Collier or his syndicate pulled the plug after less than four months on January 1 1921** after which the same format was passed along to Herbert Johnson who managed to keep it up for about two years.


* Source: Akron Evening Times, which could have been running a day late.
** Source: Boston Globe.

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Don McKee and Nate Collier may have been family friends, as both worked for Paul Terry on and off over the years. Maybe not at the same time, although Collier's sons Theron and Thurlo were there animating in the late 30s and early 40s while McKee was working as a storyman.
 
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Saturday, July 20, 2019

 

Herriman Saturday


December 28 1909 -- Another Mary's Home From College strip, this one seemingly slammed out by Herriman without much thought .... so where did this diploma come from???

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This is one Herriman should have re-thought from the very first panel. Nobody looks at a diploma and has to speculate as to who its recipient is, because the recipient's name is written on it.
 
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Friday, July 19, 2019

 

Wish You Were Here, from Dwig


Here's a Dwig card from Tuck's "Smiles" series, #169. The drawn whipstitching  and shadow on this card gives it a marvelous three dimensional effect.

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Gouty-footed geezer has a place in the pantheon of forgotten archtypes, like a whiskery gold-brick-buying bumpkin or a white wing, or a hatchet-faced spinster still wearing crinoline.
 
I'm going to venture that the intended situation is an injury that requires a comfortable convalescence rather than gout.

Gout was generally represented as a rich man's disease, linked to indulgent food and drink and consequently more karma than bad luck. Victims of the highly uncomfortable condition were thus considered fair game for comedy. The movie "Captain Blood" presents a self-pitying aristocrat with the affliction, while the Chaplin short "The Cure" gives lecherous Eric Campbell a sensitive foot for Charlie to abuse. And of course the dyspeptic geezers referenced by Mr. Johnson, the bandaged foot being a shorthand declaration of wealth and bad temper.
 
There's also Laurel & Hardy's "A PERFECT DAY" (1929) where Edgar Kennedy's Gouty foot is subject to all kinds of painful abuse, including a car being dropped on it.
Ollie himself suffered from this condition in "THEM THAR HILLS" (1934).
A Porky Pig cartoon featuring a Claude Gillingwater-esque Gouty Goat was seen in "PORKY'S HOTEL" (1939). I'm sure there's probably dozens more incidences of it in the movies from the days of political incorrectness and big belly laughs.
 
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Thursday, July 18, 2019

 

Mystery Strips: George Lemont in San Francisco Call-Bulletin

[This article was printed in the Editor & Publisher issue for April 8 1961. Lemont had just begun a TV gag panel for NEA called Station Break in January 1961, and it sounds like that's the feature they're discussing here. But the article seems to indicate that it was a local feature of the Call-Bulletin. Can anyone unravel this mystery?]

Radio Humorist Turns Cartoonist


George Lemont, a radio and television humorist, is doing a daily panel cartoon for the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin. It’s a return to his first love. George always wanted to be a cartoonist. At the age of 12 the San Francisco Call-Bulletin printed one of his drawings.

After his military service was ended, Mr. Lemont found no newspaper takers for cartoons. He did a television drawing show for youngsters over KRON-TV. Next came mixed television and radio station duty for 11 years. A period as night club entertainer followed.

His drawings with one-line captions satirizing radio and video situations have been accepted as a regular feature. Syndication is forecast.

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My old notebook has an unsourced comment on the Station Break entry that it "began in S.F. Call-Bulletin with different title."
That title ???
 
Only explanation I can come up with is that this news story was submitted long before April 1961, and E&P had it in the slush pile long enough that by the time they printed it was out of date. --Allan
 
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Pierre J. Kinder





Pierre Jermain Kinder was born on May 3, 1882 or 1883, in Tolono, Illinois.The Ohio Births and Christenings Index, at Ancestry.com, had 1882 as the birth year but his World War I draft card and Social Security application have 1883; the application also had his birthplace. The year 1885 was on his World War II draft card. Both cards and application had his full name.

The 1899 Toledo, Ohio city directory listed Kinder as a student residing at 1027 West Woodruff Avenue.

1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Kinder, his parents Stephen and Catherine, and younger sister Marguerite in Toledo, Ohio at the Schmidt Apartment House. Kinder’s father was a railway freight agent.

Kinder attended Toledo High School where he was in Freshman Class A, according to the school yearbook, Centurion 1900.

The Toledo city directories for 1901 and 1903 said Kinder was an assistant at the public library. Hubbell’s Toledo Blue Book, 1903–1904, listed Kinder and his sister at the The Vienna.

In 1904 Kinder was found in two city directories. In Detroit, Kinder was an artist staying at 109 Abbott. The Toledo directory said Kinder still had his job at the public library.

It’s not clear where Kinder studied art but he was a cartoonist in the 1905 Evanston, Illinois city directory, which included Wilmette, and listed his address as 418 9th. The 1909 directory said he was a Chicago Daily News cartoonist.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Kinder produced two series for the Chicago Daily News and filled in on other comics. Thomas Augustin “Gus” O’Shaughnessy created Tiny Tinkles on July 23, 1903. Kinder drew it from June 12 to August 25, 1905. The series ended in 1911. Kinder created Burglar Bill which ran from January 9 to March 27, 1906. It was followed by Curious Cubby which debuted August 29 and ended September 7, 1906. Ed Carey’s Brainy Bowers and Drowsy Duggan started January 30, 1901 and ended May 19, 1915. Kinder’s run lasted from August 27, 1914 to the end date. Kinder produced one strip, dated June 5, 1915, for Austin C. WilliamsRed and Skeeter.

According to the 1910 census, newspaper cartoonist Kinder lived with his parents and sister at 418 9th in Wilmette Village, New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois.

American Carpenter and Builder, December 1913, published Kinder’s The Builders’ Alphabet.

Cartoons Magazine, October 1915, noted Kinder’s travels, “P. J. Kinder of Chicago, cartoonist for the Santa Fe Magazine, has been making a tour of the Pacific coast cities, and visiting the expositions.”

Around 1918 Kinder’s father passed away. On September 12, 1918, Kinder signed his World War I draft card and lived at his mother’s home. His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and hair.

Kinder married artist Gertrude S. Spaller in Cook County, Illinois on July 29, 1922. They lived with Kinder’s mother at her home.

In the 1930 census, Kinder’s household included his wife, daughter, son and mother-in-law. They all resided 2815 Grant Street in Evanston, Illinois. The commercial artist’s house was valued at $18,000.

Kinder’s residence was the same in the 1940 census and the household of six included his mother.

Kinder signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. He was described as five feet eight inches, 148 pounds with hazel eyes and balding gray hair. His address was unchanged.

Kinder passed away February 16, 1944, in Cook County according to the
Illinois Death Index. Curiously, Kinder was listed in the 1948 Evanston city directory as an illustrator residing at 201 Michigan Avenue. Perhaps the directory was referring to Mrs. Pierre J. Kinder, who married Harry Waters Armstrong on June 29, 1949 in Cook County, Illinois. She passed away March 12, 1970 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.



—Alex Jay

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

 

Obscurity of the Day: Burglar Bill


Artist Pierre J. Kinder, who signed himself "Kin", was apparently a mainstay at the Chicago Daily News for many years (at least 1905-15), but in that time he only contributed to a handful of their many comic strip offerings.

One of only two series he originated himself, Burglar Bill was a generic take on the burglar strip, one of the mainstays of the early comic sections. Kin does a serviceable job on the strip, which ran for a mere seven installments from January 9 to March 27 1906.




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Monday, July 15, 2019

 

Which Newspaper Strip Was Distributed by the Most Syndicates?

We had a post about Morrie Turner's Wee Pals the other day, and in response Mark Johnson had this to say:

Here's a question (that nobody ever asked but me). What strip went through the most different syndicates? I think it might be Wee Pals. It started as a Lew Little, then became a Register & Tribune, then King Features, Then United Features, then Field Enterprises,News America, North America and finally Creators.
 Of course that's the sort of question that fascinates me, so there are at least two completely incurable comic strip geeks in this old world, Mark. 

I thought it would be the work of a mere moment to answer the question. But then I realized that I couldn't seem to query my database directly for that information.Oh well. So I spent a few hours manually paging through the listings to come up with some information, and in the process realized that the answer is by no means cut-and-dried.

There are a few ways that a feature might change syndicates. One, obviously is that the cartoonist shops around for a better deal from a different syndicate. That's a no-brainer. Another is when a syndicate goes out of business or sells off its feature distribution to someone else. Still counts, no problem.

However, what about when two syndicates merge, like Bell and McClure did? There's a name change, of course, but does it count? Certainly in this case the McClure strips did in fact change syndicates, as Bell was the purchaser of the McClure properties, but did the Bell Syndicate strips change syndicates? This stuff can get too complex to be a fun question anymore. Starts to sound like work.

If we keep things simple and just say we'll count any old name change, how far down that slippery slope can we fall? What about when  a syndicate change is when a syndicate is renamed under presumably the same management? In other words, does it count as a syndicate change when Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate changes to Tribune Media Services and then to Tribune Content Agency, or when Universal Press Syndicate becomes Universal Uclick and then Andrews McMeel Syndicate?

This can lead to a ludicrous contender like Katzenjammer Kids, which was a Hearst feature all along. You can get six syndicate changes for this feature: W.R. Hearst, American-Journal-Examiner, Star Company, Newspaper Feature Service, International Feature Service, and King Features Syndicate. 

I've now gone way down the rabbit hole on this question, and all the fun is drained out of it. So to heck with all the caveats, footnotes, whys and wherefores. Let's dispense with technicalities and talk comics.

First of all, I was amazed just how many features went through six syndicates; so many that I gave up noting them. So let's go straight to seven:

Mark Trail: New York Post Syndicate, Post-Hall Syndicate, Hall Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate

Miss Peach: New York Herald Tribune Syndicate, Publishers Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate, Creators Syndicate

Tumbleweeds: Lew Little Enterprises, Register & Tribune Syndicate, King Features Syndicate, United Feature Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate

Word-a-Day: Chicago Times, Sun and Times Company, Field Enterprises, Publishers Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate

Steve Canyon: Field Enterprises, Sun and Times Company, Publishers Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate

A surprise entry from the olden days, with the slight caveat that there were gaps between some of these runs:

Foxy Grandpa: New York Herald, W.R. Hearst, American-Journal-Examiner, Publishers Press (C.J. Mar), Associated Newspapers, New York Press, New York Herald (again), Philadelphia Bulletin

At a count of eight syndicates we have Wee Pals standing alone, but it fails to take the crown. Here are two features that made it to the pinnacle of syndicate-hoppiness at nine syndicates:

Fred Basset: Hall Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate, Tribune Media Services, Universal Press Syndicate, Universal Uclick, Andrews McMeel Syndicate

Grin and Bear It: Chicago Times Syndicate, United Feature Syndicate, Sun and Times Company, Field Enterprises, Publishers Syndicate, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, Field Enterprises, News America Syndicate, North America Syndicate

And our Fred Basset listing doesn't even take into account foreign syndication, which in its case maybe should count, so you might call it ten syndicates with the Daily Mail.

So that's it. Now it would be my delight to throw the question open to you folks. A real comic strip fan should be able to argue this question ad infinitum. Let's rumble!




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"Tumbleweeds" in particular seemed to have jumped around in the 1970s and '80s. I bought a bunch of "Tumbleweeds" collections from Australia, many of which retain syndication slugs, and they seem to change every so often. One book collection actually has copyright notice for BOTH King Features and United Features in the title page because it contains strips that ran under both syndicates.

Lew Little Enterprise was still listed even in strips that King syndicated, but not the United Features ones. I guess Lew Little subcontracted to King, right?
 
I'm also wondering how many strips are out there where they switch syndicates, only to go back to their old one. I recall that "For Better or For Worse" and "Prickly City" both switched from Universal Press Syndicate to United Features Syndicate, only to return to Universal few years later (in the case of "Prickly", it was because Universal merged with United).

"Tumbleweeds" probably falls in that category. It was with King Features for a few years, then after a string of different syndicates spent its final years with North America Syndicate, which was essentially just King Features with a different name anyway.
 
I believe that Lew Little did own the properties Tumbleweeds and Wee Pals when he started in San Fransisco in 1965. His tiny outfit could never compete with the big timers, yet he had high potential titles, so Register & Tribune and KFS did the distribution for a cut, the same arrangement a syndicate would make with say, Walt Disney Productions.
I think that Little's name stopped being seen because the ownership of the strips shifted to their authors.
 
Didn't Steve Canyon have the King Features indicta at one time?
 
Then let's bump Grin and Bear It up to ten syndicates too. It is currently being syndicated (granted, as a rerun) by King Features Weekly Service.
 
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Saturday, July 13, 2019

 

Herriman Saturday


December 27 1909 -- Herriman offers a one-shot comic strip giving the boss's perspective on the Christmas holiday.

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Friday, July 12, 2019

 

Wish You Were Here, from Rudolph Dirks


Here's a postcard given out by Hearst's New York American as a Sunday paper premium in 1906.

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One of the (many) things that have always amused me about the Katzies is the way they bawl so vehemently after they have been naughty (again). Actually, naughty is hardly the word — absolutely vicious and vile and sometimes murderous is more like it. Anyway, where was I? . . . Oh yeah, when they are spanked (or beaten, or thrashed) is they only time they display any mood besides wicked, chops-licking glee. They have two moods, before and after. I often wonder why they don't lay off a bit if they so hate being punished. I guess it's a vicious circle.And for us, the strip would be no fun if they were pious little swots . . . can you imagine that strip?
 
If I might venture a guess as to why the terrible two don't recieve a punishment to fit their misdeeds, is that there's a general rule about slapstick humor, you can't pay off women and children in kind for a gross indignity caused by them, or you will turn your audience against the figure who suffered the indignity. Instead of laughing with him/at him, one would be moved to see him with anger and contempt.

In 1906, a paddling with a stick would be seen as a just punishment for the pair, not only because we'll take it for granted that they are in a perpetual state of "needing it", but corporal punishment was standard child-rearing mode then anyway. I'm sure to tender current sensibilities, this might look like some kind of a crime against children.
 
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Thursday, July 11, 2019

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dorothy Hughes


Dorothy McClennan Stuart Hughes was born on November 25, 1897, in Boston, Massachusetts. Her birth information is from the Massachusetts Birth Records at Ancestry.com.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Hughes was the only child of Edward, a salesman, and Lucile. They resided on North Street in Randolph, Massachusetts.

At some point the family moved to New York City. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 17, 1909, listed Hughes as a new member of the New Humane Club.

The 1910 census recorded Hughes, her parents and Rhode Island-born four-year-old sister, Jessie, in Brooklyn, New York at 1447 Pacific Street.

Hughes was a regular contributor to the Daily Eagle’s Junior Eagle section. The February 16, 1910 edition announced her as twenty-five credit puzzle winner. The March 4 Daily Eagle published Hughes’ letter asking if her sister could join the humane Club. Hughes was listed as a puzzle winner on March 30, April 13, and August 10.

Apparently Hughes’ first published drawing was in the August 16, 1910 Daily Eagle. The Daily Eagle would publish over 40 drawings by Hughes.

Hughes also sent artwork to St. Nicholas magazine which included her in its August 1910 issue.

Hughes was reported as a Junior Eagle puzzle winner in 1912 on April 3, April 10 and April 17.

By October 22, 1912, the Daily Eagle had published eight drawing by Hughes. The editor of the Junior Eagle section, “Aunt Jean”, looked forward to meeting Hughes. On November 6, 1912, Aunt Jean announced Hughes’ paper doll.

Over two dozen drawings and paper doll outfits by Hughes would appear in the Junior Eagle in 1913. In the same year Hughes submitted art to St. Nicholas magazine which featured her Gold Badge award illustration, Through the Window, in January. The magazine listed her in its February, March, April, June, July, August and October issues.



In the Daily Eagle, February 3, 1914, Aunt Jean wrote

… One boy and two girl contributors to the Junior Eagle celebrated their sixteenth birthday last year and their work no longer adorns the pages of our little paper, as credits are given only yo boys and girls under 16. I am sure you know who they are, for we miss the superior contributions from their pens—they are Dorothy Hughes, Harry Diehl and Florence Chadeayne.

I hope they will be occasional contributors, for we do not want to forget these talented little nieces and the nephew. …

The Daily Eagle, February 26, 1914, reprinted Hughes’ first “Drawings to Be Accepted by a ‘Grown-up’ Magazine [Motion Picture Story Magazine, March 1914].” Her last drawing appeared in the June 1915 Motion Picture Magazine.

The 1915 New York state census said the Hughes family lived at 1014 Park Place in Brooklyn. The household included a servant.

Four days after the state census, the June 5 Daily Eagle said


Dorothy Hughes, of 1014 Park place, whose contributions of drawings were a feature of The Junior Eagle only a few months ago, has taken the gold medal for artwork in Adelphi Art School. Dorothy is only 16 years old and until she entered the art school she never took a drawing lesson, and her only experience was gained through drawing pictures for the weekly edition for children of The Eagle.

Her drawings, when she contributed, were well executed, and even at that time the girl, then between the age of 13 and 15, was called an artist of real ability. Scarcely a week went by that one of Dorothy’s drawings did not appear in the paper and each seemed far better than the last.

When she became too old to send in contributions for the Junior Department, she matriculated in Adelphi Art School at the age of 16, and there, for the first time, was given actual instruction as to the way to draw. She grasped the mechanical part of drawing easily and soon showed such marked superiority over her classmates that her work was watched carefully by the teachers. For that reason she was awarded the prize and her victory in the competition was very popular.

The medal Dorothy received is the only medal of gold given for first-year classes, and it is prized the more because it brings with it the assurance that the competent critics of the pupils’ work saw in her a girl with ability and the power and desire to learn.

The June 7 Daily Eagle reported the student art exhibition at Adelphi and said
In charcoal drawing from the cast there are on the walls about 200 works on Whatman paper and the arrangement is such that all of the drawings are in good light. The prizes were as follows: To Dorothy Hughes, gold medal for full length nude, “Aphrodite” …
In the same issue, Aunt Jean wrote
Readers of the Junior Eagle have not forgotten the exquisite drawings contributed by Dorothy Hughes which adorned the pages of the Junior and won for the little artist words of highest praise from older and competent judges. Great success in the field was predicted if Dorothy chose to adopt art as a profession. This she decided to do, and entered the Adelphi Art School, where her natural talent improved and won for her the distinction of the award of this year’s gold medal for antique drawing, the only gold medal given to the first year students.

Members of the Junior Eagle Art Club will learn of the success of its former member with pride and pleasure. Dorothy was always modest and retiring, but her work spoke for itself. Since entering Adelphi and having her drawings accepted professionally by several magazine, this talented girl has not forgotten the Junior Eagle, but has contributed, gratuitously, several beautiful drawings showing a steady improvement on her former work, for, like all ambitious persons, she was not content to rest on her laurels, but aimed to improve on all work she had done, even the best that she had done.

The Junior Eagle is proud to honor its gifted former Art Club member. We wish her continued success in her chosen profession, and the farm that will surely follow will have been richly deserved.

In 1916 St. Nicholas listed Hughes in January and published her art in March


The Daily Eagle, December 22, 1918, described Hughes’ additional art training.


She took a one year’s course in the Life Room of the New York School of Applied Design for Women in New York City. From there she took up portrait painting under Joseph Boston at Carnegie Hall. Two summers were spent at Provincetown in the Art Colony studying landscape and oils under George Elmer Browne, and another year was spent at the New School for Life and Illustrations at Boston.

Miss Hughes has not aimed to do professional work while studying, but she has had drawings published in the Motion Picture Classic Magazine and in the M. P. Magazine. At the present time fashion designs and advertising work are occupying her attention.

FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: Popularity and Neglect (2013) lists Hughes’ 1919 and 1921 illustrations for the Omar Khayyám Club of America.

Before the 1920 census, Hughes’ father passed away. The 1920 census enumeration counted Hughes, her mother (the head of the household) and sister in Belmont, Massachusetts at 3 Oxford Avenue. Hughes’ occupation was commercial artist. The 1922 Belmont city directory had the same address.

In 1921 Hughes contributed art to the Boston Post which serialized previously published novels including The Wings of Youth, The Elephant’s Board and Keep, and Miss Vannah of Our Adv. Shop.

Hughes exhibited a painting in the Provincetown Art Association’s Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints which ran from July 29 to September 8, 1928. Her listing appeared as “39. Dorothy Stuart Hughes, Commercial Street, West End.” The following year Hughes was on the entertainment committee
 

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Hughes created the panel, Angelina’s Line a Day, which ran from February 2, 1929 to April 4, 1942, in the Boston Post.

Hughes has not yet been found in the 1930 census. She and her mother were listed in the 1930 Boston directory at 60 Fenway. In the 1931 directory, commercial artist Hughes resided at “290 Mt Auburn W’town” and had a studio at “755 Boylston room 212”. The 1933 and 1934 Boston directories said Hughes was at 92A Pinckney. Two years later, Hughes lived at 352 Riverway.

In the 1940 census, Hughes resided in Rockport, Massachusetts at 34 Granite Street. She owned the house. Her occupation was commercial artist working in the newspaper industry. Hughes earned $3,315 in 1939. Gloucester and Rockport city directories, from 1939 to 1944, listed Hughes at the same address.

Records of Hughes whereabouts after 1944 have not been found. A 1955 Harvard Alumni Directory said Eric Duff Forsbergh was living at Hughes’ house in Rockport. It’s not clear if Hughes passed away or moved before 1955.

The Social Security Death Index does not have a “Dorothy Hughes” who was born on November 25, 1897 but it does have a possible match in “Dorothy Marsh”, born on that date, lived in Massachusetts and passed away April 1965.


Dorothy Hughes’ Brooklyn Daily Eagle Illustrations and Paper Dolls
August 16, 1910: The Three Little Travelers
April 21, 1912: A Vision of Spring
April 30, 1912: “Yum Yum”
May 14, 1912: Among the Blossoms
May 25, 1912: This Is Patricia, Our New Doll


 
June 12, 1912: A Charming Pose
June 24, 1912: A Good Catch
June 26, 1912: Her Pet



October 7, 1912: Off to School
October 22, 1912: A Yachting Girl
November 9, 1912: Baby Bunting, His Clothes and Toys
January 6, 1913: The Twins
January 11, 1913: Jessie—Her Outfit
January 18, 1913: Dolly Jessie’s Outfit
February 14, 1913: Valentines and Young Artists Who Drew Them



March 19, 1913: Mistress Mary
March 22, 1913: The Easter Girl
March 29, 1913: Lucile—Part of Her New Spring Clothes
April 5, 1913: Lucile’s New Spring Clothes
May 29, 1913: Spring Maid
May 31, 1913: Jeanette—Some of Her New Summer Clothes
June 5, 1913: The June Bride
June 7, 1913: More of Jeanette’s New Summer Clothes
June 18, 1913: The Bathing Beauty
June 21, 1913: The Sweet Girl Graduate
July 9, 1913: The Tennis Girl
July 19, 1913: Fair Margaret and Her Up-to-Date Clothes
July 23, 1913: A Summer Girl
July 26, 1913: More Dresses for Margaret, the Popular Doll
August 5, 1913: A Summer Day’s Treat



August 26, 1913: The Midsummer Girl
September 30, 1913: Feeding the Squirrels
October 7, 1913: The New Fall Hat
October 23, 1913: Autumn
October 31, 1913: Prize Winners in the Eagle’s Halloween Contest
November 7, 1913: The First Peep
November 13, 1913: The Bumped Head
February 26, 1914: Former Junior Member Successful
March 13, 1914: “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”
December 24, 1914: Under the Mistletoe
January 2, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 1—Sense of Light
January 9, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 2—Sense of Taste
January 16, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 3—Sense of Hearing



January 23, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 4—Sense of Touch
January 30, 1916: Baby’s Five Senses, No. 5—The Sense of Smell
December 22, 1918: The Junior Eagle Hall of Fame No. IX.—Dorothy Hughes

Dorothy Hughes’ Motion Picture Magazine Illustrations and News
March 1914
page 136
page 141

April 1914
page 56
pages 134–135



May 1914
page 139

June 1914
pages 134–135

July 1914
pages 134–135
page 137

August 1914
pages 134–135
page 142

September 1914
pages 134–135
page 150
page 152

October 1914
page 135
page 139
page 148

November 1914
pages 136–137



December 1914
pages 134–135

January 1915
page 135
page 139
page 152

February 1915
pages 134–135
page 141

March 1915
page 135
page 140

April 1915
page 135
page 140

May 1915
page 134
page 148



June 1915
page 135

December 1915
Answers to Inquiries
page 146: Togo.—You ask what happened to Dorothy Hughes. Nothing, except she doesn’t submit drawings any more.

page 154: Nellie, Montreal.—Dorothy Hughes does not submit drawings to us any more. She is studying art.


—Alex Jay

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