Friday, June 05, 2020


Wish You Were Here, from Albert Carmichael

Here's a postcard from Albert Carmichael of a type we haven't looked at before. Most of his postcard work was done for Taylor Pratt, but this card is copyrighted by S.K. Simon (and indicated as Series 200). It also looks like Carmichael's signature is followed by a "Co.", as if Carmichael was taking on the postcard trade as a bona fide business, rather than just doing work for hire.

The card itself is a bit of a mystery, too. I get "Merry Widow", which was very much in the popular eye of the day, but what is with changing 'merry' to 'Mary', and why Green? I get the distinct feeling that there is a pop culture convergence going on here that is eluding me. Anyone?


Hello allan-
Well, I'll take a poke at it- A popular novel of the mid 19th century was "Widow Green and Her Three Nieces"(1859)by British authoress Sarah Stickney Ellis(1799-1872). It it, a country widow of moderate means goes through various heart-tugging problems raising the girls. I'm thinking that in about 1910, the knowledge of the characters were still common,and the term "Widow green" could be just generic for a widow.
Well, it's at least as clever as "Mary Widow". Carmichael was just poor.
Incidentally, his signature seems to say "CARMIChAEL TO CO." Could that mean anything?
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Thursday, June 04, 2020


Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1981 - Total Results

Between 1980 and 1981 we lost information on 3 papers – Courier (Waterloo, IA) (but it will return for the 1982 listing), Del Rio News Herald (TX) (same deal), and Irving Daily News (TX). One paper went out of business: Ottawa Journal (Canada) and the Yazoo Herald (Yazoo City, MS) switched to weekly frequency and thus no longer qualifies for inclusion. However, the Globe-Gazette (Mason City, IA) returned so our total is now 285 papers for this year’s survey.

The Top 30 did not change that much with only one strip, Garfield, moving into the Top 30. We all know it will not leave the upper levels for the rest of this survey. Peanuts was still gaining papers, being the first strip to pass the magic number of 200. Hagar and Doonesbury were still gaining papers. Family Circus moved ahead of Dennis the Menace to be the top panel strip.

As always, you can get the long version of the results, with all the specific papers that carried each strip, by sending an email to Allan Holtz,

Title Place Movement +/- Total Papers
Peanuts 1 Same +4 201
Blondie 2 Same +1 191
Beetle Bailey 3 Same -1 174
Doonesbury 4 Same +7 119
Hagar the Horrible 5 Same +13 112
Wizard of Id 6 Same +3 99
Andy Capp 7 Same +2 97
B.C. 8 Same +3 94
Frank and Ernest 9 Same -1 88
Family Circus 10 Up 1 +4 85
Born Loser 11 Same 0 81
Hi and Lois 12 Up 2 +4 80
Dennis the Menace 13 Down 3 -3 79
Mary Worth 14 Down 1 -2 78
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith 15 Same -4 70
Shoe 16 Up 1 +9 68
Nancy 17 Down 1 -3 59
Rex Morgan 18 Same -1 57
Amazing Spider-Man 19 Same +1 56
Marmaduke 20 Up 6 +5 53
Eek and Meek 21 Plus 8 +2 49
Garfield 21 Entering +28 49
Alley Oop 23 Down 3 -4 47
Archie 23 Down 2 -3 47
Dick Tracy 23 Down 2 -3 47
Steve Canyon 23 Up 3 -1 47
Winthrop 23 Up 2 -2 47
Berry’s World 28 Down 2 -2 46
Bugs Bunny 28 Down 7 -4 46
Priscilla’s Pop 30 Same 0 45

Total Papers Features
44  Tank McNamara (+5)
43  For Better or For Worse (+5), Funky Winkerbean (0), Gasoline Alley (+1)
42  Judge Parker (+4)
40  Heathcliff (2), Herman (3), Tiger (-3), Tumbleweeds (+4)
39  Short Ribs (+1)
35  Buz Sawyer (-2)
31  Captain Easy (-3), Our Boarding House (+1)
29  Cathy (+4), Star Wars (-21)
28  Apartment 3-G (-1), They’ll Do It Every Time (+1)
27  Redeye (-1)
26  Goosemyer (R), Phantom (+1)
25  Small Society (-2)
24  Broom Hilda (0), Kit ‘N’ Carlyle (R), Mark Trail (-1)
23  Lockhorns (+2), Steve Roper and Mike Nomad (+1)
22  Crock (+1), Donald Duck (-2), Winnie the Pooh (-9)
21  Latigo (-1)
20  Grin and Bear It (0)
18  Dunagin’s People (-4), Heart of Juliet Jones (-4), Kerry Drake (-2)
17  John Darling (-5), Levy’s Law (+4), Momma (+1)
16  Fred Basset (+2), Hazel (-2)
15  Ryatts (-1)
14  Agatha Crumm (+3), Miss Peach (-1), Rip Kirby (0)
13  Mr. Tweedy (0), World’s Greatest Superheroes (-10)
12  Henry (-1)
11  Better Half (-5), Flintstones (0), Gil Thorp (0), Little Orphan Annie (0), Motley’s Crew (+1)
10  Brenda Starr (-1), Fletcher’s Landing (R), Graffiti (-10), Joe Palooka (0), Love Is (-5), Sam and Silo (-1)
9  Catfish (0), Dondi (-1), Ferd’Nand (0), Incredible Hulk (-2), Star Trek (-3), Winnie Winkle (-3)
8  Animal Crackers (0), Charmers (-1), Girls (-1)
7  Briny Deep (R), Drabble (-1), Gordo (0), Laff-A-Day (-2), Mutt and Jeff (-1), Pavlov (-1), Prime Time (-1), Quincy (-1), Ripley’s Believe It or Not (-1), There Oughta Be A Law (+2), Wee Pals (+1)
6  Barbara Cartland’s Romance (R), Bloom County (R), Conan the Barbarian (-3), Downstown (R), Flash Gordon (+1), Moon Mullins (-1), Nubbin (-3), Ponytail (-2), Trudy (0), Wright Angles (-1)
5  Belvedere (+1), Boner’s Ark (+2), Buck Rogers (-8), Charlie (R), Citizen Smith (+3), Doctor Smock (-1), Eb and Flo (0), Far Side (+5), Hocus-Focus (+2), Lolly (-1), No Comment (-2), Scoops (-6), Smith Family (0), Sporting Life (-2)
4 A Little Leary, Amy, Ben Wicks, Big George, Bringing Up Father, Graves Inc., Inside Woody Allen, Mickey Mouse, Play Better Golf with Jack Nicklaus, Punch, Rick O’Shay, Rivets, Trim’s Arena
3  Boomer, Brother Juniper, Carmichael, Copps and Robberts, Don Q, Flop Family, Guindon, Hang in There!, Health Capsules, Hello Carol, Johnny Wonder, Lookin' Fine, Mr. Abernathy, Simpkins, Splitsville, Toppix
2 According to Guinness, Dr. Kildare, Gumdrop, Howie, Hubert, It Happened in Canada, Laugh Time, Little Woman, Mandrake the Magician, Modesty Blaise, Outcasts, Popeye, Pot Shots, Side Glances, Smithereens, Strictly Business, This Funny World, Time Out, Travels with Farley, Wordplay
1  Antennas, As You Were, Bernie on the Beat, Brick Bradford, Castaways, Ching Chow, Country Parson, Father Dickens, Figments, Fuddy & Lardette, Good News Bad News, Koky, Luther, Major Mudge, Mark Trail’s Outdoor Tips, Murphy's Law, The Neighborhood, Norbert, Our Fascinating Earth, Pixies, Queenie, Quickies, Rafferty, Return With Us, Salt Chuck, Secret Agent Corrigan, Selling Short, Shambles, Sidelines, Stan Smith’s Tennis Class, Star Hawks, Today's World, Willies, Word-A-Day


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Wednesday, June 03, 2020


Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1981 -- Update on Newspapers Used

One of the questions I have been asked is when we lose information for one of the 300 papers why don’t we replace it with another paper. I am sticking with my original list so far because although there are papers available to replace them, their lineups are unique and I feel the statistics would get skewed.

Here are some of the papers  that are now available on for these years that I am not adding to our original list:

Pacific Daily News (Agana, Guam) – Berry’s World, Priscilla’s Pop, Andy Capp, Winthrop, Alley Oop, Born Loser, Doonesbury, B.C, Beetle Bailey, Redeye, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Blondie, Wizard of Id, Eek & Meek

Shreveport Journal (LA) – Small Society, Doonesbury, Berry’s World, Family Circus, B.C, Beetle Bailey, Shoe, Jeff Hawke, Spiderman, Nancy, Archie, Rex Morgan, Crock, Born Loser, Wizard of Id, Winnie Winkle, Frank and Ernest, Mary Worth, Funny Business, Side Glances, Grin and Bear It

Telegraph-Forum (Bucyrus, OH) – Captain Easy, Flintstones, Bugs Bunny, Beetle Bailey, Priscilla’s Pop, Bi-Focals, Mutt and Jeff, Born Loser, Frank and Ernest, Winthrop, Hi and Lois, Short Ribs, Eek and Meek, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Blondie, Alley Oop, Joe Palooka, Graffiti

Tipton County Tribune (IN) – Peanuts, Beetle Bailey, Nubbin, Snuffy Smith, Tumbleweeds, Donald Duck, Blondie, Rip Kirby

Parsons Sun (KS) – Small Society, Dennis the Menace, Family Circus, B.C., Wee Pals, Marmaduke, Andy Capp, Funky Winkerbean, Rex Morgan, Mary Worth, Peanuts, Wizard of Id, Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Judge Parker

Berkeley Gazette (CA) – Born Loser, Berry’s World, Marmaduke, Frank and Ernest, Best Seller Showcase, Beetle Bailey, Short Ribs, Gasoline Alley, Alley Oop, Archie, Bugs Bunny, Heathcliff, Rick O’ Shay, Secret Agent

Rutland Daily Herald (VT) – Nancy, Peanuts, Blondie, Mary Worth, Rex Morgan, Jackson Twins, Dick Tracy, Small Society

Kilgore News Herald (TX) – Buz Sawyer, Beetle Bailey, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Sam & Silo, Redeye, Peanuts

St. Lake Tribune (UT) – Men and Women, Graffiti, Carmichael, Dennis the Menace, Peanuts, Inside Woody Allen, Wordsmith, Blondie, Hagar the Horrible, B.C., Fred Basset, Tumbleweeds, Momma, Asterix and Obelix, Moon Mullins, Dooley’s World, Steve Canyon, Gasoline Alley, Dick Tracy, Beetle Bailey, Gordo, Cathy, Andy Capp, Funky Winkerbean, Broom Hilda, Mary worth, On Stage, Judge Parker, Apt 3-G, Ponytail, Rocket Shots, Tank McNamara, Selling Short, Hazel, Big George, Grin and Bear It, Citizen Smith

Portage Daily Register (WI) – Peanuts, Beetle Bailey, Phantom, Heart of the Juliet Jones, Hi and Lois, Archie, Blondie, Snuffy Smith, Boner’s Ark

York Dispatch (PA) – Graffiti, Doonesbury, Spiderman, Mark Trail, Berry’s World, Rocket Shots, Best Seller Showcase, Beautiful, Love Is, Eb and Flo, Born Loser, Frank and Ernest, Funky Winkerbean, Draw Your Own Conclusion, Herman, Turkey, Grin and Bear It, Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Wizard of Id, Andy Capp, Hi and Lois, Donald Duck, Snuffy Smith, Peanuts, Bringing Up Father

Sacramento Bee (CA) – According to Guinness, Berry’s World, Peanuts, Marmaduke, Toppix, Hazel, Ziggy, Jeff Hawke, Born Loser, Broom Hilda, Hagar, Momma, Amazing Spider-Man, Shoe, Stanley, Frank & Ernest, Motley’s Crew, B.C., Cathy, Dennis the Menace, Heathcliff, Asterix & Obelix, Andy Capp

Charlotte News (NC) – Punch, Family Circus, There Outta Be A Law, Buz Sawyer, Amazing Spider-Man, Hagar the Horrible, Gasoline Alley, Modesty Blaise, Frank and Ernest, Asterix & Obelix, Phantom, Star Hawks, Best Seller Showcase, B.C., Mary Worth, Blondie, Rex Morgan, Tumbleweeds, Dennis the Menace

Charlotte Observer (NC) – Dunagin’s People, Hazel, Ziggy, Big George, Belvedere, Herman, Andy Capp, Beetle Bailey, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Funky Winkerbean, Steve Roper, Mark Trail, Heart of Juliet Jones, The Ryatts, Shoe, Hi and Lois, Wizard of Id, Doonesbury, According to Guinness, Apartment 3-G, Tank McNamara, Gil Thorp, Judge Parker, Dick Tracy, Peanuts

Miami Herald (FL) – Lockhorns, Peanuts, Amazing Spider-Man, Blondie, Doonesbury, Dick Tracy, Shoe, Dennis the Menace, Ziggy, Family Circus, Marmaduke, Motley’s Crew, Smith Family, Hagar the Horrible, Small Society, Citizen Kane (Wright Angles), Kisses, Nancy, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Sporting Life

Fort Worth Star Telegram (TX) (Evening Edition)– They’ll Do it Every Time, Marmaduke, Peanuts, Andy Capp, Winnie Winkle, Gasoline Alley, Tumbleweeds, B.C., Miss Peach, Nancy, Archie, Emmy Lou, Wizard of Id, Buz Sawyer, Dropouts, Tank McNamara, Hagar, Mutt and Jeff, Lockhorns,

Fort Worth Star Telegram (TX) (Morning Edition) – Carmichael, Small Society, Doonesbury, Berry’s World, Little Woman, Hi and Lois, Ryatts, Blondie, Lolly, Rip Kirby, Catfish, Beetle Bailey, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Freddy, Mandrake the Magician, Smith Family, Animal Crackers, Redeye, Brenda Starr, Rick O’Shay, The Girls, Herman

These 17 papers really don’t add to the information that we have. They are some rare strips like the following:

Bi-Focals appearing in the Telegraph-Forum (Bucyrus, OH)
Secret Agent Corrigan appearing in the Berkeley Gazette (CA)
Men and Women appearing the St. Lake Tribune (UT)
Star Hawks appearing in the Charlotte News (NC)
Mandrake the Magician in the Morning Edition of Fort Worth Star Telegram

Also, as we go forward, we get to feel of the slow end of the daily newspaper. How many of the 300 will be left when we get to 2020? We will find out together.


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Tuesday, June 02, 2020


Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1981 -- Biggest Winners and Losers

How important is it that a comic strip be collected into reprint paperbacks? Very important to the continued success of that comic strip, because it gives the reader an opportunity to read it though it is not available in their local paper. Also, it gives the cartoonist or the syndicate a chance to try again to sell their strip. When in 1980 the book Garfield At Large was published it changed the way strips would be collected from then on.

Most comic strips were collected in small paperbacks with one strip on each page. The strips that were picked were not generally in order and the dates were rubbed out. The Garfield book, though, reprinted 3 dailies per page plus Sundays on one page. It also started reprinting the strip from the very beginning and it had the dates on it, so you knew that you were reading it from the beginning and getting a complete reprinting. Yes, I know there were other collections like the Hyperion Press, but this was the first real mainstream reprint of this kind. The book sold so well that it even went to number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

With the success of the book, Garfield in 1980 went from 21 papers up to 49 papers, by far the biggest gainer of the year.

The Biggest Gainers

On the downside we again have the situation that the hottest new strip of the previous year gets the  most cancellations. Star Wars started with 50 papers but falls to 29 papers, losing 21 papers. That wasn’t quite the worst, because Side Glances lost 23 papers. That’s not a fair comparison, though, because Side Glances was demoted to a weekly strip in November 1980, and we don’t include weekly papers in our ratings. There were actually two papers that were still running it for a few months in 1981, but that’s because they were running old strips late.

The Biggest Losers

Looking at adventure strips in particular, almost all of them continued their downward trend:

The Adventure Strips

Total adventure strip slots goes form 581 down to 510; that is a 71 position and a 12 percent drop since last year.

Flash Gordon went up one paper maybe because of the 1980 feature film.


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Monday, June 01, 2020


Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1981 -- Rookie Features

About a previous rookie list, Mark Johnson said: “An instant big success like Spiderman or Winnie is pretty much impossible today”. Well that happened in the first three years but for this year we have a situation where it was not a new strip but an old strip that gained more papers than any rookie. The top rookie this year really did not make a big splash.

The number one new strip, Goosemyer, got only 26 papers. It probably owed its success to the artist Brant Parker, because he was known from the very popular Wizard of Id. The next strip, Kit ‘n’ Carlyle,  got 24 papers, which is not really a success because it replaced the strip Side Glances, getting a bunch of those berths by default (these strips are from the NEA package so one strip took over one spot for another). The new strips for 1980 did not make a big dent in our papers. This was the year that papers were picking newer strips like Garfield, For Better or For Worse, etc. But there was one strip that in the big picture would eventually make a big impact, but had a lackluster start: Bloom County.

Top Rookies

Here is the list of the top 10 strips in 1981 that had started since 1977.


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Saturday, May 30, 2020


What The Cartoonists Are Doing, July 1916 (Vol.10 No.1)

[Cartoons Magazine, debuting in 1912, was a monthly magazine devoted primarily to reprinting editorial cartoons from U.S. and foreign newspapers. Articles about cartooning and cartoonists often supplemented the discussion of current events.

In November 1913 the magazine began to offer a monthly round-up of news about cartoonists and cartooning, eventually titled "What The Cartoonist Are Doing." There are lots of interesting historical nuggets in these sections, and this Stripper's Guide feature will reprint one issue's worth each week.]

“Caricature and moral criticism” was the subject of a lecture delivered recently in Philadelphia by Prof. Louis W. Flaccus of the University of Pennsylvania.

After praising cartoonists for their display of moral strength on occasions, and condemning them for their display of shiftiness at times, Dr . Flaccus spoke of the characteristics of cartoonists in different countries.

"Why is it,” he asked, “that French caricaturists make marriage a thing of ridicule, American caricaturists do their best to discredit the presidency, and papers of the type of Simplicissimus and the Pasquino carry irreverence to great lengths? Moral radicalism will always have a place in caricature, and there is a moral individualism which would rather praise the devil in secret than God en masse. But the general drift of caricature is socially protective in spirit. The license is that of the artist, not the moralist. What seems a foul, satiric underthrust at morality or religion is often merely a bold imaginative stroke aimed at strong artistic contrasts."

Mr. Flaccus mentioned feminism and war as favorites with the cartoonists. “One might imagine in regard to feminism, where the issues are so grave, that caricature would become earnest and significant,” he said. “But the great bulk of such caricature plays with the idea, leaving moral matters untouched. The tide of this fun runs against feminism, because the world of caricature is a man's world. War is a favorite, for the caricaturist likes sharp contrasts, and as a moralist he thinks in black and white.

“Which way does caricature, morally speaking, lean? I find in it much defensive criticism, much that is strong, and little that is subtle. It chastises simple vices, as drunkenness, and presents simple standardized ideals such as honesty. It strikes hard at the moral laggard; it sees to it that there is no wide breach between average conduct and average ideals.

"Yet caricature often attacks, without judgment, what rises above as well as what falls below the common social level. It shows little insight into, and less sympathy with, reform movements. As a matter of history, caricature rarely has seized the real meaning of a new movement. Abolition, prohibition, the peace movement, socialism, feminism, have received from it unintelligent abuse. Do the Civil War cartoons express at all the seriousness of the issue or the greatness of Lincoln? What, one might ask Tenniel, had the man's lankiness to do with the measure of his greatness? And there is not much to choose between a cartoon which sets a cultured woman over against a lot of drunkards and asks: 'If these vote, why not we?' and a cartoon that draws a woman voting, her children hungry, and household ruined. Both are unjust distortions, melodrama, and alike intolerant."

In conclusion he mentioned the strong appeal of the cartoon to the man in the street and to the newspaper reader. “Let us be cautious, however," he warned, "against accepting without very close inspection the caricaturist as a reliable moral guide. In 1884, Gillam attacked Blaine in caricature in one humorous paper and attacked Cleveland equally unjustly in another. But often the caricaturist has shown courage and great moral strength.”

In connection with the recent capture of Sir Roger Casement, W. A. Rogers, cartoonist of the New York Herald, recalls the fact that in 1887 he drew a cartoon for Life in which he depicted the first Irish parliament under home rule. In the cartoon Mr. Rogers had Prince Bismarck in charge of the department of foreign affairs for Ireland, while the head of Michael Davitt was displayed on a pike inside the house of parliament. About ten years later Davitt actually was stoned by an Irish mob.

Mr. Rogers was asked if the cartoon made any prediction as to the end of the present war, but his answer was :

“A prophet must not be overworked."


James Henderson, of Charlotte, N. C., a brother of Russell Henderson, designed a souvenir postcard recently commemorating President Wilson's visit to his city. Mr. Henderson added a verse which read:

Me and Woody is on our way,
To Charlotte for the twentieth of May;
 Come and join us if you can;
 We'll have a big time hand in hand.

Thousands of the cards were printed and distributed throughout the Carolinas.

from Paterson (N. J.) Call
Future historians are going to use the cartoons as found recorded in the daily newspapers more than they have ever been used in the writing of history. And it is well that they should do so.

The newspapers of this country have never had working for them such able cartoonists as are now devoting their talent to the making of pictures. There have been a few great cartoonists in the past -- some as good, perhaps, as any who are making cartoons at this time. But never have there been so many good ones as are with us at this time. And certainly they have never so completely sensed the meaning of the events of the war.

One does not have to read the words of the correspondents nor of the diplomats to understand the spirit of the struggle, its portents and its intents. All he needs to do is to study the cartoons. They are clean and wholesome. They are refined - and full of meaning. They show that the cartoonist possesses something else than the ability to make pictures. For within the most of them there is that which shows that the cartoonist is a man of deep reasoning and of splendid mental equipment, as well as being endowed with the genius of art.


"Some 'Frightful' War Pictures" is the title of a new cartoon book by W. Heath Robinson, the London artist. The pictures are not really so frightful as the name suggests, as Mr. Robinson is one of the best-known British humorists. The book is published by E. P. Dutton and Co., New York.

from Western Christian Advocate
Our eye has fallen upon a suggestive cartoon in one of the humorous satirical papers, namely, Judge . It is a picture called “Dollars and Sense.” On the left hand there is shown a rather vacant-faced and dapper young dude who stands for dollars, and because he has the ducats, a half dozen eager and adoring young women are hanging over him with pleading gaze, trying to hypnotize him into some response to their sincere and inspired admiration for his greatness. We will not raise the question of the real image within their minds. On the right there is a picture of the young student who represents sense (cents), who is sitting all alone, looking studious, a book man, earnest, pondering over a volume in his hands; but there is not a single female in his vicinity.


Under the auspices of Mrs. P. N. Cook of the Salt Lake City Board of Health, the school children of that city submitted original cartoons recently in a contest designed to further the interests of "clean up week.” The first prize was won by Miss Maxime Maxom, a senior in the high school. The cartoons have been placed on exhibition.


 "Billy" Ireland, of the Columbus Dispatch, on arriving at Chicago for the republican convention, immediately sought out Clare Briggs, of the New York Tribune, and challenged him to a game of golf. "Cliff" Berryman, of the Washington Star, who had offered to serve as caddy for Ireland, excused himself.


A Chantey of the Kiel Canal

W. A. Rogers, cartoonist of the New York Herald, frequently adorns his work with verse. The following appeared over his signature shortly after the German government had denied torpedoing the "Sussex."

She loomed up on our stabbud bow,
And she looked like a man o' war,
Nor peaceful hornless mooley cow
Was liker to a savage boar.

And straightway, for a fighting ship,
Her decks with women folks were crowded:
Her bows were fitted for a ferry slip;
Her guns were carefully enshrouded.

With cunning truly diabolic
This fighting ship defied us;
For on her decks in romp and frolic
Even the babes seemed to deride us.

No wonder then we launched a huge torpedo
Her impudence to quell.
It struck — a glorious deed, O,
Listen now what next befell.

Out of the smoke that spread across the sea
A second ship from Davy Jones's rose,
And like our damaged quarry, she
Had also lost her nose.

Then , then it was our brave commander
Bade us to fire no more;
"Another shot may raise about us
Warships by the score."

Maybe, sir, we saw things double,
Seeing like a stereoscope;
Very likely that's the trouble,
Peering through a periscope.

Jean Knott, comic artist of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has been graduated into the big-league newspaper class through signing a contract with William Randolph Hearst to work for the Hearst newspaper syndicate.

His salary will be $12,000 a year, or considerably more than double his present salary. He began on the Post-Dispatch as a counter clerk at $10 a week. His work recently attracted the attention of Hearst, who signed him to a two-year contract.

Under the caption "Offensive Ignorance," the Rochester Herald prints the following anent a recent McCutcheon cartoon:

"If the famous Chicago cartoonist is lacking in a sense of decency it is rather strange that his newspaper employer should encourage it, to say nothing of betraying his ignorance, by giving publicity to the McCutcheon cartoon the other day entitled 'The Double Standard.' In this Janus-like figure the president is represented as saying to the Americans in Mexico: 'You are warned to leave Mexico at once.' To the traveler boarding an outward-bound vessel he is made to say: 'You will be protected.' Further is the legend: “Where Americans are Warned to Abandon Their Rights , and 'Where Americans are Told Their Rights must be Respected.'

"It is a striking illustration of the influence of vicious partisanship that we find in this cartoon. Its crass ignorance appears to have had no restraining influence on the editor who passed on it.”

Louis Raemaekers, the famous Dutch cartoonist, has drawn for the National Committee for Relief in Belgium one of the most remarkable and certainly the most heartrending of all the war posters.

The misery of the millions now in Belgium has inspired this notable artist to his finest effort. A Belgian woman, with a ragged red cloak over her shoulders, is holding tightly to her breast an infant in a shawl. Around the child is clasped the mother's hand - a hand which spells starvation . In the woman's face there is the infinite sorrow of motherhood, driven to despair by the inhumanity of it all, and the pitiful, helpless yearning to relieve the child's suffering. Any reader of this magazine can secure a copy of the poster free by sending a postcard to the Secretary, National Committee for Relief in Belgium, Trafalgar Buildings, Trafalgar Square, London.

Word was received recently of the death at Los Angeles of Mrs. Clara Woolson Darling, mother of Jay N. Darling, cartoonist of The Des Moines Register. She is survived by one other son, Frank W. Darling of New York. She was the widow of the Rev. Dr. Marc W. Darling, who was one of the most widely known ministers in Iowa.


Reub Goldberg, the New York Evening Mail's cartoonist, was one of the star attractions in the Friars' Frolic on its recent tour.

Dudley Logan of Los Angeles is now drawing cartoons for The Western Comrade, a monthly labor publication.


Clare Briggs, of the New York Tribune, was the guest of Percy Cowen of New Bedford, Mass., recently. He was much interested in a visit to a whaler, and is still recovering from the effects of a clambake.


“Bill" Steinke, formerly cartoonist for the Scranton (Pa.) Republican, and who is now in vaudeville, was given something of a reception recently when he appeared in Allentown, where he has a multiude of friends. He was escorted into the city by the mayor and the board of aldermen, and was met at the station by the town band.


The Western Union Life Insurance Co., of Spokane, Wash., offers a prize of $1,000 for the best original trade-mark submitted before Oct. 15. Sketches may be submitted in pencil, crayon, oil, or water color.


The Rev. Bouck White, of the Church of Social Revolution, of New York, after a recent term on Blackwell's Island, is again in trouble for desecrating the American flag. According to the charges against him, he was distributing a cartoon showing the figure of a monster labeled “Militarism" grasping a money bag, sprawled across the national emblem. Red blots labeled "War" also defaced the flag, while a bolt of lightning, marked "Internationalism" was pictured as striking the monster.


A Briggs cartoon in the famous "When a Feller Needs a Friend" series, and representing the small boy appealing to his father for a vote for mother, has been distributed by the thousands throughout the state of Iowa in the interests of the equal suffrage campaign.

"Cousin Jim, or The Mystery of the Stolen Fraternity Pin" is the title of a film comedy which John T. McCutcheon of the Chicago Tribune has written for the Casino Club of that city.


John L . De Mar , cartoonist of the Philadelphia Record, began life as a railroad brakeman .


On the occasion recently of John T. McCutcheon's forty-sixth birthday, a writer in the Cedar Rapids Gazette paid the following tribute to the Chicago cartoonist:

“Of all the cartoonists who ply their gentle art on this side of the well known Atlantic ocean, perhaps the most widely and favorably known is John T. McCutcheon of the Chicago Tribune. Like so many other middle western geniuses, Mr. McCutcheon was born in Indiana. It was forty-six years ago today, May 6, 1870, that he started life in Tippecanoe county, spending his youth on a Hoosier farm. Agriculture did not appeal to him, however, and while still in short trousers he began studying art. He advanced so rapidly that at the age of nineteen he landed a job on the art staff of the Chicago Record. Later he went over to the Record-Herald and afterward to the Tribune. For nearly a score of years he has held a place among the foremost newspaper cartoonists of the world. Mr. McCutcheon is a chronic globe-trotter and has had many unusual and thrilling experiences. He was a member of the party of American war correspondents who invaded Belgium soon after the outbreak of hostilities, and, with Irvin S. Cobb and several others, served time in a German jail, but finally escaped to Holland. In 1898 Mr. McCutcheon made a tour around the world in the dispatch boat McCulloch, and he was an eye witness of the battle of Manila Bay. The Chicago cartoonist was in Africa during Col. Roosevelt's hunting trip, and recorded his impressions of that distinguished nimrod in a volume, ' T. R. in Cartoons.' He made a balloon ascension at Nairobi, and from a safe height gazed down upon the wild beasts of the jungle. Besides having a ringside seat at Dewey's victory over the haughty Don, Mr. McCutcheon has had experience in warfare in the Philippines, the Transvaal, and, latterly in Europe. In many of his globe-trotting expeditions the cartoonist has traveled with that other celebrated Hoosier, George Ade, and as a result of his association has illustrated many of Mr. Ade's books. As an artist McCutcheon has a style that is strictly his own. A McCutcheon cartoon may be recognized at a considerable distance, and may be approached with the certainty that it contains the 'makings' of a laugh."

Rube Goldberg, sporting editor and cartoonist of the New York Evening Mail, drove his automobile on the wrong side of the roadway at Washington bridge the other afternoon, and as a consequence found himself before Magistrate Levy in the Morrisania court.

Goldberg told the magistrate that he was not familiar with the rules of the road in this case, and was not aware of the fact that he was violating any ordinance.

It is alleged that when he was asked by the magistrate why he did not study the traffic regulations, Goldberg replied with the sentence he has put into the mouths of the characters in so many of his cartoons, “I never thought of that."

The magistrate found him guilty but suspended sentence.


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Friday, May 29, 2020


Wish You Were Here, from J.K. Bryans

Here's a postcard drawn by the comic page's number one silhouette cartoonist, J.K. Bryans. This card was issued by Home Life Publishing in 1905. If you read about Bryans' newspaper work of this time, you'll note that there is a gap in 1905. Perhaps this postcard drawing job explains his absence from the funnies?


"Home Life" was the name of a homemaker magazine of that time, maybe this has something to do with it.
There seems to be three heads there, shared between two people. Bryan may have been the best silhouette cartoonist in 1905; but maybe that art form had a bit of improving yet to do. Or maybe in 1905 some people had two heads. I bet that's it.
Permit me, Katherine Collins,
What you see in the silouette is not a mistake or phantom head between the couple, (though you will notice it isn't there in the shadow they cast), but a typical ladies' hair style of 1905, that is, piled high at the sides, and a bun on the top centre. If you follow her neck up, you will see the bun is in straight alignment.
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Thursday, May 28, 2020


Obscurity of the Day: Phyllis and Fang

Phyllis Diller, one of the first female stand-up comedians, was near the top of her career in 1968 when she teamed up with the Register & Tribune Syndicate to offer a daily comic strip featuring her self-deprecating humor. If you are over 50 and had a TV growing up, you certainly remember her fright wig, loud dresses, cigarette holder, and cackling one-liners on the variety programs and celebrity game shows, in which a favorite subject was her lazy, boozing, good-for-nothing husband "Fang".

Her comedy, some of which was written for her by cartoonist ghost-writer Mary McBride, was full of one-liners, making it seem like a natural for comic strips. However, the constant references to alcohol and other quasi-adult topics probably made newspaper editors a little nervous. They also might not have seen the appeal of the artwork supplied by Marvin Myers. Myers' style was definitely avant-garde compared to the normal comics page fare, and it did take some getting used to. It certainly didn't help that due to some odd production problem the strip was often full of type lice, which make Myers' noodly lines look like an unholy mess (the samples above have had the problem corrected).

Phyllis and Fang debuted on January 29 1968 in very few papers, and it only took four months for the syndicate and creators to give up on the strip. In the Des Moines Tribune itself, home paper of the syndicate, which may be the only paper that ran the series from beginning to end, the strip ended on June 1 1968.

In case you are too young to remember Ms. Diller's striking stage presence, here's a little taste:


Hello Allan--
Phyllis was funny, at least at first. I think she was oversold,until any novelty she had was drained out. Same thing happened to Steve Martin. Maybe you or some readers will recall her sitcom, "The Pruitts of Southampton"? They put her into something that erased her wacky, witchy persona and cast her as a member of a poor but lovable family of grifters that bluffed their many creditors while living in their mansion (the Biltmore Estate in N.C.!), sort of like "The Rogues". I know, few remember that show either, but suffice to say, it stunk, and gave Phyllis's career a blow.

I remember this strip, it ran in the Philadelphia EVENING BULLETIN. I liked it, although I was a child at the time. I'll guess that the strip was a failure not from the gags, but because it just looks so terrible. If I'm any judge of potential client editors, I would think Miss MacBride's amatuerish scrawl style was a quick turn-off.
If I recall it right, one day the Bulletin dropped it and offered an excuse like, "Phyllis and Fang are on hiatus while Miss Diller is on tour" or some such nonsense.

The Register and Tribune's strips are always the worst-reproduced on any comics page. I discovered that they sent out a daily strip for Cecil Jensen's "Elmo" that had a hair photographed on it. I would guess they used the lowest-quality materials for whatever they supplied newspapers. They weren't alone--e.g., the newsprint proofs King Features sent to newspapers to shoot from. I've seen one for a week of "Bringing Up Father" daily strips.
Your point is well taken, that sometimes the KFS proofs were less than perfect, but as the onetime archives for the syndicate, I must hasten to add that, considering the hundreds of thousands of them I have seen and worked with, from the 1920's onward, the really defective ones were in a very small minority.
The worst problem seemed to be that sometimes, when we issued everything on slick clay stock, they would be improperly stacked, before the ink dried. Then they would stick together and prove from hard to impossible to fix. These would be of course, replaced by us, but if the deadline for the client was too close, they might use a messed up strip anyway. I imagine all the other syndicates had problems now and then, too.
Probably the whole process bypasses printed proofs now, computer generated ones go directly to the client paper.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Chester Sullivan


(The following profile is based on finding only one artist named Chester Sullivan. An article identifying him as the artist of Men Who Made the World was not found.)

Chester Milo Sullivan was born on March 12, 1898, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, according to his birth certificate at His parents were Frank and Margrethe. Sullivan’s middle name was on his World War II draft card.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census Sullivan was the youngest of four siblings. His family resided in Minneapolis at 759 Washington Street NE. Sullivan’s father was a post office clerk. The family’s address was the same in the 1910 census.

Information about Sullivan’s art training has not been found.

During World War I Sullivan enlisted in the Marine Corps on July 3, 1918. He was a gunnery sergeant stationed with the Central Reserve Division.

According to the 1920 census, Sullivan’s mother, a widow, was the head of the household. They lived at the same address. Sullivan was unemployed.

Sullivan continued his education at the University of Minnesota. He was a member of the fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, and the Aero Club.

Minneapolis city directories from 1922 to 1928 listed Sullivan as a commercial artist and his home address.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Sullivan was the first artist on the series, Men Who Made the World, which ran from September 21, 1925 to April 16, 1927. The following artists were not credited. Writer Granville E. Dickey was replaced by Dr. Elliott Shoring who may or may not exist. John F. Dille Company was the syndicate.

In 1929 Sulllivan’s address was 2555 Bryant Avenue South. The 1930 directory said he was married to Marian and resided at 2808 Chowen Avenue South. The same address was recorded in the 1930 census. Sullivan was a self-employed advertising artist. He had a five-month-old daughter.

The Sullivan trio lived at 2100 Dupont Avenue South in Minneapolis. Sullivan operated an art studio.

On February 16, 1942 Sullivan signed his World War II draft card. His home and studio was at 3517 West 28th Street in Minneapolis. He was described as five feet eight inches, 150 pounds with gray eyes and brown hair. He enlisted in the Army on on June 24, 1942. His rank was first lieutenant.

The Army Air Force magazine, Brief, August 15, 1944, mentioned Sullivan’s contribution to the Tarawa Cricket Club.

Acutely conscious of certain trends, 1st Lt. Robert North of Alhambra, Calif., decided that something drastic should be done to offset the inroads made in the Pacific by that amiable, sprawling outfit labeled the Short Snorters.

He conferred with M.Sgt Norman Hoch, a citizen in good standing of Oklahoma City, and they decided that there was a crying need for some sort of exclusive organization in the South Seas, where all sorts of improbable things happen. The Short Snorters, they opined, was getting pretty loose. It used to be limited to those persons who had flown over a body of water, but now it could happen to anybody, like Athlete’s Foot, or rundown heels.

So they founded the Tarawa Cricket Club, and might have run something up a pole to commemorate the occasion, but poles are scarce in that country. Instead, they enlisted the aid of Maj Peter S. Paine of New York City, and Maj Chester M. Sullivan, of Minneapolis, Minn., to help them get under way.

In case you've wondered, the name comes from the fact that there are a lot of idle cricket fields laid out on the islands. The English used to play the game there before the war, but have given it up for more strenuous activities.

Maj Sullivan designed a stamp, and unless you’ve had some business in the Pacific war you won’t ever get any closer to it than you are right now. That’s how the thing was made exclusive. Stamps are being distributed to other points—there will be a Kwajalein Chapter, Saipan, Guam, perhaps a Truk Chapter, a Philippines, and no doubt a Tokyo Chapter under the parent Tarawa nucleus.

The stamps will be held on each island by some responsible officer, probably the S-2, and if you care to join, look him up and he’ll stamp a replica of the informal coat of arms on your stationery, birth certificate, a pair of souvenir panties, or anything else that will take the ink. It costs you a dollar, which is used to buy more stamps for other chapters.

It was felt that the club would promote a certain comraderie [sic] among the men, for it is a thing that is really exclusive. No outsiders can join—you absolutely have to be on the island before you can join.

You can have a bill stamped and dash around collecting signatures if you like, but the originators look down their noses frostily on the practice.

The club is open to everyone from Dogfaces up, and there’s some highpowered company in it. Even generals—especially generals—are potential members, and some belong now. Maj Gen Willis H. Hale belongs, and plugs the club for a commendable venture, according to Lt North.

Membership won’t make you any money or when you get back home (wars always HAVE cure very many of the ills man is heir to, but ended) you’ll have something as exclusively South Seas as atoll-fishing.

Sullivan’s veteran’s file said he was a lieutenant colonel at his discharge on September 9, 1944. Presumably Sullivan resumed his advertising career in Minneapolis.

Sullivan passed away on February 10, 1973, in Minneapolis. He was laid to rest at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery.


—Alex Jay


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Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Granville E. Dickey

Granville E. Dickey was born on June 24, 1902, in Washington, District of Columbia (DC), according to his World War II draft card. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Dickey was the oldest of two children born to Raymond and Rose. The family and two servants resided in DC at 1358 Otis Place. Dickey’s father was an attorney. At age six Dickey was hit by a truck as reported in the Evening Star, February 13, 1909. Dickey attended Central High School where he excelled in swimming the backstroke.

The Dickey family continued to be DC residents, at 1702 Kilbourne Place NW, in the 1920 census. In 1924 Dickey graduated from the College of Journalism of Northwestern University in Chicago. He was a member of the varsity swimming team, and in his senior year was named a member of the all-American swimming team.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Dickey was the first writer of Men Who Made the World, which was drawn by Chester Sullivan. The strip started on September 21, 1925 and after five dailies Dickey’s name was replaced by “Dr. Elliott Shoring, Noted Eminent Historian”. Records of this person have not been found. Shoring may have been a pen name. The John F. Dille Company series ran for many years as reprints.

The Evening Star, April 4, 1928, reported Dickey’s wedding.

The marriage of a former Washingtonian, Mr. Granville E. Dickey, to Miss La Verne Carnes will take place this afternoon in Chicago, the home of the parents of the bride. After an extensive trip to Cuba and Spanish Honduras, they will return to Chicago, where Mr. Dickey is advertising manager for a large wholesale house.

He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Dickey of 1702 Kilbourne place. In 1920, when he graduated from Central High School, he was captain of the swimming team and a captain in the Cadet Corps.

According to the 1930 census, the couple resided in Oak Park, Illinois at 402 South Cuyler Avenue. Dickey was an advertising copywriter.

At some point Dickey moved. The Official Register of the United States 1938 listed Dickey as a statistician in DC. On November 25, 1941 Dickey testified before the House of Representatives’ committee hearings on the conservation of wildlife.

On February 14, 1942, Dickey signed his World War II draft card. He lived in Silver Spring, Maryland at 8003 Eastern Avenue, apartment 104. Dickey was employed at the U.S. Conservation Corps in DC. His description was five feet eight-and-a-half inches, 145 pounds, with brown eyes and hair. Dickey had divorced in 1941.

An Evening Star death notice said Dickey’s second wife passed away April 5, 1945.

Dickey passed away on January 28, 1948. A death notice appeared in the Evening Star, January 29, 1948. 
Dickey, Granville E. On Wednesday, January 28, 1948. Granville E. Dickey, father of Rosemary Dickey, son of Rose M. Dickey and the late Raymond B. Dickey, brother of Mrs. Alice Beaton, John Maxwell Dickey and Raymond R. Dickey. Funeral from the W.W. Deal Funeral Home, 4812 Georgia ave. N.W. Notice of time later.
He was laid to rest at Cedar Hill Cemetery.


—Alex Jay


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Monday, May 25, 2020


Obscurity of the Day: Men Who Made The World

Once J. Carroll Mansfield's Highlights of History proved itself a surprise hit, other syndicates began dipping their toes in the history comic strip genre. John F. Dille was keenly interested in educational features anyway, so he was one of the first to jump in with a me-too strip.

Dille's offering was called Men Who Made The World, and the daily strip offered biographies of important figures in history. The strip debuted as early as September 21 1925*, though many papers started it later. The strip began under the helm of Granville E. Dickey, who was billed as an historian, but whose only other credit I can find is editing Dille's weekly college humor round-up page. Art was provided by a complete unknown, Chester Sullivan. In a bizarre twist, Dickey's name was stricken from the feature after a mere five dailies and the new writer was "Dr. Elliott Shoring, Noted Eminent Historian." That eminence is debatable, or at least I can find no other proof of the fellow's existence other than this single credit.

Despite being put together by a pair of questionable unknowns, the strip was actually pretty darn good. They started off with a biography of Alexander the Great, which managed to be both entertaining and quite thorough. The bio ran for 33 strips, with lots of well-written text accompanying Sullivan's reasonably attractive art.

When Alexander the Great ended, a much longer bio of Napoleon ensued, but the art chores were taken over by Dick Calkins, a Dille go-to guy who would later rocket to fame as the artist on Buck Rogers. Calkins was a good fit for the assignment, since his art tends to look a bit like woodblocks out of a medieval manuscript, a nice look for a history feature.

The next story was Joan of Arc, which caused some clients to rename the strip Personalities that Made the World given the subject personage. Many clients seem to have given Joan a pass; whether that was an anti-Catholic bias, an anti-woman bias, or just because the art on this story was by a rather unappealing anonymous hand (or two, actually -- I think Calkins might have been brought in to finish off the story), I don't know.

For the remainder of the series, though the art was very rarely signed, I'm pretty confident that it is mostly or all Dick Calkins. Here's a rundown of the stories and their lengths:

Story Artist # of Strips
Alexander Chester Sullivan 33
Napoleon Dick Calkins 69
Joan of Arc Anonymous artist possibly followed by Calkins 27
Julius Caesar Dick Calkins 45
Fernando Cortez Dick Calkins 59
George Washington Dick Calkins 55
King Richard I Dick Calkins 55
Sir Francis Drake Dick Calkins 60
Peter the Great Dick Calkins 48
Louis the XIV Dick Calkins 41

I have yet to find a paper that runs this strip with perfect regularity or runs all the stories, but if such a paper were to exist, the series would have ended on April 16 1927. Although Dille closed up shop for new biographies, he certainly didn't stop trying to sell the ones he had. I have seen parts of this series running in papers as late as 1947!

* Source: Windsor Star


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Saturday, May 23, 2020


What the Cartoonists are Doing, June 1916 (Vol.9 No.6)

[Cartoons Magazine, debuting in 1912, was a monthly magazine devoted primarily to reprinting editorial cartoons from U.S. and foreign newspapers. Articles about cartooning and cartoonists often supplemented the discussion of current events.

In November 1913 the magazine began to offer a monthly round-up of news about cartoonists and cartooning, eventually titled "What The Cartoonist Are Doing." There are lots of interesting historical nuggets in these sections, and this Stripper's Guide feature will reprint one issue's worth each week.]

Under royal patronage in Montreal and under the distinguished patronage of His Honor the Lieutenant Governor and Madame Le Blanc, Sir Lomer and Lady Gouin, and His Worship the Mayor and Madame Lavigueur in Quebec, A. G. Racey, cartoonist of the Montreal Star, delivered his lecture entitled “The War in Cartoon.” The proceeds went to the Red Cross society. Both occasions served to bring out Canadian expressions of patriotism and loyalty. Mr. Racey had prepared the lecture at the request of several members of parliament. In the course of his remarks he stated that everything in Germany had been made subservient to militarism; that Prussia had prepared so well for war that she only awaited the chance to strike. He showed on the screen the signature of von Buelow to the now famous “scrap of paper,” guaranteeing Belgium's neutrality.

The difficulties that confronted Great Britain in the earlier stages of the war were depicted. A series of cartoons reviewed Germany's submarine warfare, the Balkan developments, the attitude of the United States, Germany's dream of an Egyptian conquest, and other features. The cartoonist expects to realize more than $30,000 for the cause.


Chapin, of the St. Louis Republic, has drawn a cartoon which is being used by the St. Louis Provident Association in a campaign to raise $23,000 for its summer work. The drawing pictures the rise of a family from despair to hope, the steps to independence being respectively Relief, Encouragement, Help, Employment, and Opportunity.

Jack Flanagan, one of the youngest of the Australian cartoonists, who has achieved the distinction of full-page cartoons in the Sydney Bulletin, has reached the United States via Vancouver, and intends to locate in New York. His ambition is to illustrate an edition of the Odyssey. Mr. Flanagan will be followed shortly by Harry Julius, who illustrates the theatrical page of the Sydney Bulletin, and who has something new in the way of animated cartoons that he wishes to introduce in America.


Don Barclay, a comedian of the “Maid in America” company, and a former St. Louis cartoonist, claims to be the originator of the Charlie Chaplin walk. His specialty as a cartoonist was drawing funny feet, and from this he developed a vaudeville act, he says, that the famous film artist has imitated.

The Rev. Cauley H. Perrin, who is a cartoonist as well as a clergyman, has been giving a series of cartoon sermons, portraying the progress of the modern pilgrim through the various stages of life's journey. Mr. Perrin is the pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Watertown, N. Y.


John Campbell Cory, formerly cartoonist for the Chicago Journal, is now syndicating his work through the Publishers' Feature Bureau of Chicago. He has a summer home at Wadsworth, Ill.


Commenting on the tendency of cartoonists to picture Britain as a bulldog, standing square to the world, and ready to grip with the grip that never lets go, a writer in Town and Country says: “Personally I think a bulldog rather unattractive and I think its reputation for courage and tenacity rather exaggerated.”

At the recent dinner given by the Evening Star Club at the Raleigh Hotel, Washington, each guest was presented with a copy of the “Morning Star,” a souvenir newspaper edited by the Evening Star staff, and illustrated with cartoons drawn for the occasion by Clifford K. Berryman. Mr. Berryman received as a special tribute during the evening a big Teddy bear, so lifelike that it might have stepped out from the corner of one of his daily cartoons. Mr. Berryman in his turn presented to Uncle Joe Cannon, one of the honor guests, a huge cigar. After having drawn more than sixty cartoons for the dinner souvenir, Mr. Berryman was ordered to draw one of himself, which is presented forthwith.

A recent cartoon drawn by Harry J. Westerman, of the Ohio State Journal, and depicting the contrast between the fate of the clown, “Slivers,” and Charlie Chaplin, the movie comedian, so appealed to Mr. Sam McCracken, the noted sportsman, that he purchased the original and had it framed for his office. “Slivers,” it will be remembered, committed suicide at about the time that Mr. Chaplin's half-million-dollar contract was announced. Mr. McCracken was perhaps “Slivers” closest friend. It was he who staged the Willard-Moran fight in New York. “Slivers” was undoubtedly the world's greatest clown. It was his privilege to make thousands of grown-ups and children laugh, but his later days were days of tragedy.


The New York Tribune Sunday magazine is running a series of four-column cartoons by Robert J. Wildhack, captioned “How to Make Money.” There isn't any doubt that Bob Wildhack himself knows how to make money for he has just added the third car to his automobile stable.


H. T. Webster, of the New York Globe, has taken delivery of a new Marmon car. It is a bachelor's runabout. Had Webbie been a marrying man he might have bought a Mormon car. Webbie was measured for the car and then the car was made to Webbie's measure. Standing upon the equator Webster would be head and shoulders above the arctic circle, so no stock car would accomodate his reach. Pushing the motor forward 18 inches and moving the seat back so that it overhangs the rear axle gives Webbie ample leg room.

Of course the car suffers some in appearance. On the leading drives about New York, Webbie's car has already been named “the Dachshund.” It is long like that. It has two steering wheels, one to operate the front pair of road wheels, and a second one for the rear wheels like an aerial-ladder fire truck. Managing two steering wheels would ordinarily be a busy job, but for a cartoonist who draws with one hand while he lights a load of soft-coal tobacco in a base burner pipe with the other, it is a cinch.

The report that Herb Roth was going to Spain for a couple of years has been officially denied. Instead Herb has signed another two-year contract with the New York World. The night shift of New York's gaiety workers is relieved by this announcement. Now they know the worst. Herb Roth is a truthful cartoonist. With the mathematical certainty of the magnetic compass which always points north, Herb plants a laugh even if he does not adorn a face. His recent picture of the Fakirs' Ball at the Hotel Vanderbilt showed 50 persons and every one was a speaking likeness. The “Met section” would be something else if Herb should go to Spain.

Charles Richardson, a Washington, D.C., shopkeeper, was summoned to court recently to account for a cartoon in his store window depicting President Wilson as a gladiator standing over his victims with a sword dripping with blood. Action was brought by the police under the statute which forbids the display of pictures dealing with crime, or intent to commit a crime.


Readers of the old school who remember “Rudder Grange” still dream, perhaps, of living in a house made out of an old boat. Clare Briggs, the author of “Skinnay” and “When a Feller Needs a Friend,” has built such a dream house at New Rochelle, N. J. It is such a house as Frank R. Stockton or Robert Louis Stevenson would have delighted in, and the name of the house is “The Blue Anchor.”

A writer in the Utica Observer, describing a visit to the home of the “Mark Twain of cartoonists,” says:

“A striking feature of this house is a framework of ship timbers, taken from a water-logged schooner, wrecked on a bar undoubtedly, and procured from a salvage firm in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Some of the lumber used in the construction work is only 250 or 300 years old; and one does not have to look hard or long to see timbers 14 by 12 inches in size by 35 feet in length, which, in course of time, will be hand-carved.

“The supposedly front elevation is the rear of the house, the latter being half surrounded by a stone wall, embedded in which are parts of the hull of the same old schooner.

“The dining room is large and comfortable, surrounded entirely with quartered white oak panels, six feet in height, stained most beautifully by Father Time himself. The ceiling is beamed with those old water-logged timbers. The window frames are made from the old planking, which more than a dozen hardwood turners refused to touch with their tools.

“To the modern builder every stick of timber in ‘Blue Anchor' is subject to condemnation. Holes, dowels and splints are everywhere, and cracks half an inch wide are the rule, and why not in a house 300, or shall we say 400 years old?

“Remember we are in the dining room, and its windows are of leaded glass, as are all the windows throughout the house. In each window there may still be three or even 10 pieces of the old glass, opaque but not transparent, which was the best that glaziers could produce when ‘Blue Anchor' was built 400, or shall we say 500 years ago? And then there is sure to be found in every window one or more descriptive pictures, for once “Blue Anchor' must have belonged to an artistic individual who was most lavish in his expenditures, for he replaced the old glass with the most unobtrusively blending pictures one can imagine.

“From the dining room one passes through a spacious hall, into the living room, two steps below. The room occupies half the house, and is finished—Well:

“Its floor: Planking four inches thick, sixteen or eighteen inches wide, 30 feet long; the seams are calked with oakum and tar, for those planks have lived many a year on that diet. Scars and marks on the floor show where stays were fastened in them aboard ship.

“At the far end is a stone fireplace. At its left a secret panel gives entrance to a winding stairway in the chimney, and either to Mr Briggs' grill room below or to Madame's boudoir above, past the minstrels' balcony, one within the holy of holies of this family can go.

“The huge rudder of the schooner 15 feet long and with its massive iron pivot and chains weighing nearly 1,400 pounds was not thrown onto the junk heap, but has been given the most conspicuous place in the grill room. It serves as chimney breast, over a glorious fireplace. At the other end of the grill, directly opposite the fireplace, is a huge anchor, a gift of a friend, J. K. Stewart. This cute toy weighs a ton and a quarter.”

R. M. Brinkerhoff, of the New York Evening Mail, has bought himself a studio and living apartment in the big structure which Penrhyn Stanlaws is building on 67th Street and Central Park, West. Each tenant owns, in fee simple,—whatever that is— the right and title to his own apartment with trespass rights in the public halls, elevators, and the sidewalk fronting.

Brink is now shoppng to furnish his new home. He is to have Chinese rugs, Turkish corners, French pastry, German fried, Swedish massage, and Bull Durham, while the decoration will be largely Hungarian goulash and all very Chile con carne.


Clifton Meek, formerly cartoonist with the New York Evening Journal, is now in business for himself, and is connected with “The Silent Partner,” a “magazine of inspiration” published in New York.

An exhibition of original cartoons by Clifford K. Berryman, of the Washington Star, has been attracting many visitors to the Corcoran galleries of the capitol city. It was the first time the gallery had ever placed on view a collection of drawings in black and white.

Among the best known of the pictures to be shown is the “Why Didn't I Think of That?” cartoon of Roosevelt, which shows him reading reports of President Wilson's first personal address to congress. This cartoon was reproduced all over the country, subsequent to its publication in The Star. Another famous cartoon in the collection is the “To Go or Not to Go” commemoration of Roosevelt's retirement from the White House on March 4, 1909. The picture shows the famous Berryman Teddy bear on the steps of the executive mansion, regarding with pensive gaze a large moving Van.

The Baltimore convention of the democratic party in 1912, the German submarine controversy, Roosevelt's trip abroad and in Africa, the Mexican controversy, “Uncle Joe” Cannon and Speaker Clark, all come in for their share of the friendly satire of Mr. Berryman's pen.


A fine point in newspaper law has developed in connection with the alleged misuse by Dr. John R. Davis, of Mena, Ark., of an “Everett True” cartoon by Condo, of the Newspaper Enterprise Association. The cartoon, as originally drawn, showed the redoubtable Everett belaboring with his umbrella the head of a congressman who, instead of attending to business, spent most of his time at pink teas.

Dr. Davis, who was a congressional candidate in a hot primary fight in his district, altered the cartoon by lettering in the name of his opponent and distributed it in circular form, the attorneys for the syndicate claim. The N. E. A., therefore, has brought action against him for the misuse of a copy righted cartoon.

Mutt and Jeff, in the opinion of the Russian embassy at Washington, are not fit companions for the czar of Russia. Followers of Bud Fisher's cartoons will remember that the czar was commandeered by Mutt and Jeff and introduced into the mysteries of draw poker. The Russian embassy, however, didn’t like the idea, and made a protest. As a result the fact was disclosed that it really wasn’t the czar, after all, who accompanied the comic-strip celebrities to America, but the czar's valet in disguise.


Mrs. John Barr McCutcheon, the mother of John T. McCutcheon, the Chicago Tribune cartoonist, George Barr McCutcheon, the novelist, and Benjamin F. McCutcheon, died recently at her home in Chicago.


The first gun in what is to be a nationwide fight against moving-picture censorship has been fired by Charles R. Macauley, formerly cartoonist of the New York World. Mr. Macauley's shot is in the nature of the cartoon presented herewith, and showing a “holier-than-thou” individual veiling a screen with a banner which bears the legend “Pre-publication Censorship.” This, with others, will be shown in the cinema theaters throughout the country as part of an organized crusade.


H. T. Webster, of the New York Globe, and R. M. Brinkerhoff, of the New York Evening Mail, have been spending a week in Washington, D. C., getting acquainted with the celebrities in order that their cartoons hereafter will bear a semblance to the truth. They have been studying President Wilson, Secretary Baker, and others at first hand. The trip was made in Web’s new touring car.


Jack Flanagan from Australia was John R. Flanagan, who soon became one of the great pen-and-ink illustrators of the 1920s. He drew many illustrations for Collier's, including the popular Fu Manchu series following J. C. Coll. Flanagan was just 21 when he came to New York, having already established himself as a newspaper cartoonist back in Australia. Fun to see him right at the start of his career.
I found the Slivers/Chaplin bit riveting, and went and looked up the backstory on it. Fascinating. That bit alone was worth the price of admission, today, and I greatly enjoy these "What the Cartoonists Are Doing" bits.
It is rare and amazing to see Chaplin commented upon so near to the beginning of his rise to immortality. Here he is still a mere mortal, and a target for carping comments. On the other hand, I have never heard of poor old Slivers. Lost in the obscurity of the past, after a tragic end. I have contemplated suicide many times — who hasn't? — but one thing that has always stopped me is the thought that I might regret it later. Who knows what successes may have awaited Slivers if he had stuck around?
I, too, really enjoy these slice of life glimpses of the cartooning world, so long ago. I have always loved the "really old" strips, so it is an added enjoyment to read about the cartoonists too. Thank you, Allan!
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Friday, May 22, 2020


Wish You Were Here, from Jim Davis

Here's another Garfield postcard, this one is coded #P5530, from Argus Communications. I'm not a big Garfield fan, but IMHO this is one of the funniest postcards ever.


I hate Garfield, but it should be noted that it is the last comic strip creation that generated a huge lot of fans and licensing, a fad, of sorts. At the current pace, it may be the final one as well.
I only read the "Garfield minus Garfield" blog. That's enough Garfield for me.
Some decades ago, at the height of the Garfieldmania, there was a TV special that centered on Davis. He not only offered a guided tour of his empire, but showcased the main artists who assisted on the strip (showing exactly what they did), produced product art, worked on the animated specials, etc. He came off as enthusiastic about their work, impressed with their talent, and frankly proud to show off these guys working for him. Maybe it was just exceptionally adroit PR, but I've had a level of respect for Garfield ever since.
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Thursday, May 21, 2020


Magazine Cover Comics: Petty-June at College

Fish, the great British cartoonist, had a long relationship with the American Weekly, producing quite a few series over about a decade and a half. Here's an early offering, Petty-June at College. This one is about a vacuous little John Held-style flapper-deb. The series appeared on American Weekly covers from November 18 1928 to February 10 1929, and was popular enough that the character returned for a second series, Petty-June Does Europe.

I think Fish did tremendous work, and I'm surprised no retrospective book of her cartoons and illustrations has been produced. Am I alone in my admiration for her work?


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