Friday, July 19, 2024

 

Toppers: Dinny's Family Album

 

As a kid I was absolutely fascinated with dinosaurs, reading everything I could get my hands on about them. I recall elementary school teachers being gobsmacked when I could properly pronounce their names and reel off all sorts of information about them when other kids were barely past sounding out the adventures of Dick and Jane.  

I guess I was far from the only one, because evidently lots of kids loved Alley Oop, even in its pre-time travel days. Of course there were actually no cavemen in the time of the dinosaurs, but we kids in the know were willing to look the other way about that inconvenient fact, just so long as we could fantasize ourselves meeting up with these amazing monstrosities of prehistory. 

V.T. Hamlin must have understood that fascination, because some of his Sunday toppers were on the subject of real dinosaurs. Dinny's Family Album, the first and longest-running of Alley Oop's toppers, was a panel devoted to actual information about actual dinosaurs, and boy oh boy, I would have eaten it up if I was growing up in the 1930s. 

Dinny's Family Album debuted along with the new Alley Oop Sunday page on September 9 1934*, and ran until February 7 1937**. It was replaced by more prosaic topper fare, perhaps because Hamlin had run out of interesting dinosaurs to cover after two and a half years. 


* Source: Buffalo Times.

* Source: NEA Archives.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

 

Obscurity of the Day: Ain't It?

 

Even though Gus Mager had a very popular series going with his 'monk' strips in the New York Hearst papers, he was constantly trying out other ideas. One very short-lived entry in this long list of experiments was Ain't It?, which had a lifespan comparing only slightly favorably to a mayfly's. This series, whose title is also the punchline, was extant from March 2 to March 10 1909 in the New York Journal*. 

* Source: Dave Strickler's New York Journal index.

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Monday, July 15, 2024

 

Obscurity of the Day: Alex in Wonderland

 






I've opined on the subject of the hapless Copley News Service here before, and no doubt will again in the future as long as I can still bang on a keyboard and dig up samples of their wares. But let's recap: Copley owned a chain of newspapers, primarily in California, and starting in 1955 they began trying to syndicate some of their features to other papers. 

Sounds okay, right? But that statement deserves some caveats. First, at least in regard to comics it should be pointed out that much of what Copley syndicated, in fact almost all of it, did not appear in their own newspapers. And second, the syndicate was downright spectacular in its ability to NOT sell features. So, taking those two facts into account, I am left with head in hands, sobbing quietly, wondering what the point of it all was. If you didn't want these features for your own papers, and the client list for the features hovered very close to zero, what was the point? Surely you couldn't have done it JUST to drive comics historians crazy looking for this stuff!

I'll be okay. Just give me a moment to dry my eyes, and we'll talk about today's Copley obscurity, Alex in Wonderland. This strip by Bob Cordray is about a kid, Alex, trying to understand the perplexing adult world. Alex's parents are MIA, so his main foil is his uncle, who goes by 'Unk'. The gags, as you can see above, are light social and political commentary, and Alex is the Candide-type who generally starts the ball rolling by asking a question, giving Unk the excuse to deliver the punchline. 

The strip is by no means fabulous, but Bob Cordray's wonderfully simplified art style and quick, pithy gags puts it over, giving readers an instantly digested seconds-long daily experience. 

Cordray had a long-running strip before this called Smidgens, but it died when the syndicate (National Newspaper Syndicate) shut down in 1975. A few of National's remaining properties went to United Feature, but they apparently took a pass on Smidgens. Left without a meal ticket, Cordray started shopping around and ended up creating this new feature for Copley. 

The strip seems to have debuted on April 5 1976, though its only known client at the time, the Chicago-based Daily Calumet, started it a day late and dropped it after a two-week tryout. Which is about par for the course with Copley strips. 

Playing to an audience of practically none, Alex In Wonderland soldiered on until 1980, ending on June 14*. Copley continued to offer the strip in reprints at least through 1986, but for some bizarre reason they offered it only as a weekly. Figure out the logic of that, I dare you. 

* Source: San Pedro News-Pilot.

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Sunday, July 14, 2024

 

Wish You Were Here, from Wallace Morgan

 

Making his first postcard appearance here, Wallace Morgan was with the New York Herald in 1907 when this series of Fluffy Ruffles cards was published in a joint venture between the Herald and the Kent Press. The beautiful and stylish Fluffy Ruffles was a marketing bonanza for the Herald; she appeared in a long series of magazine cover comics, plus paper dolls, chocolates, cigars, etc. Morgan only proved art for the first six months of the feature, but also produced this series of postcards.

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Saturday, July 13, 2024

 

One Shot Wonders: Little Fellows, New York Evening Journal 1904


 Here's a group of one-shot gag cartoons from a 1904 issue of Hearst's New York Evening Journal. As was sometimes the case in these weekday groupings, these gags have a unifying theme -- one of the favorites subjects of early comics, kids. The top four cartoons are by William F. Marriner, the bottom two are by T.S. Allen. I nominate the Marriner cartoon in the upper right as the champion of the group. Nice lush inking, and the gag gave me a chuckle. Your mileage may vary.

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Friday, July 12, 2024

 

Selling It: The Joe E. Brown Grape-Nuts Club

 


Grape-Nuts, the cereal whose ingredients include neither grapes nor nuts, tastes like tree bark and will chip teeth if you don't let it soak in milk for an hour before choking it down. So imagine yourself as a Madison Avenue ad-man finding out that you're supposed to convince people to buy this stuff. Once you realize that New York skyscraper windows don't open and you can't escape the assignment through timely death, you accept that you actually have to come up with an ad campaign to sell war surplus shrapnel as food. 

Since you are one of those rare admen who has a conscience, you don't cook up a campaign claiming that this boxed gravel comes out the other end as gold bars. No, you do what desperate advertisers do when they want to make consumers buy a truly awful product -- you ignore the product entirely and merely associate it with something people do like. In the case of Grape-Nut Flakes, the ad-man called on one of the most well-liked fellows in Hollywood, Joe E. Brown, to shill for this goop. 

Brown was a major Hollywood star, and in the 1930s was instantly recognizeable to anyone living outside a hermit's cave. He was funny, he was friendly, and his image was squeaky clean. And best of all, his stardom in 1936 was starting to teeter a bit, and so he was open to the idea of plastering his puss all over the nation's newspapers, even if it was to sell horse-feed to humans. 

The Joe E. Brown Grape-Nuts Club was advertised in 1936 with a series of about a half-dozen or so comic strips that appeared both in colour Sunday comics sections and in black-and-white weekday paper editions. The ads offered a lapel pin, plus photo or ring, to any kid who could convince their parents to buy a single box. But of course once the kids were in the club, presumably more goodies would be offered in exchange for additional box tops. 

The art is very nice, and my guess is that it is provided by Darrell McClure. However, I do notice that the faces often have a decided Milton Caniff flavour to them, even if the rest of the art doesn't reflect that sensibility particularly. So c'mon you art-spotters, offer your opinions. Are we looking at Caniff, McClure, or am I way out in the weeds here?

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Hello Allan- The way you describe poor old Grape-Nuts leads me to believe you've had some sort of harrowing, life changing experience with them, or you're secretly in the employ of Kellogg's.
There's lots of other famous faces employed as cartoon spokesmen, polluting depression era comic sections, including Dizzy Dean, Buck Jones, Jack Benny, Lou Gehrig, even Our Gang did pitches. Then there were long series with real life personalities like Melvin Purvis or Frank Hawks, which you might think trivialises whatever seriousness they expected to have in said real life.
There is a touch of Caniff in the above strips, but Caniff DID do ad comics for some products, "Ben-Gay" being one, and other big name cartoonists moonlighted in the dark shadows of ad strips, like Afonsky doing "Ol' Judge Robbins" for Prince Albert, and Bil Dwyer for "Nestle's Nest".
 
But . . . but . . . but Allan, I used to LIKE Grape-Nuts. And I bet I still would if I could find them. The strange texture is a big part of their appeal. You can use them to scour the inside of your mouth, and I mean that kindly. The flavour is unique, but I'd need to have some again to conjour up the words. So watch your words, bud!
As for Joe E. Brown, you didn't mention his extra wide mouth. Great Honk! But these strips do depict his kind nature, and great resourcefulness. Have you ever heard of Clark Gable stopping a runaway horse? Did John Wayne ever combine peaches and Grpe Nuts out on Martin's Farm. Did Wayne ever even go out there? You can see that Joe E. spends his time hanging around the grocery store on Main Street, too! A reg'lar feller!
 
As a crunchy granola fan, I also have a soft spot for that hard cereal. But Grape-Nuts Flakes are different. Same flavor but in regular get-soggy-in-milk flake format. I knew that the movie mentioned at the bottom, "Earthworm Tractor" was based on a series of short stories from the Saturday Evening Post. I didn't realize there were over 100 of those stories though.
 
Errata -
It wasn't "Ben Gay" that Caniff did the ads for-it was Postum. I somehow confused in my mind the ad strip bad guys "Mr. Coffee Nerves" for "Peter Pain", the weird little sadist in the Ben Gay ads of the 1940s.
 
Joe E.Brown inspired a lot of Daws Butler's voiced,most notably Lippy the Lion (1962) and (VERY heavily amplified) PETER..POTAMUS (1963-1966).Steve J>C
 
Another comic advertiser for Grape Nuts would be Canada's Jimmie Frise, also from this period in the mid-1930s. He had a whole series based on the character "Ernie Energy" because of all the pep you get from eating them. Some can be seen at my site here: https://gregandjim.ca/?s=grape+nuts
 
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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 10

 



September 21 to 23 1911. And unless you have access to the Pittsburg Leader, you'll never know if that lion ate poor Bobby, because this is the end of our series!

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That was the most ridiculous, preposterous thing I have ever read.
Thank you.
 
The boy must have scampered away once again… after all, he went on to become a big star for Vitagraph… “with pretty girls galore and a band of famous frolickers in a line of comedies that are screams”.
 
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Tuesday, July 09, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 9

 



September 18 to 20, 1911

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Monday, July 08, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 8

 



September 14 to 16, 1911

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Sunday, July 07, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 7

 




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Saturday, July 06, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 6

 




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This kid can’t even take a leak without falling into disaster!! Johnny Hazard would be the only adult that can keep up with this breakneck pace
 
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Friday, July 05, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 5

 




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Thursday, July 04, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 4

 




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Wednesday, July 03, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 3

 




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The other day, I was rewatching the 1956 cartoon "The Faithful Burro and the Old Sourdough" about a uranium prospector being menaced by Indians and thought how odd that well into the 20th century, pop culture still portrayed present-day Indians as savages chasing whites with tomahawks. Here's another example. The trope even turned up in a 1969 "Lucy Show" episode. I wonder when it was finally put to rest?
 
The correct title of the cartoon that Doug remembers as "The Faithful Burro and the Old Sourdough" is "Uranium Blues", a Farmer Al Falfa Cinemascope Terrytoon. It was the final theatrical cartoon for Farmer Al, who had been making cartoons since 1915.
 
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Tuesday, July 02, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 2

 




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Now, that is sure a cliffhanger.
 
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Monday, July 01, 2024

 

The First Adventure Comic Strip: Bobby the Boy Scout, Day 1

 



For Hogan's Alley magazine issue #10, published around the turn of the century, I wrote an article tracing the origins of the newspaper adventure comic strip. Starting from what are often thought of as the firsts, Buck Rogers and Tarzan (which in an amazing coincidence started on the same day in 1929) the article worked the true origin backward in time. 

Any serious comic strip fan can probably name a few precursors to these popular strips, but I like to think that I surprised one and all by tracing the form back almost two full decades to 1911. It was on August 21 1911 that the Pittsburg Leader, a comparatively minor paper in that city, offered its readers a new homegrown comic strip, Bobby the Boy Scout. The Leader probably couldn't afford much syndicated material, so they picked a fellow out of the art bullpen and dumped the job in his lap. F.E. Johnston was a cipher to me then, but Alex Jay has since fleshed out his bio here in an Ink-Slinger Profile. As a cartoonist he was no more than adequate, and working at a second rate paper in Pittsburgh for most of his career ensured that his name would be forgotten in cartooning lore. His important contribution, unheralded in his own time and instantly forgotten, would be hidden in the microfilm record for the next eighty years. 

It was pure serendipity that prompted its rediscovery. I was in Pittsburgh on other business and carved out a half day to visit the Pittsburgh Public Library. My primary target was to view the microfilm of the Philadelphia Inquirer. I had already indexed the early years of the paper in the State Library at Harrisburg, but I found that the microfilmer of that version had consistently left comic sections off the microfilm after about 1916. I hoped that the version housed in Pittsburgh would include those later Sunday sections.  

As it turned out, this library had a copy of the same version of the Philadelphia Inquirer microfilm. Disappointed but with a few free hours on my hands, I decided to do some spot-checking of the modest selection of papers the library had on microfilm. I spent a lot of time, mostly wasted, on the major Pittsburgh papers, finding little of interest in them. Then just for the heck of it, I pulled out a few representative reels of minor Pittsburgh papers, including the Leader. And there it was, this very unusual comic strip about a Boy Scout. It was immediately obvious that this was no typical comic strip of the 1910s, but rather one that was based on blood-and-thunder dime novels and cliffhanger movie serials. Little did he know it but Mr. Johnston had created a new genre of comic strips, one that wouldn't get rolling outside the pages of the Pittsburg Leader for many years. 

Bobby the Boy Scout is not an outstanding adventure strip by any means, but it does pre-figure the rules for the genre. It is a story with a sustained narrative from day to day, it has characters confronted with real perils, and it is not played for laughs but is intended as a serious story. It even goes the normal adventure strip one better in that Johnston had a self-imposed rule that there must be a cliff-hanger situation at the end of practically every single strip. While that makes the story absurdly melodramatic at times, and outright ludicrous on occasion, you have to doff your hat to his ingenuity. 

What is also amazing about Bobby the Boy Scout is its longevity and consistency. In an era when the typical daily strip ran its course in a matter of months or a few years, and many still weren't dailies at all but just ran on miscellaneous weekday schedules, Johnston's strip ran over six years as a true daily. And its end, on November 21 1917, may have only been because Johnston's health was failing. He would die a little over a year later. 

In Hogan's Alley I was only able to show a few examples of the strip, and they had to be run at very small size. Not much for readers to sink their teeth into. I did make some quite decent photocopies off the microfilm back then, and recently came upon them in the stacks. So now after just a short wait of 20-plus years, I'd like to present to you the first month of Bobby the Boy Scout, which will be run here over the next ten days. Because the captions are quite hard to read on these copies, I have added better quality printed captions underneath them.

 

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Just a bit of unnecessary context-- Pittsburgh native Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in America at the time, funded many expeditions to the western states in search of the most spectacular dinosaur fossils they could find. In 1899, they found a new species of long-necked saurapod that was officially named Diplodocus carnegii. Carnegie's Pittsburgh museum put it on display in 1907, and it quickly became an object of civic pride. Nicknamed "Dippy," casts of the dinosaur skeleton were quickly made and exhibited at museums around the world. Our Pittsburgh hero naming his dog after a long-extinct dinosaur is not as random as it seems!
 
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Sunday, June 30, 2024

 

Wish You Were Here, from Gene Carr

 

Here's a Gene Carr postcard, issued in 1907 by the Rotograph Company. Some cards of this series were topical cards for various holidays, but this one simply celebrates boyhood summertime fun. This card is designated 242/7 in practically invisible red ink at the lower left hand corner.

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Saturday, June 29, 2024

 

One-Shot Wonders: The Bully and the Beasts by Clarence Rigby, 1895

 

By 1895 the New York Herald did have colour printing capability, but they tended to use it for things besides comics. So here then is a Clarence Rigby strip from the Herald of August 4 1895, run in glorious black and white. This strip offers a fascinating glimpse into the still-evolving conventions for comic strips. I'm not going to tell you to what it is I'm referring; you'll have to read the awful captions to figure it out. Great drawings, though!

I suppose there is a question worth posing -- was the convention being broken here pretty much established by 1895, and Rigby was just a little slow on the uptake? I'm tending to think he might be a little behind the curve...

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Well gee, maybe today it's not encouraged to have animals tortured in such awful ways. Do I win the prize?
 
I'm guessing that the convention that is not being followed is the layout. Today, the first four panels would be stretched across the top row, and the next four underneath. He has the second panel under the first, the fourth under the third, and so on.
 
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Friday, June 28, 2024

 

Obscurity of the Day: The Red Creek School

 

There were plenty of kids caught trying to play hooky from school in the early newspaper comics, so when the great George Frink cast his eye on that hoary old plotline, he decided to shuffle the deck. What if those kids, rather than playing hooky, kept the schoolteacher from getting to the school? Then not going to school is no crime -- there's no school to go to!

George Frink was the undeniable king of the Chicago Daily News cartoonists, and he created many weekday series there from 1901 to 1915. The Red Creek School was just a passing fancy, lasting only from May 22 to July 24 1906, but it had Frink's signature boisterous and subversive energy. In each strip the boys, dubbed the Redskins Three, put their combined intellects up against that of the teacher, Professor Whack, and inevitably came up the victors each time.

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This looks like the format you see in a lot of Beano/Dandy/Knockout comic books put out in England throughout the first half of the 20th century.
 
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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

 

Toppers: Flag Facts and Fables

 

Before World War II it seemed like the Chicago Tribune had the Midas touch when it came to introducing new Sunday comics features. After World War II things took a 180 degree turn, and everything they tried fell flat on its face. Wild Rose, Ned Handy, Surgeon Stone, John West, Dawn O'Day ... the list of failures goes on and on. But there's no mystery in what had changed. Joseph Medill Patterson, the guiding hand behind the greatest pre-war Tribune comic strips died in 1946, leaving the shepherding of new features to his hand-picked successor, Mollie Slott. Unfortunately she just didn't have his unerring grasp of what newspaper readers wanted to see on the comics page. Patterson seemed to know what readers wanted even if those readers themselves did not yet know what that was.

Slott had been heading the syndicate for almost eight years before she could finally tally a hit Sunday strip, and it was a very unlikely success, too. The Old Glory Story debuted in February 1953 in what was originally slated to be a limited run series. Artist Rick Fletcher and writer Athena Robbins were going to tell the story of the creation of the U.S. flag and that was to be the end of it. But features editors really took to the strip and by popular demand it was turned into an ongoing series encompassing the complete saga of the founding of the country. The strip then branched out far and wide to tell other dramatic stories from American history. 

The strip was originally formatted only for half pages but once its popularity grew the syndicate knew that a third page option was going to be needed to keep clients happy. On December 13 1953* the third tier of the half page strip was changed to a topper, Flag Facts and Fables. This allowed papers to drop the topper to get their third page option. 

The topper offered factoids about early US flags, state flags, and military flags. This was a naturally somewhat limited subject, and after about a year it was decided that The Old Glory Story would thenceforth be offered only in the third-page configuration. Flag Facts and Fables was last included on November 21 1954.

*Source: Topper running dates from Syracuse Post-Standard.

 



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Monday, June 24, 2024

 

Obscurity of the Day: Fun with Fenwick

 

Ian Fenwick was an accomplished British cartoonist who in the 1930s was published in Punch and other top flight venues. When Britain went to war Fenwick went all in, campaigning in North Africa and Italy while still producing wonderfully droll cartoons now on mostly military subjects. 

His fame didn't really spread to the U.S., but somehow the editor of Hearst's Pictorial Weekly got wind of his work and liked it very much. The Sunday magazine insert began a series of weekly cartoon pages featuring his work, titled Fun With Fenwick, debuting in their August 6 1944 issue. 

Tragically, Fenwick never got to enjoy his new notoriety across the pond. At the time Pictorial Weekly was preparing to show off his work he was behind enemy lines assisting the French resistance. He was killed in action one day after his first appearance in the magazine. 

Due to the circumstances of his death, the news took awhile to filter through to the Hearst people in New York. The weekly Fun With Fenwick ended with the September 3 1944 issue, and perhaps due to wartime secrecy, there was no explanation offered for the feature's disappearance. 

Here is a good capsule bio of Fenwick which highlights his lovely covers for some P.G. Wodehouse novels. It also provides links to more detailed information.

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Sunday, June 23, 2024

 

Wish You Were Here, from Harry Hershfield

 

Harry Hershfield did only one postcard series that I know of, and it featured his famous creation Abie the Agent. Each card offered a cartoon of Abie along with a gag using his trademark New York Jewish argot. For reasons unknown these cards are quite hard to find. Maybe because they fail to offer a copyright to International Feature Service?

The "Kabibble Kard"s were published by the Illustrated Postcard and Novelty Company of New York. The cards are undated, but based on the cartoon of Abie, I would definitely place them in the 1910s, as Abie's look changed a bit by the 1920s. This particular card is marked "658/2" whatever that means. Series 658 card 2 perhaps?

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That is a rare card, and that Abie is definitely the earliest version of him.

It must have been painful for him to go around with a twisted foot like that.
 
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Saturday, June 22, 2024

 

One-Shot Wonders: A Frank Nankivell Page Border, 1897

 

The inside pages of 1890s newspaper comic sections were often full of written jokes with the comics artfully, or inartfully, scattered about the page. This example is an interior page from an early New York Journal Sunday comic section, January 3 1897. Frank Nankivell offers an impressive page border with dozens of cartoon figures cavorting about. The large upper middle strip is by someone who, I swear this is what I see, signing himself Badfish. The middle two panel strip is unsigned. The panel cartoon at the bottom is quite badly printed, but I think it might be by E.W. Kemble. 

As was normally the case with these interior pages, only limited colours were used. In this case it seems to be two - green and red. Not using black as one of your colours might have seemed like a good idea, but I doubt that even when hot off the press with nice white paper that pages like this were easy on the eyes. Having yellowed over the century plus since, I had a heck of a time teasing out the detail from this page to make it even somewhat legible, so apologies for it being hard to read.

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"Badfish" is probably Bodfish (I only know the name because there's a town in California called Bodfish, after someone named that.)
 
Don't you think the second cartoon might be by Bodfish as well? Both are very skilled in facial expressions and otherwise. He might have been a specialist in snapping tree gags.
 
Is this the first "Man stranded on a desert island with a single tree" cartoon?
 
On further investigation, this must be New York artist William P. Bodfish, of whose art there are numerous examples out there, e.g.:
https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/william-bodfish-1865-1894-american-arrival-waterc-6-c-0ce46c1a7e

He seemed to use again and again the same composition, going diagonally from front to back, usually left to right.
 
Thanks for the ID!
 
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Friday, June 21, 2024

 

Obscurity of the Day: What's The Use?

 

Hard for me to believe that we've not offered George Westcott a moment in the spotlight yet. He penned a goodly number of series for the New York Evening Telegram from 1905 to 1911. Oh, well, I suppose that would be the reason ... finding tearsheets of Evening Telegram material is like discovering a double-yolk egg -- it happens, but it's a mighty rare occurrence. The paper's material was offered in syndication, but it is so rarely seen I'd guess that there was little effort put into marketing. 

I don't know much about Mr. Westcott. A few tidbits have surfaced, though -- in 1905 when he debuted with the Telegram he was supposedly just 19 years old. He graduated from Yale with honours. He claims to have penned and published a duplicate of Charles Dana Gibson's famed "The Eternal Question" before Mr. Gibson did his. All these factoids come from a promotional piece done for Evening Telegram features in 1907, the only bit of marketing I've ever seen. 

Today we look at What's The Use?, an inspired bit of off-the-wall slapstick and wordplay that should whet anyone's appetite for more of Mr. Westcott's offerings. Sadly, this is the only decent sample I have to show -- the rest in my files are blurry microfilm prints. In each installment the unnamed fella in the stove-pipe hat corners some unlucky mark and proceeds to rhyme his way into their bad graces, generally ending up physically assaulted. The feature ran on occasional weekdays from April 25 to September 12 1910.


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The Buffalo Courier Express, May 26, 1955, carries his obituary. His full name was George Edwin Westcott, Jr.. Between 1941 and 1955, he was the editor and publisher of the Waterville Times (Waterville being a small town in Oneida County, in north-central New York). The obituary mentions work he did for the New York Herald ("where he turned out 600 sketches of Wall Street figures in the early 1900s") and also notes he did work for Judge. Waterville was his home town, having been born there on April 13, 1881. His WWI draft registration card lists him as a commercial artist, working on his own account and for R.H. Macy & Co. Apparently, in 1902, he did win a prize in elementary anatomy at Yale's School of Fine Arts. The 1920 Yale Alumni directory (available on archive.org) lists him as being a non-graduate of the School of Fine Arts, class of 1902, having attended 1901-1902.
 
Thanks for the bio EOCostello!
 
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