Friday, July 30, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: Magic Eye

 

Most of you know that I don't track newspaper activity features, generally, even if there are cartoon elements. However, in the case of Magic Eye the only real activity is focusing your eyes, so I give it a pass.

Magic Eye pictures, which when focused on just right reveal a hidden 3-D cartoony image, was a big fad in the 1990s. I suppose the high point of that fad was the infamous episode of Seinfeld wherein Mr. Pitt is so intent on finding the hidden picture in one that he misses an important meeting:

 
 
Magic Eye pictures (more scientifically known as an autostereograms) were popularized by a company called N.E. Thing Enterprises, headed by Tom Baccei and Cheri Smith. Initially creating the optical illusions for ads, the business quickly branched out into posters, books, and, in 1994, a Sunday comics feature.  Baccei flew the coop in 1995, looking at sales figures that showed the fad had run its course, but Smith hung in there with the concept for the long haul. 

Smith was most likely in charge of the weekly Magic Eye newspaper series from its inception, though until December 6 1998 it offered no credits. Since Andrews-McMeel published the books, Universal Press Syndicate was a shoe-in to distribute the feature, which debuted on June 5 1994*. At first the feature was 'hosted' by Wizzy Nodwig, a magical sprite of some sort. With no role except to appear in the corner of the feature, he was mercifully retired on October 1 1996, the same date on which the feature title was changed from just Magic Eye to Magic Eye Illusions

Credits were added to the feature starting December 6 1998. (It should be noted that by now the feature was appearing in very few comic sections, the fad now long over). From that date on Cheri Smith always got lead credit, but starting on that date Bill Clark and Andy Paraskevas were offered co-authorship. I have no idea what role these co-creators actually play -- are they the technical folks who do the computer wizardry part, or are they involved more in the art end of the feature? In what little I can find on these co-authors on the interwebs, it appears that they were likely more involved in the graphics end. 

Clark only got a credit until January 31 1999, but Andy Paraskevas, who was a part-owner of the business, was credited through September 5 1999. After that Cheri Smith received full credit until March 23 2003, when Dawn Zimiles was added. Zimiles received a co-credit for the next ten years, ending March 24 2013 (yes, believe it or not, the feature was STILL running). Two years later, though, Zimiles returns for a second co-credit stint, from April 26 2015 through December 24 2017*. In finding these dates in the New York Sunday News, one of the rare newspapers still carrying it, I also found that material was being recycled by now. I don't know if it was all reprints (hard to care that much, y'know) or if some was still new. 

The Sunday News finally dropped it in 2019 and I haven't been able to track it after that. However, according to the Magic Eye website the feature is still available. 
 
There have been a slew of Magic Eye books (including, bizarrely, one focusing on Nostradamus), but the only one specifically advertised as containing images from the newspaper feature is titled Magic Eye: Have Fun in 3-D; oddly, I can find no evidence that this book was actually published.

For an interesting history of the Magic Eye fad, I recommend The Hidden History of Magic Eye.

*Source: Quad City Times
* Sources for credits: Fort Myers News-Press and New York Daily News

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wow how deep and old topic research where you highlight the 3d fun oddly and recommend the hidden history of magic eye peshawari chappal
 
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Thursday, July 29, 2021

 

Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The 300 for 1985 -- Overall Results

For the year 1985 we did not lose any papers but 5 papers did not have the information available for the January 1985 survey so for this survey we have 281 papers available out of the 300.

In the Top 30 we have one strip returning to the Top 10 and one classic strip entering the Top 30. Doonesbury returns after its 22 month hiatus and with 17 more papers than in the 1982 survey it is now number 6. Because of Doonesbury’s reappearance, many strips that appeared in the top 30 fell one position.

Eek and Meek entering the Top 30, and falling out of the Top 30 are Berry’s World and Nancy. Readers are not liking the direction the strip has been going since Ernie Bushmiller’s passing.

Gasoline Alley was the biggest mover, moving up 2 spots. Several moved up one position. One of these was Garfield, moving up to number 3, knocking Beetle Bailey down to 4. Garfield gained 15 papers this year and now has 187 papers. Since we began The 300 with 1978 the top three has been the same: Peanuts, Blondie and Beetle Bailey. This is the first change in the Top 3. Will Garfield pass Blondie or even knock Peanuts off the top spot? We will have to find out as time goes on. With Doonesbury returning we now have 11 strips over the 100 paper mark.

Title

Place

Movement

+/- Papers

Total Papers

Peanuts

1

Same

5

213

Blondie

2

Same

5

205

Garfield

3

Up 1

15

187

Beetle Bailey

4

Down 1

0

186

Hagar the Horrible

5

Same

5

142

Doonesbury

6

Returning

17

140

Family Circus

7

Down 1

3

124

Wizard of Id

8

Down 1

3

113

Frank and Ernest

9

Up 1

7

104

B.C.

10

Down 2

3

103

Hi and Lois

11

Down 3

1

101

Shoe

12

Down 1

5

98

Andy Capp

13

Down 1

6

97

Born Loser

14

Down 1

2

87

Dennis the Menace

15

Down 1

6

86

For Better or For Worse

16

Down 1

4

79

Bloom County

17

Up 1

11

77

Mary Worth

18

Down 2

-1

72

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith

19

Down 2

-1

69

Cathy

20

Same

9

66

Marmaduke

21

Down 2

3

61

Herman

22

Down 1

3

58

Rex Morgan

23

Down 1

1

55

Ziggy

24

Down 1

4

54

Marvin

25

Same

5

53

Tank McNamara

26

Down 2

2

51

Gasoline Alley

27

Up 2

1

45

Winthrop

28

Down 1

0

45

Heathcliff

29

Down 2

-2

43

Eek and Meek

30

Entering

1

42

 

 Like we did with the last year survey we will see if the universal comic section continues to grow.

 Top 2 strips – 170 (Up 8)

Top 3 strips - 138 (Down 3)

Top 4 strips – 116 (Up 10)

Top 5 strips – 72 (Up 9)

Top 6 strips – 47 (Up 18)

Top 7 strips – 26 (Up 8)

Top 8 strips – 15 (Up 5)

Top 9 strips – 6 (Down 2)

Top 10 strips – 2 (Down 1)

Top 11 strips – 2 (Down 1)

Top 12 strips – 2 (Up 1)

Top 13 strips – 1 (Same)

Top 14 strips – 1 (Same)

Top 15 strips – 1 (Up 1)

 Again, the Austin American Statesman had the most universal section running the Top 15 strips. The Tampa Tribune now has the Top 12 strips. The Top 8 had the greatest increase. We will see what will happen next year.

 Here are the remaining strips that were running in the Top 300 this year.

41 – Alley Oop (-2), Far Side (12), Nancy (-3)

40 – Berry’s World (-7), Funky Winkerbean (1)

37 – Bugs Bunny (-1)

36 – Dick Tracy (-1)
35 – Amazing Spider-Man (-6)

34 – Tiger (-2)

32 - Judge Parker (0), Lockhorns (+6)

29 - Mother Goose and Grimm (R), Tumbleweeds (-3)

28 – Archie (-2)

27 – Sally Forth (+1)

26 - Buz Sawyer (-2), Snake Tales (0)

25 - Kit N Carlyle (+2)

23 - Apartment 3-G (0), Phantom (+1)

22 - Broom Hilda (-2), Levy’s Law (+3), Steve Canyon (-4)

21 – Geech (+1)

20 - Mark Trail (-2)

19 – Captain Easy (-3)

18 - Dunagin’s People (-1), Great John L/Babyman (0), On The Fastrack (R), Redeye (-1), They’ll Do It Every Time (+1)

17 – Crock (-2)

16 – Hazel (0)

15 - Fred Basset (0), Steve Roper and Mike Nomad (-1)

14 - Can You Solve this Mystery? (R)

13 – Adam (R), Momma (-3), Small Society (-5)

12 - Donald Duck (-1), Mr. Men and Little Miss (-6), Motley's Crew (0), Mr. Tweedy (+1)

11 – Duffy (-4), Gil Thorp (0), Kuduz (0), Little Orphan Annie (-2), Rip Kirby (+1)

10 – Benchley (R), Brenda Starr (-1), Drabble (+1), Guindon (+1), Ryatts (0), John Darling (0)

9 - Animal Crackers (+1), Grin and Bear It (-5)

8 - Agatha Crumm (-1), Dondi (-1), Girls (0), Heart of Juliet Jones (-1), Miss Peach (-1), Neighborhood (0), Willy N Ethel (+1)

7 - Better Half (-2), Catfish (0), Conrad (-10), Elwood (-1), Graffiti (0), Muppets (-4), Rock Channel (R)

6 - Captain Vincible (-4), Fenton (-6), Flintstones (+1), Henry (-1), Love Is (-1), Moose Miller (0), Ripley’s Believe It Or Not (-1), Rose is Rose (R), There Oughta Be A Law (+1)

5 – Arnold (0), Gordo (+1), Hocus-Focus (0), Pavlov (-1), Winnie the Pooh (-2)

4 - A Little Leary, Boner’s Ark, Bringing Up Father, Ferd’Nand, Flash Gordon, Johnny Wonder, Laff-A-Day, Middle Ages, Our Fascinating Earth, Ponytail, Quigmans, Scamp, Smith Family, Winnie Winkle, Wright Angels

3 - Ask Shagg, Belvedere, Ben Wicks, Betty Boop & Felix, Bumgardner, Charlie, Clout St, Downstown, Good News Bad News, It’s Just A Game, McGonigle of the Chronicle, Nubbin, Rivets, Sam and Silo, Travels With Farley, Trudy

2 - According to Guinness, Amy, Bears In Love, Ben Swift, Big George, Dick And Jane, Dr. Smock, Eb & Flo, Health Capsules, Kidspot, Laugh Time, Mandrake the Magician, Mickey Mouse, Moon Mullins, Mr. Abernathy, Outcasts, Play Better Golf With Jack Nicklaus, Popeye, Sporting Life, Ug!, Vidiots, Word-A-Day

1 - Bottom's, Brick Bradford, Brother Juniper, Charlie Buggs, Ching Chow, Eyebeam, Full House, Furtree High, Gumdrop, Kaleb, Laffbreak, Mark Trail Outdoor Tips, Marvin and Melvin, Modesty Blaise, Murphy’s Law, Peter Principle, Pot-Shots, Quincy, Ribbons, Rudy, Salt Chuck, Secret Agent Corrigan, Sidelines, Stan Smith’s Tennis Class, Sylvia, That’s Jake, This Funny World, Wordplay

 

 

 

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

 

Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The 300 for 1985 -- Biggest Winners and Losers

The biggest gainer is a strip that has been out of the newspapers for the last 22 months; Doonesbury returns as a force to be reckoned with, gaining an impressive 17 papers over what he had when he went on vacation. This rise is in spite of the fact that Garry Trudeau now demanded that his daily strip can only be printed at a certain minimum size,  larger than the current comic strip daily. This caused a major change to the location of Doonesbury in newspapers – many editors took the opportunity to move it to the op-ed pages.

In other news, Garfield is continuing its climb, and The Far Side is finally picking up steam.

Here are the top gainers of the year:

Doonesbury - +17

Garfield – +15

Far Side - +12

Bloom County – +11

Cathy – +9

Frank and Ernest – +7

Andy Capp – +6

Dennis the Menace – +6

Lockhorns –+ 6

Peanuts – +5

Blondie – +5

Hagar the Horrible – +5

Shoe – +5

Marvin - +5

 Here are the biggest losers of the year.

Conrad – 10

Berry’s World – 7

Amazing Spider-Man – 6

Mr. Men and Little Miss – 6

Fenton – 6

Small Society – 5

Grin and Bear It - 5

 Adventures strip continue their downward spiral:

Alley Oop – 41 (-2)

Dick Tracy – 36 (-1)

Amazing Spider-Man – 35 (-6)

Buz Sawyer – 26 (-2)

Phantom – 23 (1)

Steve Canyon – 22 (-4)

Mark Trail – 20 (-2)

Captain Easy – 19 (-3)

Steve Roper and Mike Nomad – 15 (-1)

Can You Solve The Mystery (new strip) – 14 (14)

Little Orphan Annie – 11 (-2)

Rip Kirby – 11 (1)

Brenda Starr – 10 (-1)

Flash Gordon – 4 (0)

Mandrake The Magician – 2 (0)

Popeye – 2 (0)

Brick Bradford – 1 (0)

Modesty Blaise – 1 (0)

Secret Agent Corrigan – 1 (0)

Superman – 0 (0)

Tim Tyler’s Luck – 0 (0)

 Adventures strips that ended accounted for even more of an adventure strip bloodbath:

 Joe Palooka – 8

Star Wars – 7

Lone Ranger – 3

 The total slots devoted to adventure strips for 1984 was 274, down from 320. That is a 14.3% drop, which is less than last year but still a big drop.

 I have been asked how the soap strips are doing at this time. Not great but still better than the adventure strips. What will be happening is that over time after the adventure strips go the soaps will follow them.

Mary Worth – 72 (-1)

Rex Morgan – 55 (1)

Judge Parker – 32 (0)

Apartment 3-G – 23 (0)

Gil Thorp – 11 (0)

Dondi – 8 (-1)

Heart of Juliet Jones – 8 (-1)

Winnie Winkle – 4 (-1)

 As you can see the soap strips are holding up their own in 1984. There are other story strips but they fall into the comedy category like For Better or For Worse, Funky Winkerbean and Gasoline Alley. There are many strips that can fall into that category, but we would have to break them up to strip that run a story or theme for a week or run a story that can go up for three months or even longer. That is another category completely.

 

 

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

 

Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: The Three Hundred for 1985 -- Rookie Features

 Over the last few years of this survey we’ve seen a familiar story over and over. The top rookie strips start big and then they have big fall. This has happened to strips like Star Wars and The Muppets. We have also had strips like Winnie the Pooh which had a big start then would have a small fall and then take a long time to completely disappear.

 In most cases, strips that really have what it takes to get big and stay big tend to have a slow start and build over time. This has happened to Garfield, Bloom County and For Better or For Worse

 This year we have something that has not happened since we started this journey. The top two rookie strips would have long and successful careers. Back in 1977 we had Amazing Spider-man and Shoe, this year we have Mother Goose and Grimm and On The Fastrack taking the top two spots.

 Coming in third place is an adventure strip, Can You Solve The Mystery? This one goes down the well-worn path of starting big and then imploding.

 Here are the rookies of 1984:

 Mother Goose and Grimm – 29 (Tribune Media Services)

On The Fastrack – 18 (King Features)

Can You Solve The Mystery? – 14 (News America Syndicate)

Adam – 13 (Universal Press Syndicate)

Benchley – 10 (Register and Tribune Syndicate)

Rock Channel – 7 (Register and Tribune Syndicate)

Rose Is Rose – 6 (United Features)

Middle Ages – 4 (Washington Post Writers Group)

Quigmans – 3 (Los Angeles Times Syndicate)

Betty Boop & Felix – 3 (King Features)

Bumgardner – 3 (Los Angeles Times Syndicate)

 The rest of the new strips are as follows – Dick and Jane (2), Ug! (2), Bottom’s (1), Full House (1), Peter Principle (1), That’s Jake (1)

 Here are the 1985 stats for the most successful strips that started since our 300 series began,  strips that began between in 1977-1984:

 Garfield (1978) – 187

Shoe (1977) – 98

For Better or For Worse (1979) – 79

Bloom County (1980) – 77

Marvin (1982) - 53

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I always find these "three hundred" round-ups very interesting, but I was very surprised today to be reminded that "Mother Goose & Grimm" only began in 1984. This long-running strip has become so iconic, I don't think I could have guessed when it started... 1975? 1978? I feel like the Peters strip has been part of the daily comic pages forever! Well, as Jeffrey points out, it did catch on right away...
 
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Monday, July 26, 2021

 

News of Yore 1984: New Strip Dick and Jane Announced

 

Newspaper Readers Watching 'Dick and Jane' Run 

(from Editor and Publisher, March 24 1984)


 

 "Dick and Jane," a comic featuring the characters many American schoolchildren learned to read with, was introduced by the Register and Tribune Syndicate (RTS) earlier this month.

Charter newspapers for Chuck Roth's new strip include the Philadelphia Inquirer, Orlando Sentinel, Dallas Times Herald, Detroit News and Baltimore Evening Sun.

One Sunday episode reads, "See Dick eating a vanilla ice cream cone," "See Jane eating a chocolate ice cream cone," "See Sally eating a strawberry ice cream cone," then the dog Spot zooms by and swipes the ice cream from each of the three cones. The last panel states, "See Spot eating a Neapolitan ice cream cone."

"Even though the comic strip may be classified as adult-level humor, I have tried never to lose sight of the pure, simplistic approach," said Roth. "Actually, as the strip progressed, I felt like one of the kids! I guess emotionally there's still a child somewhere in all of us."

RTS president Dennis R. Allen found Roth after a more than seven-year search for the right  "Dick and Jane" cartoonist.

Roth is president and founder of the California-based Roth International. The design company works with over 200 firms worldwide under licensing contracts to apply Roth designs to products in more than 100 categories. Prior to that, he headed the Roth Greeting Card Company.

The cartoonist traces his artistic beginnings back to the third grade in Toronto, where he entered the Ontario Safety League poster contest and won second prize over thousands of other entrants. Roth later completed the art course at Central Technical School in Toronto, and, after moving to the U.S., attended the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles.


 Thanks to John Lund for sending the article. John, your email address is not working, my emails are bouncing back.

 

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So... Scott Foresman (or whoever by then owned the no longer used "Dick & Jane" books and characters) officially licensed this strip?
 
Very simple and very cute!
 
Hello Allan-
I myself was once taught with the aid of Dick and Jane,and their baby sister Sally. Though the adventures on offer were so imperceptible as to border on Zen, all these years later, are still vividly recalled. Don't believe "Dick and Jane" were a copyrighted trade mark as you can't control common forenames. The once familiar early readers were discontinued as their teaching method (Sight-Say) was abandoned in favor of more pop-fashionable theories (phonics). The short-lived Dick and Jane strip came along years after their schoolastic inspirations vanished from kiddies' sight.
Denny Allen missed the mark many times in the last yearsof the R&T, and if memory serves, this was one of the titles that was often thrown back at him as an example of his poor judgement.
 
I have a collection of the entire run of "Dick And Jane" from newspaper clippings and photocopies, and actually remember every gag, even down to their original publication dates. I have scanned all of them on my computer before, but consider making newer and bigger scans. Even though the "Dick And Jane" comic strip is not quite as strong in my mind nowadays, it still very much plays a big influence in my tastes for humor and characters today. When I first read this comic strip back in 1984, that was when I first discovered that I adore cute characters. I also draw comics as a hobby, and have drawn mainly adult male characters for years. But I am currently in a cute and gentle - and toning down - phase and now enjoy drawing small children. I began doing such a comic strip series in 2020. An old comic strip series that I worked on for years is now taking a back seat to this new comic strip series.
 
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Sunday, July 25, 2021

 

Wish You Were Here, from Rose O'Neill

 

Here's a Kewpies card by Rose O'Neill, published by the Gibson Art Company of Cincinnati. The card itself is undated but it was postally used in 1923. These are relatively expensive on the collector market, so you won't see many of them here.

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

 

Herriman Saturday: February 18, 1910

 

February 18 1910 -- Jim Jeffries, on a long theatrical tour to capitalize on his upcoming fight with Jack Johnson, is on his way back to California finally, presumably to begin training in earnest for the big bout. 

In panel 4 is Jack Kipper, who was a business partner of Jeffries, and a fight promoter himself.

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Friday, July 23, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: Cut-Outs

 


I know that paper doll features don't really qualify for listing under my self-imposed rules, but since there is a whole collector community for them, I generally look the other way and track them as long as they are credited and by known cartoonists. 

This particular paper doll feature is worth remembering if only because it represents some of the best work I know of to come from the pen of Larry Semon. Semon, of course, was a silent film comedy star, but he was also a cartoonist with a goodly number of credits under his belt. I've never been exactly overwhelmed by Semon's ink-slinging abilities, but on this lowly paper doll feature he really outdid himself. I've never seen the point of paper dolls, but even I (as a kid) might have been convinced to go through the motions in order to have my very own Punch and Judy show.

The feature I index as Cut-Outs seldom had that name except as a descriptive part of a larger title. It ran in the Philadelphia North American's comic section from July 4 1909 to November 9 1913, but there were many gaps in the series along the way. After the initial stint by Larry Semon it often got bumped from the section for very long periods, and the artists responsible were all over the map. Here's a rundown of the running dates and creators:

Dates

Cartoonist

6/6 – 8/1/09

Larry Semon

8/8/09

Margaret Hays

8/15 – 11/7/09

Larry Semon

11/14/09

Written (?) by Janet G. Edwards but art appears to be by Grace Weiderseim

11/21/09 – 4/17/10

Larry Semon

4/24/10

Margaret Hays

12/18/10

Marjorie P. Edwards

12/25/10 – 1/1/11

Margaret Hays

8/6/11

Marjorie P. Edwards

8/20/11

Margaret Hays

8/27/11

J.P. Collins

9/10 – 9/17/11

Margaret Hays

5/19/12

Marjorie P. Edwards

10/6/12

Unsigned, appears to be Grace Weiderseim

10/19/13

Marjorie P. Edwards

11/9/13

Marjorie P. Edwards

 I've never heard of Marjorie P. Edwards or Janet G. Edwards, and J.P. Collins is not known to have done anything else for the North American, so his appearance is a bit of a mystery. The rest of the Cut-Outs cast members were regulars in the North American at this time. 

The fact that the feature appeared very rarely after April 1910 could just indicate that after Semon left it was considered a filler item from then on, something to stash in a drawer until someone missed a deadline. An alternative scenario that I've toyed with, though, is that maybe there was an extra North American page available to those who were not willing to pay for The Turr'ble Tales of Kaptin Kiddo, a full page marquee item. I've seen a few inklings that that could be the case, but I've not yet found a paper that took a full section from the North American in these years on a consistent basis and substituted a page of second-raters.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: The Story of James J. Braddock

 

Central Press Association offered up quite a few closed-end news-oriented strips in the 1930s, some of which undoubtedly remain unfound by me. These not particularly popular short run items are quite elusive. 

The Story of James J. Braddock, the "Cinderella Man" fighter who won the heavyweight boxing crown long after he was counted out as a has-been, was front burner news in June 1935 in the days after his title bout with Max Baer. Central Press threw together a strip written by Bill Braucher with art by Clifton H. Crittenden that hit the high points of his career. The strip was ready for running on June 17, just three days after the fight, and ended on June 22*, though many papers ran it late, as the Philadelphia Daily News above. 


* Source: Palestine (TX) Herald.

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Hello Allan-
Central Press really had a long term investment in offering these short-run news strips, I believe beginning with those drawn by their workhorse, R.J. Scott. A few are seen in here:

https://www.comicskingdom.com/trending/blog/2015/07/16/ask-the-archivist-r-j-scott

 
Hey, no fair teasing the Stripper. Got all excited to se "Lady Lindy", which had escaped me. Turns out it was a one-shot tho. :-( Nice Scott art on that one.

--Allan
 
The Daily News may have started late, but made up for it by running it all the way across its tab page. Nice showcase.
 
I'm pretty sure there was another "Lady Lindy" strip, one which shows how Lindbergh wooed her in Mexico, (Her father was the U.S. ambassador, you'll remember), and marrying him, and their having a baby, which if I recall, was probably the news point of the strips.
Maybe I'm thinking of something else; I think Scott may have done one-shots as well.
 
You must be thinking of something else. "Lady Lindy" is about Amelia Earhart.

--Allan
 
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Monday, July 19, 2021

 

Magazine Cover Comics: Get-Your-Man Gloria

 

Yet another in a long string of Russell Patterson Hearst magazine cover series, Get-Your-Man Gloria ran under the King Features imprint from March 27 to May 29 1932. 

This series throws a lazily-breaking curveball into the standard romance formula. Gloria Glayde is a reporter for the Clarion newspaper, and she'll do just about anything to get the dirt on high society folks, even if she has to inject herself to manufacture a headline. Her favorite target is Derek Denbeigh, heir to a ketchup fortune -- he's a hunk, he's rich, he's single and he falls for just about every trap Gloria lays for him. Poor Derek can't decide if he loves or hates Gloria for all her shenanigans, but I'll leave it to your imagination which of those emotions wins over in the end. Gloria, on the other hand, still seems to prefer playing him for the fool even come the end of the series, a bit of a surprise change to the formula.

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

 

Wish You Were Here, from R.F. Outcault

 

A lovely Buster Brown Valentine's Day card published by Raphael Tuck. This comes from a series that bears a 1903 copyright, but based on the mailing dates I see on these, I'm guessing they were published a few years later than that, but before 1907, since they are undivided backs.

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I really like the handwritten addendum on the front. It looks like Jimmy did too, since he kept the card, probably for life! Good on ya, Jimmy!
 
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Saturday, July 17, 2021

 

Herriman Saturday: February 16, 1910

 

February 16 1910 -- A Scottish Terrier dog lost by Mr. and Mrs. Bell of South Los Angeles Street has not been found, but his license tag has turned up. Unfortunately the tag was found inside a weiner served at a local restaurant. The restaurant buys all their weiners from a local manufacturer, so they're in the clear. The manufacturer of the weiners is mystified and is quick to point out that the tag is in perfect condition, showing no signs of having gone through their weiner-making machinery. The belief now is that someone slipped the license tag into the weiner somewhere along the way as a rather bizarre prelude to asking a ransom for the pooch. The Bells have enlisted a detective to get to the bottom of it all. So has the weiner manufacturer, understandably wanting to find a solution to the mystery that does not involve them grinding up the city's pets in their products.

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Friday, July 16, 2021

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Myron Waldman


Myron Waldman was born on April 23, 1908, in Brooklyn, New York, according to his World War II draft card. His father, Barney Waldman, was a Russian emigrant, and his mother, Rebecca Lipman, was a German emigrant.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Waldman was the youngest of four brothers. They lived with their parents and maternal grandmother at 1251 50 Street in Brooklyn. That was their home over the next 25 years or so. 

In June 1924 Waldman graduated from Public School 103. He attended New Utrecht High School where he was on the 100-pound relay team and a staff member of the school newspaper, The Weekly NUHS. He graduated in June 1926. Waldman continued his art studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He graduated with a Drawing, Painting and Illustration certificate on June 20, 1929. 

In 1930 Waldman was employed at the Fleischer Studios in Manhattan. (Seceral Fleischer cartoons can be seen on Pluto TV’s Classic Toons.) 

A Florida passenger list at Ancestry.com listed Waldman on the S.S. Florida which departed Havana, Cuba on March 11, 1937 and arrived in Miami the next day.

According to the 1940 census, Waldman lived with his parents in Miami, Florida at 2326 21st Avenue. In 1939 he earned $5,800. 

On October 16, 1940 Waldman signed his World War II draft card. His description was five feet five inches, 160 pounds, with hazel eyes and brown hair. Waldman’s employer was Fleischer Studios.


Waldman’s father passed away January 25, 1941. 

The Brooklyn Eagle, March 7, 1942, said “It is Brooklyn talent that is on display at the N. Y. Paramount Theater. ... And on the screen is ‘Superman,’ animated by Myron (Mike) Waldman, former cartoonist for the New Utrecht H.S. publication, ‘Nuhs.’” 

Waldman enlisted in the Army Corps of Engineers on October 12, 1942. His Department of Veterans Affairs file, at Ancestry.com, said he was discharged on October 12, 1946.

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Waldman did some scripts for Better Publications around 1944. 

The Leader (Freeport, New York), May 6, 1948, reported Waldman’s engagement to Rosalie Socolov. 
Mr. and Mrs. Max Socolov, 26 Miller ave., have announced the engagement of their daughter, Miss Rosalie Socolov, to Myron Waldman, son of Mrs. Rebecca Waldman, 3 East 66th st., Manhattan. 

Miss Socolov was graduated from Freeport High School in 1941 and studied art at Hunter College. During the war she served as a Red Cross Gray Lady and assisted in the work of the United Service Organizations in entertaining soldiers. She is a member of the Young Folks League of Temple B’nai Israel and the South Shore Junior Hadassah as well as the St. Margaret Singers.

Mr. Waldman is a graduate of New Utrecht High School, Brooklyn, and the School of Applied Arts, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. Both Mr. Waldman and his fiancee are employed at the Paramount, Animated Cartoon Studio, Manhattan, the former as one of the head animaters [sic] and the latter as an inspector of scenes. She has been associated with Paramount for five years. Mr. Waldman also, is a cartoonist with the New York Post and the originator of the strip, Happy the Humbug. He has appeared on the radio, in television and on the stage. He served for three years in the Army during the war first in a camouflage unit and later in a photography unit with Frank Kapper. 
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Waldman drew Happy the Humbug which was written by Steve Carlin. The New York Post Syndicate strip ran from November 17, 1946 to April 3, 1949. The Eagle and New York Post mentioned Waldman and Carlin’s appearances at local theaters to promote Happy the Humbug. Below is a RKO advertisement from the Star-Journal (Long Island City, New York), March 24, 1947.


Waldman’s animation career is covered in great detail and illustrated with several photographs at Cartoon Research.

Waldman’s mother passed away October 18, 1960. 

On February 4, 2006 Waldman passed away in Bethpage, New York. 


Further Reading and Viewing
Editor and Publisher, October 5, 1946: The New York Post Syndicate has scheduled tor Nov. 17 release “Happy the Humbug,” by Steve Carlin and Myron Waldman ... 
Cartoon Research, Remembering Myron Waldman: A Talk with His Sons, Bob and Steven 

Animato! #22, Winter 1992, Reminiscing with Myron Waldman

The Observer, January 26, 1995, Making A Wish Come True 
The New York Times, February 6, 2006, obituary
Broadcasting, November 22, 1943, Happy the Humbug pre-comic strip advertisement
The Bulletin of the National Retail Dry Goods Association, August 1944, Happy the Humbug pre-comic strip advertisement 
Display World, June 1948, Happy the Humbug promotional displays

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: The Commodore

 

One of the cartoonists who supplied strips for the Boston Globe in the mid-1900s went only by the moniker 'Grif'; now that the Globe is online, I went on a fool's errand trying to find a mention of him in which his full name would be divulged. After searching on every variation of Grif, Griffin, Griffith, cartoonist, etc., I could think of, I've still come up empty. Oh well. 

One of Grif's few series was The Commodore, aka The Admiral, aka The Tar. Believe it or not, Grif managed to go through all those title names in a span of just eight strips. The early episodes were all about the portly officer chasing a cat that has gotten loose on the ship. The title of one episode, "The Commodore, the Coxswain and the Cat" would have made an excellent series title; too bad it was only used once. Anyway, in later episodes the cat doesn't figure anymore. The series ran from October 9 1904 to June 25 1905, with long gaps between appearances.

Grif was a fair enough cartoonist, but his gags (as seen above) are rank amateur work. His eventual disappearance from the Globe could not have left many readers pining for him. Unless Grif underwent a serious change in styles, I do NOT think that he is the same Grif who did It's Only Ethelinda for the Philadelphia North American in 1908-10.

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Monday, July 12, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: It's Amazing

 




I feel pretty sheepish that H.T. Elmo's features are so rarely featured on Stripper's Guide. I'm fascinated by Mr. Elmo's dogged pursuit to scratch out a living selling weekly features to small papers, year after year, decade after decade, probably never making more than a pittance, and probably being stiffed more often than being paid.. 

Here is It's Amazing from Elmo's aptly named Elmo Features Syndicate. This is yet another in the long procession of Ripley wanna-bes; how surprised would I be to find that many of the items in these panels were cribbed from Ripley and his other imitators ... not much. 

The earliest examples of It's Amazing I have seen are from 1942, but based on the numbering in those the start date could possibly be in 1941. As with most Elmo productions, the feature was sold in batches, though, so start and end dates are pretty academic. The highest numbered panel I've come across is #272, which would afford a client paper over five years worth of weekly It's Amazing panels if they paid for an entire run. 

The entire run of It's Amazing seems to be drawn by Elmo himself, but he never actually took credit on it. Panels #1 - 176 are signed "Harmon", and then "Hothel" for the remainder of the run. I understand why Elmo didn't take direct credit on It's Amazing -- he took credit on some other Elmo Features Syndicate strips and wanted to give clients the idea that there were lots of cartoonists in the Elmo bullpen. What I can't figure out, though, is why he changed pen-name horses in the middle of the run. I also think Elmo probably reused some of his earlier 'weird facts' art from Facts You Never Knew and some other features that he produced for trade publications. He also wasn't above selling It's Amazing as comic book filler. Fox Features used some panels in their comic books in the mid- to late-1940s* under the title Facts You Wouldn't Believe.

Elmo sold this and his other features for so long that they began to look really out of place in even Podunk newspapers. The latest I've ever seen It's Amazing run is 1970, in the Cottonport Leader, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit to find later ones. 

If anyone has access to Elmo Features advertising or business correspondence, anything that would shed light on his syndicate business, I'd be thrilled to see it!


* By the way, the GCD cites these as being by "Clint Harmon" -- maybe such a cartoonist exists, but I really don't think he had anything to do with It's Amazing. If anyone knows different, I invite correction.

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Comments:
The question is not what was the dime doing inside the egg, but what was the dime doing in Cuba? Also, the man who left his wife $1.99 was AMAZING because they lived in Britain. Believe it or drop dead!
 
When I first read the one about it being illegal to marry your mother-in-law, I assumed it was a joke (like the old riddle "Why is it illegal for a man to marry his widow's sister?") and wondered if all the items would be along the same lines. Since they weren't, I assume the cartoonist didn't realize the absurdity of the statement. (It doesn't say "FORMER mother-in-law.")
 
Hi Doug --
I was pretty skeptical of that one, thought maybe Elmo was just making stuff up. So I checked in and found that, Believe It Or Not, there really was a British law about marrying your mother-in-law (yes, even if her daughter was no longer your wife). A couple made all sorts of tabloid fodder awhile back, not just for flouting the law, but also for the off the charts ICK factor. (The husband had divorced his mother-in-law's daughter and hooked up with mom).

--Allan
 
Although the GCD has a number of strips by Clint Harmon, they're all for Charlton and none of them appear to be related to Elmo's work. They do have one Fox filler attributed to Hothel/Elmo.
 
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Sunday, July 11, 2021

 

Wish You Were Here, from Jim Davis

 

Here's another Garfield card from Argus Communications. This one is coded as P3670. I'd say about this card that Jim Davis was getting a little cocky about the recognizeability of his cat, but then again, it gives his name in the copyright slug, so my righteous indignation is quelled.

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Saturday, July 10, 2021

 

Herriman Saturday: February 15 1910

 

February 15 1910 --- George Memsic fights Lew Powell tonight, and Herriman repeats the same cartoon idea that he had on yesterday's sports page. Yesterday he portrayed Memsic trying to keep a bag of apples (titled "Local Prestige") from Wolgast, Picato and Powell, today it is a ladder to the championship crown. 

Herriman must have had a soft spot for Memsic, because the idea that he had any chance at all for the lightweight championship is pretty laughable -- he had been losing fights pretty consistently for the past two years.

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Friday, July 09, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: The Little Journeys of Nip and Tuck

 


The comics editor at the Philadelphia North American must have thought he was about to strike gold when he had the opportunity to put together two bright stars of the cartooning universe. John R. Neill, already on the ladder to enduring fame for illustrating Baum's Oz books, was paired with W. R. Bradford, the wackiest comic strip writer this side of Rube Goldberg, to create a Little Nemo pastiche called The Little Journeys of Nip and Tuck.

Only problem was that the pairing stunk up the place like skunks having a spraying contest in a gym locker full of old athletic socks. It should have been a master class in amazing illustration paired with sparkling writing, but somehow the dynamic duo brought out the worst in each other. Neill's art is fussy and stiff without the impressive flourishes he should have been providing, and Bradford's verses, normally riotous stuff, is about as stuffy as a reading from Leviticus. Great ideas fall flat, opportunities are missed, and yet, with two such giants of the comics page, we always have the sense that with just a little shot of joyousness that is utterly lacking, it could have and should have been truly great. 

The Little Journeys of Nip and Tuck ran in the Philadelphia North American's comic section from March 7 1909 to February 27 1910.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans.

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Comments:
The strip feels like it was designed to be "Buster Brown meets Little Nemo". Tuck looks and dresses like Buster Brown, and the talking dog in the first example looks and sounds like Tige's brother. Nip has a definite Nemo-like quality of innocence about him. The locales visited and the supporting characters encountered look to be from Slumberland's basement.

I believe that you've nailed the problem with the strip on the head...while the art is competently rendered, the strip lacks any sense of Buster Brown's mischief and humor and fails to inspire Little Nemo's sense of awe and wonder. Bob Carlin
 
Hello Allan-
A more fun knockoff of Nemo by a great "illustrator" (rather than cartoonist) was Pulitzer's The Explorigator" by Harry Grant Dart.
You say that 14 March 1909 is the first one, but it's actually 7 March, in fact, the page shown second (Milwaukee Sentinel) above. The strange thing about North American series that were made for covers, is that in syndication they had a standard slug made for the top picture that would support the client's masthead. This one seems to reflect parts of the first two episodes, the gnome in the airship, and the bull headed "Milk Men." I think the header changed often in the parent paper, but it never did in syndication. Kaptain Kiddo was like that too.
 
Mark -- The March 7 Sunday section was missing from the North American microfilm, so I used the Anaconda Standard to fill in that and several other 1909 dates that were missing. In the Anaconda paper the 3/14 issue is definitely the first installment of Little Journeys. So was that paper running a week late? Where is your 3/7 date coming from? (I'll have a number of other fixes to do if that darn Anaconda paper let me down).

Btw, I couldn't agree more about The Explorigator, and for that matter, just about anything Harry Grant Dart put his pen to.

--Allan
 
Hello Allan-
The Sentinel page is the first one- It's even dated 7 March. And I have a breakdown of the NA for that date as well, the microfile I used did have it. Probably the Montana paper was running late, unless they picked it up starting with week 2.
Read the 7 March (Sentinel) page-Doesn't it seem like an introduction to the story? So, which one does Anaconda start with, the Gnome-airship or Bull-heads episode?
 
Aargh! Somehow that most obvious fact could not penetrate the rocky outcropping at the top of my head. Obviously it started on the 7th, have changed the post to cover up my stupidity.

Worse, that means Anaconda WAS a week late. Which means all my 1909 fill-ins are wrong, which means I've probably got other errors to fix as well.

--Allan
 
If it's of any use to you, here's the North American breakdown for
7 March 1909:
THE LITTLE JOURNEYS OF NIP AND TUCK
(A gnome takes N & T on a trip through the milky way)
JINGLING JOHNSON BLOWS OFF A FEW RHYMES ABOUT OLD BOREAS
MUGGSY PROVIDES A SHOCK ABSORBER FOR A GOUTY MAN
WILLIE TRIES HIS HAND AT REDUCING DENTIST'S BILLS
TEACHER'S PET---HE WORKS A BLACK HAND GAME ON TUG SMITH
IT'S ONLY ETHELINDA---SHE MAKES MOTIONS LIKE A WRECK
TED'S OBJECT SPELLING LESSON---S-T-E-A-M and F-L-O-U-R
 
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Wednesday, July 07, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: Uncle Charlie

 

We've discussed the filler strips of the New York Herald-Tribune before, so rather than wearing down my fingerprints, I'll ask you to click over to this post for a quick explanation. 

Uncle Charlie is another of those fillers, and it ran on occasion in the H-T's funnies pages from March 14 to October 10 1948. It has the distinction of being the only series penned by Dave T. Jones, about whom I know nothing. Mr. Jones does a perfectly creditable job on the strip, though I can't say I'm keen on characters whose heads are drawn with a compass.


Comments:
Love this for the simplicity and color. Little kids would love it.
 
Maybe "Dave T. Jones" is a nom de toon.
 
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Monday, July 05, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: Clifford McBride's Daily Panel Series

 








It's hard to believe that I've been doing this blog for over a decade and a half now, and some of my favorite cartoonists still haven't taken a proper bow on our little stage. Clifford McBride, a cartoonist whose sumptuous line, brilliant wit and expressive characters should have him on anyone's short list of the 20th century's greatest newspaper cartoonists, is justly famous for Napoleon and Uncle Elby, the dog strip that made him famous. 

I like Napoleon just fine, but my favorite Cliff McBride ventures are the daily panel series and Sunday pantomime strip he did in the 1920s. In these he had more opportunity to spread his wings, as there were no continuing characters (well, okay, Napoleon first surfaced in the Sunday pantomime series). Free to find humour just about anywhere his fertile imagination could take him, these series were nothing short of brilliant. 

Oddly, the Sunday and daily series were distributed by two different syndicates. Today I'll concentrate on the daily panel series syndicated by Central Press Association, and we'll leave the Sunday series, from McNaught, for another day -- hopefully not another fifteen or more years in the future. 

McBride's daily panels had no single overarching title, but he did have a set of standard titles under which he drew regularly. Of these, the most often seen were Forlorn Figures, Insect Life, When To Be Nonchalant, and Uncrowned Kings. A few others were less often seen -- Front Page Folk and Bert and Alf (hmm, guess that's two more running characters).  These relatively generic titles were no limitation on McBride's cartoons at all; they worked for just about any situation imaginable. For instance, the bottom sample, headlined Insect Life, could just as easily have run under the title Forlorn Figures or even When To Be Nonchalant

What is a little odd about this daily series is that the humour is quite cosmopolitan, quite sophisticated. This is a bad fit for the Central Press Association, which serviced mainly small town and rural papers. One can only wonder what the newspaper readers of Smallville made of McBride's wicked humour about urban concerns. On the other hand, the folks in those towns no longer relied on fireflies and gossip for entertainment; the movies had brought tuxedo-wearing sophisticates as close as the local movie theatre. 

For some reason, Central Press decreed that McBride's panel would bear no date stamps, and for this reason many papers ran it ROP and late. That makes pinning down start and end dates more challenging. It doesn't help that E&P in its January 22 1927 issue stated that the panel would begin that month, whereas I have found enough evidence to pretty well guarantee that the actual start date is March 14 of that year. 

The end date is more elusive; most papers seem to have quit running it in mid-1932 or so. But I have others running it later, albeit sporadically. My guess, though, is that the panel ended on the precise date of November 12 1932. That's because Central Press tended to have a consistent number of comic strips and panels on offer, and they started a new panel, The Tutts by Crawford Young, on Monday, November 14. I'd bet the contents of my piggy bank that means McBride was cut loose at the end of the previous week*. 

* EDIT: Jeffrey Lindenblatt finds two papers ending the feature on that day, Brooklyn Times-Union and Plainfield Courier-News, making the contents of my piggy bank seem quite safe.


Comments:
These are wonderful, as you say. They remind me of H. T. Webster. Since they've never been collected, I'd like to make my own collection out of commercially scanned newspapers. Which newspapers would you recommend for completeness / internet availability / quality of reproduction?

I see McBride died young, at 50. What happened?
 
According to R.C. Harvey, "McBride died of a heart attack while in the hospital being treated for prostate cancer."

To my limited understanding, advanced prostate cancer in one so young would be a rarity.
 
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Sunday, July 04, 2021

 

Wish You Were Here, from Dwig

 

Dwig did a lot of work for Raphael Tuck, and this card bears all the qualities of a Tuck production: excellent quality, embossed, printed in Germany, use of Series designation. However, the card does not credit Tuck. It is marked on the reverse "Series 110" and has the following logo that I do not recognize:

 

 

Does anyone know what company published this card?


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Comments:
Is the publisher Ed. Gross? He was a New York publisher. Many cards were printed in Germany, especially Dresden, for British and American kartemiesters. Somehow it was economical to have them do it and export them, and still sell them for ½¢ or 1¢.
 
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Saturday, July 03, 2021

 

Herriman Saturday: February 14 1910

 


Boxer George Memsic was, to be quite up front about it, a bit of a punching bag by 1910. In a long string of losses, only Frank Picato could be relied upon to kiss the mat for him. It's not that Picato was a bad fighter, though -- Memsic just seemed to have his number dialed in. 

Memsic's next fight, scheduled for the 15th, is with Lew Powell, who has been on a tear. Tomorrow night Memsic will manage to fight him to a draw, but then in a pair of rematches will lose both times.

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Friday, July 02, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: Adventures of the Silly Gallillies in Movie Land

 

On December 20 1914, the Chicago Tribune's Sunday movie page added a new feature, a comc strip by Quin Hall called Adventures of the Silly Gallillies in Movie Land. The plot was about two teenage girls who are both in love with movie heartthrob Jack Coran. Their weekly adventures consist of them trying to meet and ensnare the poor unsuspecting actor. 

After over a year in the pursuit, the girls finally succeed -- Nora (the blonde) turns out to be rich, and she uses her bankroll to legally adopt the clueless deamboat; Coran is willingly enslaved when he finds out that she will open a movie studio just for him, where he can play any part he pleases. The hunt having come to a close, the strip ended on February 13 1916, the day before Valentine's Day, of course.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: It's Presidential Year

 




When Milton Caniff joined the Associated Press, his first comic strip series was no slam-bang action series, or even a bigfoot comedy series -- no, the AP thought he was just the guy to provide art to a closed-end series offering capsule biographies of politicians who might stage a run for President in the 1932 election. 

Caniff had already cultivated a nice style while he worked at the Columbus Dispatch, but evidently he didn't think the AP wanted 'Caniff art' -- he took pains to produce for It's Presidential Year the most bland straight illustration art he could muster. It didn't look like Caniff, in fact it didn't look like anything except Generic Newspaper Illustration Art Level 101. Not that it wasn't professional grade -- it just wasn't exactly an impressive start for the someday-to-be comics legend. 

There were a total of nine installments to the series, all sent out sometime in April 1932 to AP-subscribing papers. I've never found a paper that ran all nine -- those who did bother running any of them tended to offer only the frontrunners, or only those of the political bent preferred by the newspaper.  Not having ever found a definitive run, or even enough agreement to constitute a likely intended start date, The best that I can offer for running dates is that the series ran in April - May 1932. 

Caniff himself had trouble remembering the series. In R.C. Harvey's biography, Caniff reminisces that it was a series of portraits, with only a few installments offering multiple panels (actually they all did). His only vivid recollection was that he was embarrassed by the job he did on the portraits of Roosevelt and Hoover (and Hoover did not appear as paert of this series, so he may be conflating several early assignments). 


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Comments:
Allan, this is quite a rare little find — Caniff's very early AP work. Quite amusing to see him trying to dumb down to please AP.
 
Hello Allan-
One paper did run the full series, the Warsaw (Ind.) Union from 3 to 14 May 1932. They are:
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Albert Cabell Ritchie
Al Smith
Owen D. Young
John Nance Garner
Melvin A Traylor
Newton D. Baker
William H. Murray
James Hamilton Lewis
These were all Democratic contenders, Sitting president Hoover would naturally be the GOP's man.
It would seem these were issued just as the primaries were occuring, and timed so that most of these men had no more chance or relevence before the strip could be run, therefore, most papers never ran the entire set.
Over at AP they were using Caniff like, actually very much like R. J. Scott over at Central Press. these samples are rather unimaginatively copied from Scott's irregular man/topic in the news format strips, which were often issued in sets of six, sometimes more, as early as 1931. They also had Caniff doing just portraits, as he recalled(also like Scott), so AP could offer line art pictures with a longer shelf life for papers that preferred them to half tones. I have a great one he did of Hitler on the cover of a 1933 edition of The Hollywood Citizen.
 
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Monday, June 28, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: Mr. Jonah Jimsenweed

 


Mr. Jonah Jimsenweed was the swan song for one of the great pioneer newspaper cartoonists, F.M. Howarth. He died unexpectedly from pneumonia at the young age of 43, in September 1908. 

This final series shows that Howarth was still at the height of his powers at the time, his bold and fascinating, yet creepy and repellant cartooning style shows no signs of flagging. The subject was one of his favorites, the never-ending battle between husband and wife. In this case the wife is a  harridan and the husband a weak-kneed schmuck. Pretty standard fare for Howarth, but executed as well as always. 

Mr. Jonah Jimsenweed was created for the Chicago Tribune, where Howarth spent the final year or so of his career and life. The strip debuted on July 5 1908, and the material ran out on November 22, showing that Howarth had several months of material banked at the Trib prior to his death. Howarth's flagship Trib strip, Old Opie Dildock's Stories, was not as far ahead and that material ran out in September.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples.

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+1 like
 
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Sunday, June 27, 2021

 

Wish You Were Here, from Dwig

 


Here's a Dwig card from Tuck's Series #165 ("Knocks Witty and Wise"). I can't decide if the sentiment here is meant to be taken literally (as in the recipient is assumed to have a maid) or it is meant to be funny (as in, wouldn't it be great to have a maid). Today it would definitely be the latter, but in the 1900s, maids were surprisingly common in even middle class homes.

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Comments:
I think it means "let the wife do the work." She's not dressed like a rich person's maid.
 
Hello Allan-
Yes, I believe Mr. Shetterly is right, it's probably a wife as the implied gag, but there were lots of servants that didn't wear formal uniforms, the middle class or farm families often had a "Hired Girl" that would assist in the household chores in those days before wide use of electricity and labor saving devices. My own Grandmother was hired out as a child of twelve (in 1910)to help a busy rural family. No special uniforms were called for. Drudgery need not be fancy.
 
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Saturday, June 26, 2021

 

Herriman Saturday: February 10 1910

 

February 10 1910 -- In a huge upset Fireman Jim Flynn has won a newspaper decision over Sam Langford in a ten round fight. According to most papers, Flynn had Langford off-balance right from the start, and helped his case early on by opening a cut above Langford's eye in the first round that had the Boston Bonecrusher half-blind through the remainder of the fight. 

Because this was an interracial bout, boxing historians reasonably wonder whether Flynn got the decision fair and square, as his record otherwise against Langford was pretty dismal. However, Flynn did have a history of occasional flashes of brilliance like this, the most notable being when he knocked out Jack Dempsey in 1917.

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Friday, June 25, 2021

 

Obscurity of the Day: Little Will

 


Comic strip kids of this era had stereotypical names, and Willie was the most popular. For obvious reasons, though, the comic strip rugrat in Little Will wisely goes by a slightly modified version. 

Little Will was by Carl Anderson, who finally gained comic strip fame very late in life when he created that famous pantomime kid, Henry. Back in the 1890s and 1900s, though, Anderson made the rounds of the big New York papers and the syndicates, seldom making any contributions that stuck for long. In 1904 Anderson had a short stint with World Color Printing. He created three series for them, of which Little Will was the last. It's your typical prank-pully brat kid strip, nothing memorable about it. 

Little Will, sometimes headlined as The Joker, ran in the World Color Printing sections from September 18 to November 13 1904.*

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the sample strips. 

* Sources: San Francisco Call and St Louis Star.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ted Miller


Ted Miller was born Edmund Gordon Miller on February 19, 1918, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Miller’s full name and birth information are from his World War II draft card and Social Security application. His parents were Ralph G. Miller and Helen Sargent.

In the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Censuses, Miller, his parents and three older siblings lived in Haverhill at 131 Brockton Avenue. His father was the proprietor of a plumbing and heating business. 

In 1935 Miller graduated from Haverhill High School. He contributed an illustration to the school yearbook, The Thinker



According to the 1940 census, Miller was the only child living with his parents. They remained in Haverhill at a different address, 21 Windsor Street. Miller was a self-employed cartoonist. 

Six months later Miller signed his World War II draft card on October 16, 1940. His employer was the Haverhill Evening Gazette. His description was six feet, 160 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. At some point his 21 Windsor Street address was crossed out and replaced with 106 Hempstead Avenue, West Hempstead, New York. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on December 27, 1941. 

During his service, Miller contributed cartoons to Yank, the Army Weekly. One of his cartoons was described in Yank, the Army Weekly: Reporting the Greatest Generation (2004). 
In a latrine in the November 16, 1945, issue, Sergeant Ted Miller had a full eagle colonel rewarding a hard-scrubbing Private Smith for excellent efforts, “I’m having you transferred to the officers side!” 
A Miller cartoon appeared in Yank, March 30, 1945. 

Miller’s letter was published in Flying, December 1944. 
Flying’s Giraffe
Sirs:
By way of interest, I thought I’d pass this on to you. A Liberator pilot, fresh back from the China-Burma-India theater and with 101 missions to his credit, was in here yesterday with news of one of my cartoons which he found clipped and posted in a remote operations tower deep in China. It was that giraffe job [August, ’43, issue]; I guess it smacked of the environment enough to warrant their keeping it. Anyway out shows how Flying gets around.

M/Sgt. Ted Miller Mitchel Field, N. Y. 

Cartoonist Ted Miller is a regular contributor to Flying. — Ed.
Miller’s draft card said he was honorably discharged on December 14, 1945. 

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Miller was the last of three artists to draw Diary of Snubs, Our Dog aka A Little Dog’s Diary. The series debuted with Paul R. Carmack, from June 4, 1923 to February 28, 1939. He was followed by Richard Rodgers, from March1, 1939 to September 15, 1947. Miller’s run was from September 16, 1947, 1947 to August 31, 1954. The series appeared in the Christian Science Monitor. Miller also produced Sunny Climes for the Christian Science Monitor. The weekly panel debuted January 2, 1951. It was continued by Grant Wilson for an unknown period of time.

The Newton Graphic (Massachusetts), March 30, 1950, reported Miller’s upcoming speaking engagement. 
Annual Meeting of Auburndale Woman’s Club to be Held April 12
Mrs. Thomas E. Crosy, day chairman, will introduce the speaker, Mr. Ted Miller, cartoonist, who will take for his subject, “This Funny Business.” He will tell the story behind the comic strips. He created the comic strip “Loop Carew” for the Haverhill Evening Gazette prior to his enlistment in the AAF. During the war he contributed regularly to “Yank.” His cartoons have appeared in such publications as and Better Homes and Gardens and he recently became associated with the Christian Science Monitor as artist and author of ‘The Diary of Snubs Our Dog.’”
Miller’s chalk talk was noted in the Nashua Telegraph (New Hampshire), November 18, 1960. 
Under the auspices of Nashaway Woman’s club, Ted, Miller, well known cartoonist and humorist, will present chalk-talk entitled “This Funny Business” at their meeting on Monday at 2:30 pm in the Odd Fellows hall. He has been in the business since 1935, created the comic strip “Loop Carew” in 1939, and during World War II when he in the Air Force he contributed to Yank. His cartoons major magazines and children’s comic books, and at present he is seen on “Your New England Weather” over WHDH-TV
Miller’s profile in the 1960 National Cartoonists Society Album said 
Born Feb. 19, 1918 in Haverhill, Mass. Drew for high school aper. Later met Wally Bishop in St. Pete, Fla. and became hopelessly addicted to cartooning. Contributed to ‘Yank’ during the war and have sold to all markets since. Did a daily strip for the Christian Science Monitor for eight years and later a panel, ‘Sunny Climes’ for them. Currently am under contract to the Hall Syndicate.

We are five, (one wife), two girls and a boy live in West Newbury, Mass. ...
Miller passed away on May 31, 2007, in West Newbury, Massachusetts. An obituary was found at Dole, Childs & Shaw
Edmund G. “Ted” Miller, 89, a freelance artist and TV personality, died peacefully Thursday at his home with his family present. Ted was the husband of Florence E. “Betty” (Peel) Miller.

Born in Haverhill February 19, 1918, he was the son of the late Ralph G. and Helen A. (Sargent) Miller.

Educated in Haverhill he was a 1935 graduate of Haverhill High School. During the war he served four years in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an intelligence specialist before his discharge as a Master Sergeant in 1945. At this time his cartoons appeared in the Army publication “Stars and Stripes”. He and his family moved to West Newbury in 1946. He did art work for the New England Telephone Yellow Pages, and for seven years drew and wrote a comic strip “The Diary of Snubs Our Dog” for the Christian Science Monitor.

In the 50’s he appeared for many years on Eileen Kneeland’s TV show “Lady of the Bookshelf”. With the advent of Channel 5 Ted began a twenty year career as the weatherman and incorporated his famous seagulls “Barney” and “Leonardo” into his program at WHDH. As an in court artist he covered the inquest following the death of MaryJo Kopechne.

He was devoted to his family and considered himself fortunate to engage in work he loved. Earlier he had enjoyed sailing and boating along the New England coastline, and winter golf trips with his wife to Bermuda. He enjoyed bicycling in his hometown, and speaking to anyone who would stop to say hello outside his home.

In addition to his wife of 65 years Ted is survived by his son, Grant Miller of West Newbury; daughters, Susan Miller and her husband Joe Edwards of Michigan, Marilyn Miller of Bradford; one granddaughter, Megan; sister, Francesca Lane of Newbury. He was the brother of the late Julian S. Miller, and twin sister Janice de Moulpied.

Relatives and friends are invited to the Memorial Service Monday 1:00 p.m. at Dole, Childs & Shaw Funeral Home, 148 Main Street, Haverhill. Private interment to follow at Linwood Cemetery. Calling hours will precede the service from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Hospice of North Shore, 10 Elm Street, Danvers, MA 01923.
TV Guide, Boston Area

Miller was laid to rest at Linwood Cemetery. The Haverhill Public Library has a Miller archive. 

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Richard Rodgers


Richard Hellerman Rodgers was born on January 22, 1900, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to his World War II draft card and the Social Security Death Index. In the 1900 U. S. Federal Census, Rodgers was the youngest of two sons born to Isaac, a flour manufacturer, and Mary, both Pennsylvania natives. They lived in Philadelphia at 1205 Arrott Street. 

The 1910 census recorded the Rodgers family in Euclid, Ohio on Windward Drive. Rodgers’ father was a bookkeeper at an insurance company. 

On September 12, 1918 Rodgers signed his World War I draft card. His address was 1205 Arrott Street, in Philadelphia, and he was a student at Frankford High School. Rodgers description was stout build, medium height, with blue eyes and light colored hair. 

After graduating high school, Rodgers attended Lafayette College. The Biographical Record of the Men of Lafayette, 1832–1948 (1948) said Rodgers majored in civil engineering and was in the fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. The Rainbow of Delta Tau Delta, Summer 1981, said Rodgers was in the class of 1922. The Pennsylvania World War I Veterans Service and Compensation Files, at Ancestry.com, said Rodgers was inducted on October 22, 1918 at Easton, Pennsylvania. He was a private at the Students Army Training Center of Lafayette College. He was discharged on December 10, 1918. 

According to the 1920 census, Rodgers lived with his widow mother and a servant at the same Philadelphia address. 

Georgetown Arts & Culture said Rodgers studied illustration under Thornton Oakley at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia. His landscape and figure painting instructors were Henry Snell and Emile Gruppe.

Rodgers finished his art training and moved to New York City. Everybody’s magazine featured his paintings on the covers of January and February 1928. In the 1930s he contributed drawings to Blue Book Magazine. (view November 1931 and March 1934) Rodgers’ art appeared in several books including Smuggler’s Luck: A Nantucket Story of the Revolution (1930), Dog Sled for Byrd, 1600 Miles Across Antarctic Ice (1931),  The Vengeance of Fu Chang (1932), Lone Rider (1933) and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Windsor Press, 1938). 

The New York, New York Extracted Marriage Index, at Ancestry.com, said Rodgers and Susan Schwartz were married on April 26, 1930 in Manhattan, New York City.

The 1940 census said the couple was living in Queens, New York, in 1935, and eventually moved to Richmond Road in Berkshire, Massachusetts. The census said Rodgers was a self-employed artist who worked 44 weeks in 1939 and earned $2,360.

Rodgers signed his World War II draft card on February 15, 1942. He lived on West Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. He was described as five feet eight inches, 170 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. His employer was the Christian Science Monitor


American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Rodgers drew the Christian Science Monitor strip, Diary of Snubs, Our Dog, from March 1, 1939 to September 15, 1947. He succeeded Paul R. Carmack who started the strip on June 4, 1923. Ted Miller continued the series from September 16, 1947 to August 31, 1954. 


The 1945 Florida state census counted Rodgers, his wife, daughter and son as Pompano, Broward County residents. 

The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts), April 1, 1978 said 
… Rodgers had several exhibitions of his oil paintings and watercolors in Berkshire County and throughout the United States. 

Mr. Rodgers was a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Pompano Beach, Fla. He was also a member of the Florida Watercolor Society, the Real Estate Board and the Rotary Club of Pompano Beach. 

He had made his winter home in Pompano Brach for 25 years until moving to Boca Raton three years ago. 
Rodgers passed away on March 30, 1978, in Boca Raton, according to the Berkshire Eagle


Further Reading and Viewing
Richard H. Rodgers
Mary Baker Eddy Library, Snubs the Dog in The Christian Science Monitor

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