Friday, October 31, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Hmm. Funny how this week's Wonder-land picture of the cosmic accumulator looks totally different from last week's. Is the NSA at work here?

Connie, May 16 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


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Thursday, October 30, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: M.F. Neale

Millard Francis Neale was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 13, 1885. The date is from Neale’s North Carolina death certificate. His birthplace was found on his World War I, New York military record and mentioned in his obituary which was published in The Bulletin (Augusta, Georgia), November 29, 1947. However, the death certificate said he was born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

Information regarding Neale’s early education and art training was not been found. The 1895 New Jersey State Census recorded Neale as the second of four children born to Frank and Catherine. The family resided in East Orange.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Neale’s family lived in Manhattan, New York City, at 15 West 22nd Street. His father was a broker and he was a student.

According to the 1905 New York State Census, the family remained in Manhattan but at a different address, 25 Manhattan Avenue. Neale was a clerk.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Tootsie and Her Cat, Smilax was Neale’s first comic strip, which ran in the New York World from December 27, 1907 to January 23, 1908. Smilax was followed by Dolly Doo Does Her Dad. The Bulletin said he produced cartoons for Puck and Judge magazines.

New York World, 1/6/1908

In 1910, Neale’s mother, a widow, was head of the household which included all of her children. They lived in Manhattan at 56 West 104th Street. Neale’s occupation was artist.

The Bulletin said:

...Neale attended Spring Hill College [1911–1912], Mobile, Ala., and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. He was ordained in New York by the late Cardinal Hayes in 1933. 
He was stationed at St. Peter’s Church, Greenville, N.C., and at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh. During the latter appointment he served as secretary to Bishop William Hafey and as vice-chancellor of the Diocese.
Neale’s World War I service began September 27, 1917 at Fort Slocum, New York.

He has not been found in the 1920 and 1930 censuses. Raleigh, North Carolina, city directories for 1934 and 1936 said he lived at 5 North McDowell and was an assistant pastor.

The 1940 census recorded Neale at St. Leo’s Hospital, Summit Avenue, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He was the chaplain.

Neale passed away October 17, 1947, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The cause of death was bronchogenic carcinoma. He was buried at Bonnie Brae Cemetery in Baltimore.

—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Dolly Doo Does Her Dad

Y'know, when I'm confronted with a title like this, it is awfully hard to keep my mind out of the gutter, and make some snide comment about how there was a movie by the same name very popular in the Times Square theatres of the mid-1970s.

I mean, what kind of sicko pervert brain must I have to land there. After all, this lovely little series by M.F. Neale, which ran three times in the New York Evening World from March 12 to April 9 1908, is a model of innocent fun. Here we have daddy and his curiously grown-up looking little girl, no mother anywhere in evidence, and this little darling girl is just doted on by her loving papa. He loves her so much, in fact, that he'll submit to any domination she pleases. In fact, he seems to revel in any humiliation she can think up, including dressing him up like a baby and taking him out in public. Does papa get mad? Of course not. He must keep playing the baby role until his mistress, I mean his daughter, tells him otherwise. What a wonderful docile and well-trained papa. He is a willing and happy slave to her every whim. What a heartwarming example Mr. Neale has given us of innocent familial bliss.

I want to apologize to you, dear readers, for my behavior. I'm a bad boy for having expressed such awful thoughts. I really should be severely dressed down for my transgression. Perhaps even corporal punishment is necessary to set me back on the straight and narrow path ...


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Gustav Michelson

Gustav Erhard Rudolph Michelson was born in Riga, Latvia, on February 4, 1884. His full name and birth information were found on his World War I and II draft cards and naturalization petition at According to the U.S. Federal Censuses, his family emigrated in 1893 and resided near Boston. There is no record of him residing in California. Coincidentally, there was an Eric Gustavus Michelson* (1893–1977) who was born in Boston. He was a designer who moved to California around 1919. Eric G. Michelson was confused with Gustav E.R. Michelson in the book, Artists in California, 1786-1940: L-Z (2002).

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Michelson was the youngest of three sons born to John, a wood carver, and Louisa. The enumerator spelled the family name “Michaelson”. They lived in Arlington, Massachusetts (near Boston) at 301 Massachusetts Avenue. The New York Times, March 8, 1964, said Michelson attended the Boston Latin School. He may have submitted a drawing to the children’s periodical, St. Nicholas, October 1901.

A 1904 Arlington city directory listed Michelson as an artist boarding at 299 Massachusetts Avenue. In the same year, a Boston directory listing had artist Michelson at 76 Summer. He worked in the editorial department, presumably of a newspaper, at 268 Washington, according to the 1905 Boston directory. The Times said he was with the Boston American.

On June 27, 1906, Michelson married Cora Louise Hull in Somerville, Massachusetts, according to a Massachusetts marriage record at The 1907 Somerville directory said their address was 110 Boston Avenue. Before the end of the decade, Michelson was a staff artist on The World in New York City; some of his drawings appeared on December 11, 1908; December 17, 1908; December 22, 1908; and December 29, 1908. The World also published his strip Mrs. Neighborly on January 30, 1909 and February 5, 1909.

In 1909 Michelson switched to the Hearst publishing organization. According to American Newspaper Comics, his strip The Wonder Girl’s Diary had a short run from March 11 to May 28 1909.

The 1910 census recorded Michelson and his wife in Brooklyn at 224 88th Street. He was a newspaper artist. The Times said Michelson attended the Art Students League. In the 1915 New York State Census, Michelson had remarried to Kathryn and they had a two-year-old daughter. The family resided in the borough of Queens on Edgewater Place. A 1916 New York city directory listed him in Manhattan at 245 Fort Washington Avenue.

Motor Print 2/1916

Michelson was a regular contributor to a number of magazines including McCall’s (April 1913) and Motor Print: November 1915; December 1915; January 1916; and March 1916.

Hearst used Michelson on the covers of Harper’s Bazar (April 1914 and February 1917), and inside Puck magazine, which it bought in 1917.

Michelson illustrated the book Jinks and Betty which was published in 1916.

On December 13, 1917, Michelson became a naturalized citizen. His address was 677 West 204 Street. The same address was on his World War I draft card which he signed on September 9, 1918. The self-employed artist’s description was medium height and build with gray eyes and brown hair.

Sheet music cover art, 1919

“August E. R. Michelson” was the name recorded in the 1920 census. His wife and three children lived in Queens, New York at 30-32 Gardiner Street. A fourth child was named in the 1925 New York state census. At, there are Boston city directories, from 1922 to 1930, that list artist “Gustav Michaelson” at “276 E Cottage Dor[chester]”. It’s not clear if this Boston artist was the same New York City artist.

In the 1930 census the family remained in Queens but at a different address, 3634 Gardiner Avenue. Michelson continued as a self-employed artist.

They remained at the same location but the street was renamed Corp Kennedy Street in the 1940 census. The census statistics said he completed two years of high school, and in 1939, worked 26 weeks and earned $1,700. Michelson signed his World War II draft card April 27, 1942.

Michelson passed away March 7, 1964, in Elmhurst, New York. His death was reported in the Times, the next day, and Long Island Star-Journal (Long Island City, New York) on March 9 (below).

Gustav Michelson
A requiem mass for Gustav Michelson, 80, of 160-15 7th avenue, Beechhurst, will he offered in the Roman Catholic Church of St. John and Mary in upstate Chappaqua at 11 A. M. tomorrow.
Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Mount Pleasant, N. Y. 
Mr. Michehson died Saturday in City Hospital, Elmhurst.
A native of Boston, he was an artist and illustrator. He attended the Boston Latin School and the Art Students League in Manhattan and had been a courtroom artist with the Boston American, the old Morning World and other newspapers.
A cover artist for leading magazines, he had painted posters of movie stars for several major companies.
Retiring as an illustrator 15 years ago, Mr. Michelson continued to he active as a portrait painter.
He is survived by a son, Theodore, and three daughters. Sheila, JoAnn and Kathleen.
The Edward A. Cassidy Funeral Home of Mount Kisco. N. Y., is in charge of arrangements.

—Alex Jay


*Eric Gustavus Michelson
Selected information from

Massachusetts, Birth Records, 1840-1915
Erick G Michaelson born June 27, 1893, Boston, Massachusetts
Charles Michaelson, father; Hedvig, mother

1900 United States Federal Census
Eric Michealson, born June 1893 in Massachusetts
Arlington, Massachusetts
Swedish emigrant parents

1910 United States Federal Census
Eric G Michelson, Artist / Designing
26 Granite Street, Worcester, Massachusetts

World War I Draft Card
Eric Gustavus Michelson
26 Granite Street, Worcester, Massachusetts
Draftsman, F.W. Dunbar Company, Boston

1920 United States Federal Census
Eric G Michelson, Designer, Outdoor Advertising
West Pico, Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles City Directory 1920
Eric G Michelson, commercial artist, Foster & Kleiser

1930 United States Federal Census
Eric G Michelson, Designer
Hester, wife
2544 Hermosa Avenue, Montrose, California

1940 United States Federal Census
Eric G Michelson, Draftsman, Airplane Factory
Hester, wife
2544 Hermosa Avenue, Glendale, California

California, Death Index
Eric G Michelson, Social Security #570-14-7743
born June 27, 1893, Massachusetts
died December 1, 1977, Butte County, California

Additional Information

The Worcester Directory 1916
“Michelson Eric G artist bds 26 Granite”

The Worcester Directory 1920
Michelson Eric G rem[oved] to Los Angeles Cal”


The April 1914 Harper's Bazaar cover linked near the top is quite is the Motor Print...great learning about 'new' artists. Thanks!
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Monday, October 27, 2014


Stripper's Guide Bookshelf: Retail Year One

Retail Year One: This is so Bogus My Head Hurts!
by Norm Feuti
ISBN 978-1-304-65379-6
Softcover, self-published (available through Lulu), $16.95

It used to be that the publication of a collection of a current comic strip wasn't a particularly newsworthy event. Until the early 2000s, most any comic strip with a decent fan following was available in reprint form at your local bookstore.

Well, with the slow but steady demise of those local bookstores, and the advent of comic strips archived on their syndicate websites, those collections are becoming rarer and rarer.

Of course, being a troglodyte, me wantum comic strips on paper. So I was delighted to find that one of my favorite current strips, Retail, has been given  the reprint book treatment. Unfortunately, creator Norm Feuti apparently never got the call from Andrews-McMeel, which seems to have less interest in comic strip reprints these days, so he had to publish on his own through POD website

I wonder in this age how many fans of Retail never actually get to see the strip printed on a newspaper page. I know I haven't. I developed a taste for the strip online, even though I really dislike reading comic strips in that milieu. Feuti's strip about a group of Grumbel's department store employees just seems to hit all the right notes. It is just a bit edgy, but nevertheless warm. There are no heroes and villains in his cast, which would be the easy way to play this game. Everyone at Grumbel's is just trying to make their way; some doing a better job than others, some more likeable than others, but no one is labelled BAD or GOOD. Dilbert, another successful workplace strip, takes the opposite tack and makes it work, but that strip is ultimately hitting the same few notes all the time, whereas Retail endeavors to use the whole keyboard. This approach limits the belly-laugh potential, but it makes you care enough about the characters to want to visit with them every day.

This book collects the first year (2006) of the strip, and works as a superb introduction to an excellent feature. Feuti was still finding his way at the time, but the strip was a good one right out of the gate. Not only is the strip funny, but Feuti's polished art is also a delight. It never calls attention to itself, but the spot-on expressions and body language always serve the gags perfectly.

So ignore, please, the awful hackneyed title of this collection (it really is the only klunky part of the whole package) and give Retail a try. If you've ever worked in retail, and who among us has been lucky enough not to, I think you'll become a fan of the strip.


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Sunday, October 26, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Can you believe I've got 30 years in and could retire? My plan is 6 more years and then scoot a chair next to yours!!
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Saturday, October 25, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Thursday, August 27 1908 -- In New York City today an odd news story is reported. It seems that there was this rather diminutive husband of a pretty gal. He was walking the boulevard with her when she came upon a man for whom she had a distinct "affinity." That is to say, their eyes locked and it was lust, love or something to that effect at first sight. The subject of the wife's "affinity", for that is the word the news story used to describe it, was a rather large muscular fellow. The gal and her affinity left the husband high and dry, right there on the sidewalk, and were in the process of boarding a bus, when hubby jumped into action. Though small, hubby was a gamer, and started beating the living bejeezus out of the bruiser. A cop momentarily stopped the brawl, but when the situation was explained to his satisfaction, he let the little fellow continue on his mission to make hamburger out of the affinitee, to the delight of all on hand. Once the bruiser begged for the beating to stop, the cop arrested both men. The wife later on came to the station and tried to bail out both of the men, but only had enough money for hubby.

Herriman uses this curious use of the term 'affinity' to report on a completely different situation, one that is MUCH less interesting, among local Democrats.


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Friday, October 24, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, May 9 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


I know this is nitpicking but how did this Borgg managed to excavate his underground lair? And seemingly in hardly any time? I did enjoy the way the ice on the wings melted due to the heat rays that prove this thing is a real menace, not simply the delusion of a crazed nutcase.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Clyde J. Newman

Clyde James Newman was born in Racine, Wisconsin on May 13, 1873, according to several newspaper and magazine articles, and his birth date was on his World War I draft card.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Newman was the second of three children born to Seneca, a bookkeeper, and Frances. They lived in Racine on Superior Street.

A few Racine city directories listed Newman’s occupation and whereabouts. In 1890 he was a painter who resided at 1205 Grand Avenue. Two years later he was assistant secretary at the YMCA and resided at 920 Center, the same address found in the 1897 directory. 

Newman’s profile in The Inland Printer, June 1901, revealed some aspects of his childhood and early career:
A Promising Chicago Cartoonist. 
Considerable attention has been attracted to the work of Clyde J. Newman, of the Chicago Record-Herald, whose cartoons have appeared daily upon the front page of that paper for some time past. While his draftsmanship is of a high order, this talent is only secondary to his keen insight into the motives which govern men in political or social life, and his unique manner in delineating human frailties and making even the passions of men ridiculous. Thus his pen-drawings are more powerful than the word pictures of the writer could be, for they reach the humblest understanding and make their impression upon the minds of the wisest. It is in the talents of the cartoonists in modern journalism, among whom Mr. Newman has already won his spurs, that the greatest power of the press lies.
Mr. Newman was born at Racine, Wisconsin, May 13, 1873. His parents moved to South Dakota when he was about nine years of age, taking the lad with them. After an absence of nine years the family returned to Racine and young Newman obtained employment in the machine shop of J. I. Case Company of that city. He had shown some aptitude for drawing, but had never had any particular training. Before the callous hands had become softened, in 1896, he began work on the Chicago Journal, under Charles M. Peck. then, as now, the managing editor. In January, 1899, he accepted a position on the Chicago Record, continuing until its consolidation with the Times-Herald, where he now is. When with the Record, Mr. Newman undertook the making of cartoons during the absence of John T. McCutcheon in the Philippines, filling the position satisfactorily.
He has rare talent, but is one of those modest young men who does not desire to be “puffed.” He says he considers it a genuine misfortune to be overestimated. Simple, strong, and with meaning in every line, his cartoons are watched for each day with much interest. His work speaks for itself and no lengthy article concerning it is necessary. Inland Printer readers will be glad to have this opportunity of seeing a few miniature reproductions of some of his regular newspaper work, and a portrait of the young cartoonist.

The Inland Printer June 1901

The 1900 census recorded Newman, his wife, Edith, and two sons, Clyde and John, in Chicago, Illinois at 573 South Oakley Avenue. The Wisconsin Marriages records at said he married in Racine on October 19, 1897.

In 1900, Newman’s illustrations for three books were published: George Ade’s Fables in Slang and More Fables; and J.E. Connor’s Uncle Sam Abroad.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) includes two works by Newman in the Chicago Daily News: New First Reader (started by Raymond Garman), from July 6, 1900 to September 30, 1901; and People We Know, from November 22 to December 1, 1900.

Around 1908, Newman settled in Wheaton, Illinois. The 1910 census said his address was 112 Chase Street where he now had six children. His occupation was newspaper artist.

Newman copyrighted some of his art as recorded in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 4: Works of Art, Etc. 1914, New Series, Volume 9, Number 3:

Newman (Clyde James) Wheaton, Ill. [15954, 15955Memoirs of an old master. Old musician seated with violin in hand while in background appear scenes of his past life. © 1 e. July 13. 1914; G 47219.
Spirit of the dance. Draped dancing girl in center, with man playing piano at left and dancers of various nations in background. © 1 c. July 13, 1914; G 47220.
Newman signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. He resided at 501 Willow Avenue in Wheaton, and was an artist with the Meyer-Both Company, 2314 Indiana Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The description on the card said he was of medium height and build with gray eyes and dark hair. From this point onward his address and employer remained the same throughout his life.

The Chicago Tribune profiled Newman on April 21, 1957. Halfway through his Civil War assignment he lost vision in his left eye. After some adjustment, he completed the 48 drawings. He rode a motorcycle for 23 years until he was 76. A motorcycle injury required him to use a cane. After his wife passed away in 1950, he lived alone, read the Bible and learned some Greek and Hebrew.

Newman passed away June 16, 1959, in Wheaton, Illinois. His obituary was published June 18, 1959 in a local newspaper which was found at an family tree:
J. Clyde Newman, 86, of 501 E. Willow avenue, nationally known commercial and newspaper artist and resident of Wheaton for 51 years, died Tuesday in the Zace Retirement Home at Winfield.
Mr. Newman, born in Racine, Wis., on May 13, 1873, spent more than a half-century drawing news pictures for Chicago papers. His biggest assignment was the Iroquois fire, where he was one of the first reporters on the scene.
Mr. Newman is survived by seven children children, Clyde C., John F., C. Fred, Joseph H., Mrs. Dorothy Gauger, David W., and Mrs. Margaret Roeslem.
Services were to be held this afternoon (Thursday) from the Hanerhoff Funeral home, 304 N. Main street, with burial in Forest Home cemetery, Forest Park.
Mr. Newman taught himself Hebrew and Greek and read the Bible thoroughly. He was also a student of Sanskrit. Abraham Lincoln was his ideal and he took a great interest in the Civil War history, once being commissioned to paint pictures of generals involved in both sides of the civil conflict.
Motor cycling was one of his hobbies and he rode a cycle until he was 76. In 1938 he went by motor cycle through Wauchatchee Valley visiting the Civil War battlegrounds.
—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Jim Seed


James Edward “Jim” Seed was born in Toledo, Ohio, on April 14, 1927. According to the 1927 Toledo City Directory his family resided at 1036 Page Street. His birth date was at the Ohio Birth Index at

In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, he lived in Portage, Pennsylvania at 823 Main Street. His parents were Edward, a steamship machinist, and Marie, both Syrian emigrants. His brother, Aniese, was born in Toledo in 1924. They shared the same address with the Haddad family, whose parents were Syrian emigrants, too. At some point the Seeds returned to their old address in Toledo; the 1933 Toledo directory listed his father. According to Seed’s obituary in the Toledo Blade, October 11, 2010, he attended the Sherman Elementary School where his art talent was recognized.

The family was at the same address in the 1940 census. That year Seed’s “…larger-than-life Nativity scene…painted on the window of his eighth-grade homeroom at Sherman…received acclaim. With his pastor’s encouragement, he enrolled in an art course for illustrations and cartooning...He was given a waiver for his age to enroll in Federal Schools Inc.,” according to the Blade. The following year, at Woodward High School, he was awarded first prize for his poster, “Fire Is a Dangerous Playmate”, as reported in the October 9, Blade (below).

His artwork was featured in the yearbook, Saga-Tattler of 1945. In Tales of Terror, number 2, September 1985, Cat Yronwode talked to Seed and said: “…he had gotten his start as a background inker in Toledo, Ohio when he was a high school student—working for Bill Woggin….” How and when he met cartoonist and Toldeo resident Don Dean is not known. While a senior in high school, Seed inked Dean’s Cranberry Boggs and continued on it while attending the University of Toledo. The strip began January 8, 1945 and ended July 30, 1949.

Seed’s wife, Ruth, said he collaborated with Bill Scott on a 1950 comic strip about a chaplain, but that ended when he joined the Army, for two years, during the Korean War. A few years later, he drew the medical strip, Dr. Guy Bennett, which started April 11, 1955 in the Long Island Star-Journal. His involvement ended January 19, 1956; Frank Thorne succeeded him. The strip was conceived and written by Dr. Michael Bennett who used the pen name “B.C. Douglas.”

Star-Journal 4/11/1955

Ottawa Citizen 12/22/1956

Sometime in 1955 Seed dropped Bennett to draw Jane Arden, a strip that went unsigned for several months. In the Dallas Morning News, January 20, 1956, the strip was signed “Graham and Seed” but had the old byline “Barrett and Ross”. Seed stayed on through September 3, 1960. The Blade said he contributed, without credit, to “Steve Roper, Judge Parker, and Rex Morgan, MD.” Dr. Guy Bennett was not mentioned in the article and may have been confused with Rex Morgan.

During the 1960s he worked as a studio illustrator and photo retoucher, and taught illustration for two years. He married in 1963.

In the mid-1970s he returned to teaching, first at the Toledo Museum of Art from 1976 to 1979, then Whitmer High School from 1977 to 1999. Arthritis was the reason for his withdrawal from drawing. In the mid-1980s he pencilled and lettered three stories for the comic book, Tales of Terror.

Seed passed away October 9, 2010. His death was reported in the Blade two days later. He was buried at Toledo Memorial Park.

—Alex Jay



I was wondering how can you tell if a comic strip/character is in the public domain?
Anon --
You're asking the wrong question, I think. What you really want to know is whether you can be sued for using a previously copyrighted character (in p.d. or not). The answer is yes, YES and most emphatically YES! My opinion, no matter how learned it might be, will not keep you from being sued.

Likely one would need to consult an attorney versed in intellectual property, maybe one who specializes in dealing with entertainment law. Maybe the National Cartoonist Society could provide a lead for who has expertise. Copyrights and trademarks are complicated.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of Yore: A "Prescription" for Writing Comics

Boston Traveler
October 4, 1957

New Medical Strip to Start

A doctor’s approach to medical problems—written by a doctor in collaboration with a doctor—that’s the story of the new medical strip, Dr. Guy Bennett.

It will appear daily in the Traveler starting Monday.

Brockton Native Author of Strip

The author is Dr. Michael Petti, a Brockton native now practicing in Cleveland. For his newspaper work he uses the pen name “Dr. B.C. Douglas.”

His collaborator, also a doctor, is his wife. He met her while they interned together at Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland in 1941.

They have three boys: Michael, 10; Richard, 8, and Robert, 6.

Dr. Petti grew up in Brockton with two ambitions, to be a doctor and to be a writer. He has combined the two.

He was graduated cum laude in 1937 from Dartmouth, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and served in the Navy as a lieutenant commander from 1942 to 1946.

He is a senior clinical instructor in internal medicine at Western Reserve University and is a lecturer at the university’s dental school. He is affiliated with several hospitals and has a private practice in Cleveland.

His strip is devoted to medical subjects. He has treated cancer quacks, allergies, epilepsy and alcoholic problems. In Australia, his strips dealing with diabetes symptoms uncovered a large number of cases.

Those who know Dr. Petti and his intimates can pinpoint the characters in the strip. They are modeled on his medical associates, friends and members of his family.

Each panel in the strip is laid out on paper by the doctor and his wife. It then goes to an artist for drawing. The completed work is returned to the doctor for a final check for accuracy.

The first strip Monday will introduce some of the principal characters in Dr. Guy Bennett. The sequence that follows involves Br. Bennett’s own family in a medical problem that completely disrupts his home life.

Boston Traveler

September 15, 1959

Doctor Satisfies Desire to Write with Comic Strip


“I always wanted to be a writer….A couple of years ago I got the idea for a comic strip with a medical theme. I thought about developing a story line to revolve around a particular medical problem, the problem to be portrayed with unfailing accuracy.

“I did a pilot story without pictures—I’m not an artist—and took it to Lafave Features in Cleveland. They liked the idea, so I hired an artist and we were in business.”


“Here’s how I work. I usually block out an entire story at a time. Each story covers two months worth of strips.

“I get my ideas from my work, reading, colleagues’s suggestions. And each story is built around a definite medical problem.

“Actually, what I do is to select the problem—that’s educational—then weave a dramatic tale around it.”


“I write a one page story outline. Then I work it out the way it will appear in the paper, a day at a time. I do all this without drawings. I write directions for the artist, however. He’s Frank Thorne of Westfield, N.J.

“Now, my training is all in internal medicine. For that reason I don’t feel qualified in dealing with story ideas outside my specialty.

“Thus, when I do stories with psychiatric, say, or surgical themes—anything specialized—in each case I consult with a specialist in that field….

“After the story is checked for accuracy I give it to the syndicate. After I get the syndicate’s OK, I mail the whole thing to Thorne in New Jersey.”

Dr. Petti said Thorne let’s him know when the newspaper deadlines fall. Thorne works up the drawings in pencil and sends them back to Petti.

“I check them for accuracy.” Dr. Petti said. “It’s surprising the way readers and colleagues search for the slightest deviation from actual medical practice. The angle of a hypodermic needle during an injection, for instance.

“When I've gone over Throne’s drawings, maybe suggesting changes, I mail them back to him. He does them again in ink. That’s the finished product. He sends them to me, I check them, then turn them over to the syndicate for distribution.”

“I give the syndicate a week’s work at a time.”

(Michael Anthony Petti passed away September 4, 2008. His death was reported in the Enterprise, September 19.)


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Monday, October 20, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Buford Tune

Buford Malcolm Tune was born in Eastland County, Texas on August 26, 1906. His birthplace was named in the Dallas Morning News (Texas), July 10, 1949, and Social Security Death Index had his birth date.

The 1910 U.S. Federal Census recorded Tune and his parents, Martin and Allie, in Abilene, Texas at 1410 Mesquite Street. His father did odd jobs.

Sylvester, Texas was Tune’s home in the 1920 census. His mother, a widow, was a telephone operator with three children to care for.

The Morning News said “Tune attended Abilene Christian College and took a course in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.” In Boody Rogers’ autobiography, Homeless Bound, Rogers attended the academy and wrote:

I paid my tuition for the summer course and asked the lady if she knew anyone I might split the rent with. She introduced me to another student from Texas, Buford Tune, who later was to draw the feature, “Dottie Dripple.” Tune and I found a room on the near north side, and each moved in his one suitcase.
At some point, Tune moved to Dallas. A 1923 city directory listed him at 3221 Forest Avenue as a Western Union messenger. He was a “Dallas News” artist in the 1925 directory. According to the Morning News, Tune also worked at the Philadelphia Public Ledger.

In the late 1920s Tune moved to New York City. For United Feature Syndicate, he produced Doings of the Duffs from June 23, 1928 to August 15, 1931.

Tune resided in New York City at 51 Leroy Street, as recorded the 1930 census. He was a syndicated cartoonist. Roots Web has information about the Tune family. On December 15, 1930, Tune married Sylvia “Tibby” Newman. The Seattle Times (Washington), November 1, 1949, said, for ten years, Tune produced one-line gag cartoons while Tibby handled the sales. Also, Tune had a job in the advertising department of Paramount Pictures in New York.

This Week 5/12/1935

In 1940, Tune resided in Great Neck, New York, at 22 Hicks Lane. He had two sons, Donald and Bruce. Tune’s occupation was artist in the motion picture industry. A few years later Tune returned to comic strips.

Publishers Syndicate distributed Dotty Dripple which Buford took over from Jim McMenamy on October 16, 1944. The strip began June 26, 1944 and ended June 9, 1974. According to the Morning News, Tune’s family worked on the strip: Sunday page coloring by his wife, and lettering by oldest son, Donald.

Dallas Morning News 7/10/1949

Dotty Dripple also appeared in comics books and in its own title.

Some time in the 1940s, the Tunes moved to California. The Seattle Times said: “The Tune home is a sprawling seven-room Monterey bungalow in Los Angeles….”

Tune passed away May 21, 1989, in Santa Ana, California. An obituary appeared in the Orange County Register (Santa Ana, California), May 25.

—Alex Jay


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Sunday, October 19, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Excellent points. You forgot to list manure. People pay top dollar!
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Saturday, October 18, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Wednesday, August 26 1908 -- Apparently the mayor has commented that LA is not a New England town; Herriman illustrates some of the ways in which they differ.


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Friday, October 17, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Oh, cool! I've always wondered how they put ski attachments onto a plane. So, uh, that's, um, how they do it. I see. Hmm.

Connie, May 2 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


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Thursday, October 16, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ben Batsford

Benjamin Theodore “Ben” Batsford was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 5, 1892, according to the Minnesota, Births and Christenings Index at, and the Certificate of Registration of American Citizen, Form No. 210—Consular, dated September 19, 1916. The certificate said Batsford’s parents provided a notarized affidavit affirming his birth information. Many sources have 1893 as Batsford’s birth year. That year can be attributed to articles on the debut of the Mortimer and Charlie strip in July 1939. The articles had profiles of Edgar Bergen, the writer of the strip, and Batsford which included their birth dates.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Batsford was the second of five children born to Clifton and Jennie. His father was a house painter. The family resided in Duluth, Minnesota on Raleigh Street. According to the consular certificate, Batsford arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in March 1901.

The Vancouver Sun, July 7, 1939, profiled Batsford and said:

…While Mr. Batsford was born in Minnesota in 1893 [sic] and first entered the newspaper business in Minneapolis [unlikely since he moved in 1901], he moved when quite a young man [8 years old] to Winnipeg and it was there he laid the foundations of his artistic success. He sold his first drawing to the Winnipeg Free Press in 1908…
The Manitoba Marriage Index, at, said he married Estelle Mae Carruthers on October 2, 1915, in Winnipeg.

An early theater work by Batsford was entered in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2: Pamphlets, leaflets etc, 1917, New Series, Volume 14, Number 1:

Two of a Kind: play in 1 act, B.F. [sic] Batsford. 15 p. fol. Typewritten. [1140© 1 c. Dec. 13, 1916: D 45824; Benjamin Theodore Batsford, Winnipeg, Canada.
The Vancouver Sun noted Batsford’s military service: “When the World War broke out Mr. Batsford enlisted with a Canadian unit and saw service in France until the end of the war, when he returned to Winnipeg.”

Batsford was recorded in the 1916 and 1921 Canadian censuses. He was listed in the 1922 Henderson’s Winnipeg Directory as a cartoonist. Editor & Publisher, July 9, 1921, reported Batsford’s entry into comic strips.

Starts Own Comic Strip
The Winnipeg Free Press has commenced the publication of a new comic strip by its own artist, Ben Batsford. “Unk and Billy” is the caption and the strip, eight columns wide, is appearing daily. The two characters in the strip are a man and boy of no fixed abode, who try their hand at anything that turns up. The strip is being well received locally. The Free Press is the first Canadian daily to have a comic strip of its own.
Samples of Unk and Billy, also known as Billy’s Uncle, can be seen here.

At some point, Batsford moved to New York City where he continued producing Billy’s Uncle, as it was known in the U.S. The strip ended August 2, 1924, according to American Newspaper Comics (2012). Ten months later, Batsford was drawing Doings of the Duffs, from June 8, 1925 to July 21, 1928. He was the second of three cartoonists to continue Walter R. Allman’s creation.

Reno Evening Gazette 6/8//1925

The Vancouver Sun named other strips he worked on:
…Later he drew for a time “Little Annie Rooney” [1929–1930] and after that “Room and Board” [1930; signed Benbee] which in turn was followed by “The Doodle Family” [1934–1938; also known as Frankie Doodle]. Now he enters the biggest job of his career as artist selected by Mr. Bergen to draw Mortimer and Charlie.

Batsford was also profiled in the Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan), July 8, 1939.

The 1930 census recorded Batsford, his wife and two daughters in Brooklyn at 6826 Narrows Avenue. He was a newspaper cartoonist. Hempstead, New York, at 10 Adams Avenue, was Batsford’s home in the 1940 census.

Batsford’s Frankie Doodle was reprinted in comic books. Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Helpful Herbert was created by him.

Batsford passed away February 11, 1977, in East Northport, New York according to the Manitoba Historical Society. A death notice was published in the New York Times, February 13:

Batsford—Benjamin T., of East Northport, formerly of Floral Park, beloved husband of the late Stella, loving father of Fay Keaton and Ramona Bendin, dear brother of Sidney Batsford and Florence Hagan, also survived by five grandchildren. Service, 8 P.M., Sunday, Jacobsen Funeral Home, Huntington Station. Visiting hours 2 to 5 and 7 to 10 P.M., Sunday. Interment Pinelawn Memorial Cemetery.
—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: W.O. FitzGerald

William Ogg FitzGerald was born in Michigan on October 10, 1884. His birthplace was recorded in the censuses, and the birth date and full name was found on his World War I draft card.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, FitzGerald was the second of two children born to Lucius, a physician, and Elizabeth, both emigrants; his father was Canadian and his mother Scottish. They resided in Oliver, Michigan.

Information regarding FitzGerald’s education and art training has not been found.

FitzGerald and his mother, a divorcee, lived in Detroit, Michigan at 105 Stanley Avenue. His occupation was cartoonist. A single sentence in Cartoons Magazine, March 1916, noted FitzGerald’s whereabouts: “W.O. Fitzgerald has been engaged as staff cartoonist on Dome Echoes, a San Francisco publication.” A 1917 San Francisco city directory listed FitzGerald as an artist at 1144 Market Street.

On September 12, 1918, FitzGerald signed his World War I draft card. He and his wife, Grace, lived at 37 Ridge Road, in Royal Oak, Michigan. His occupation was “Artist Manager Art Department, Detroit News.”

According to the 1920 census, FitzGerald remained in Royal Oak with his wife and daughter. He continued his job as a manager at a newspaper.

American Newspaper Comics (2012), said he was the first of three artists to continue Doings of the Duffs which was created by Walter R. Allman. FitzGerald produced the strip from January 26 to June 6, 1925. The Lone Tree Reporter (Iowa), January 29, 1925, reported the revival of the strip:

Readers of various daily papers which for several years contained the comic strip, “Doings of the Duffs” will learn with pleasure that although Mr. W.R. Allman, the originator, will never again draw a line, Mr. W.O. Fitzgerald of Detroit has made an intense study study of it for the past many weeks and has taken it up right where Allman left it. And now the Duffs are appearing in the Muscatine Journal and in other daily papers and thousands of readers are again reading their humorous lines.

Riverside Daily Press 1/23/1925

 Riverside Daily Press 1/23/1926

 Riverside Daily Press 1/24/1925

Riverside Daily Press 1/26/1925

FitzGerald produced drawings for a number of local periodicals, including the Detroit Motor News, whose May 1926 issue mentioned his art exhibit:

Our Artist ExhibitsBeginning April 12 William Ogg FitzGerald, with whose illustrations all our readers are familiar, will place an exhibition of his drawings on display for one month in the art gallery on the mezzanine floor of the Bonstelle Playhouse.
In the mid-1920s, the Dearborn Independent published FitzGerald’s work.

Historical Detroit (1926) was the story of early Detroit as told by twenty bronze tablets. FitzGerald’s artwork was acknowledged.

FitzGerald was the father of four children in the 1930 census. The family still lived in Royal Oak but at a different address, 1074 Harwood Avenue. He was a commercial artist. One of his projects was illustrating a set of plates about Detroit and Michigan. They were manufactured in England.

The New York Times, December 10, 1933, covered the Automobile show, “Ford Exposition of Progress”. The article highlighted the Briggs Body Company booth:

In this company’s booth is a series of poster murals depicting the uses of steel, and a large painting giving a conception of the future of transportation, the work of William Ogg FitzGerald, Detroit artist.
FitzGerald illustrated the 1934  book, The Way Out: A Common Sense Solution to Our Economic Problems.

The May 1936 issue of the Magazine of the Women’s City Club of Detroit noted that FitzGerald had moved to New York City:

Spring seems to draw Detroiters to New York. Mrs. William Ogg Fitzgerald has been flitting about the city recently, visiting her husband who is now on the staff of the Wall Street Journal and Barron's Weekly….
Old Banking Landmarks of New York was illustrated by FitzGerald and published by Barron’s in 1936.

In 1940, FitzGerald resided in Mamaroneck, New York at 24 Barnum Road. He was a newspaper artist.

The Union Sun & Journal (Lockport New York), October 2, 1948, reported the wedding of FitzGerald’s oldest son. At the time, FitzGerald lived in Larchmont, New York.

FitzGerald passed away July 1967, in New York, according to the Social Security Death Index. His last residence was in Larchmont. An obituary has not been found.

—Alex Jay


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Walter R. Allman

circa 1910

Walter Reese Allman was born in Toledo, Ohio. His obituary said he was 42 years old at the time of his death in 1924, which made his birth year 1882. However, his World War I draft card has the birth date February 27, 1884.

At some point during his childhood, Allman’s mother, Mary, remarried. The 1900 U.S. Federal Census listed him as “Allman Krumling” and his birth as “Feb 1884.” He resided in Toledo at 2439 Vermont. His step-father, Frederick, was a telegrapher. In the 1910 census his name was recorded as “Walter Krumling”. His family remained in Toledo but at a different address, 115 Columbia Street.

The Muskegon Chronicle (Michigan), September 8, 1917, published the story of Allman’s start in cartooning.

Sketch on Box Starts Art Career of Duff Originator
Boys were setting up quotations in grain and other produce on the board in a Toledo grain broker’s office back in 1902, when a man named Clark strolled in.
Clark had come from Chicago and being editor of the Grain Dealers’ Journal, had business in this office. He noticed a box at the side of the board on which was a sketch of a man’s head an artistic clerk, in his leisure moments, had penciled. 
Struck by the originality of the drawing, Clark immediately “drafted” the perpetrator, and that is how Walter R. Allman, originator of the Duffs for the Chronicle, started on his career toward fame in the comic art world.
Allman was 18 years of age at the time and all the drawing he had then had been born with him. He worked one month for Clark in Chicago, after which he shifted about from place to place, working at anything in the art line until in 1905, he went to the Toledo News-Bee as local cartoonist….

The Toledo News-Bee, July 8, 1924, published its account of Allman’s early career:

Mr. Allman was cartoonist and artist on The News-Bee for 10 years. Shortly after leaving high school he took a job with a Toledo grain company. While there he practiced for his future work by drawing on the sides of boxes and crates. Later he went to the Franklin Printing and Engraving Co. and then came to The News-Bee. 
His work received special recognition and he was appointed to the NEA Service staff of artists on May 16, 1914. Mr. and Mrs. Allman had resided in Cleveland since that time. They lived at 11843 Lake av.
A number of city directories at tracked Allman’s whereabouts and occupations. The 1903 Toledo city directory listing said: “Allman, Walter R, clk [clerk] Reynolds Bros, bds [boards] 2439 Vermont av.” The 1905 directory said he had moved to Chicago. In 1906 Allman was in Toledo at 115 Columbia Street, and an artist at the Franklin Printing & Engraving Company. He remained at the same address in the 1911 directory which had his occupation as cartoonist at the Toledo Newspaper Company. The 1916 Cleveland city directory listed Allman as a cartoonist residing at 8012 Carnegie Avenue.

On September 12, 1918, Allman signed his World War I draft card. His address was the same as the Cleveland directory listing and he was a cartoonist for Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA).

Pep 3/1917

Allman is best known for his strip, Doings of the Duffs, which debuted July 30, 1914. In the Muskegon Chronicle, Allman said: “I wanted a short name to fit the character and size of the man I chose to be the ‘lead.’ I picked ‘Duff’ out of the air and I think it fits Tom to a T. ‘The other characters and their names came to me as I went along.” According to American Newspaper Comics (2012) there were two interruptions, in 1922 and 1923, during Allman’s tenure which ended in 1924. Regarding the interruptions, the News-Bee explained:
For years the Duff family cartoon appearing on the comic page of The News-Bee had endeared itself to thousands of readers in Toledo alone. This cartoon also appeared daily in hundreds of other newspapers thruout the country.
The Duff family as portrayed by Mr. Allman was “regular” family life. 
Hundreds of Duff fans have called The News-Bee to inquire why the strip had been discontinued. They were told of Mr. Allman’s illness.
Pep 4/1917

Pep 5/1917

Allman’s other comics were “Dreamsticks”, “The Great American Home”, “Honest, This Is How it Happened”, and “They All Fall for It”.

Wilke-Barre Times-Leader 12/12/1911

 Wilke-Barre Times-Leader 10/9/1915

Syracuse Journal 8/20/1921

In the 1920 census Allman and his wife, Theresa, lived in Cleveland at 2959 Coleridge Road. 
The News-Bee said he married Theresa Reardon in Toledo shortly before they moved. Allman was an artist who worked at an office. His neighbor, at 2933, was 25 year-old cartoonist, Roy Grove, who lived with his parents. 

A 1923 Cleveland directory said Allman resided at 2970 East 83rd Street and worked for NEA.

Allman passed away July 8, 1924, in Cleveland. The News-Bee reported his death the same day:

Walter R. Allman, 42, noted News-Bee cartoonist, creator of the Duff family, died on Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. in St. John’s Hospital, Cleveland. Death followed a nervous breakdown. Mr. Allman had been ill for more than a year. 
The body will be brought to Toledo on Thursday morning for burial. Services will be held in the Couldwell Funeral Parlors. His mother, Mrs. Mary A Crumling [sic] of Toledo, and his widow, Mrs. Theresa Reardon Allman, former Toledo girl, survive….
...Last winter the cartoonist suffered a nervous breakdown. Accompanied by Mrs. Allman, he went to Miami, Fla., to regain his health. In February he returned to Cleveland. Shortly after he was taken to the hospital where he died Tuesday.
American Newspaper Comics said Doings of the Duffs resumed with W.O. Fitzgerald on January 30, 1925. He was followed by Ben Batsford, June 8, 1925, and Buford Tune, July 23, 1928.

—Alex Jay


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