Sunday, August 14, 2022
Wish You Were Here, from Rudolph Dirks (?)
This Hearst freebie card from the 1906 Li'l Arsonist series offers the viewer a riddle of astonishing complexity -- who indeed are the culprits?
Is it my imagination, or is this not Dirks? Usually the cards from this series are by the cartoonists who penned the strips themselves, but except for Hans and Fritz, this sure doesn't look like Dirks to me.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
It is Dirks- or maybe a close tracing of Dirks, because this is a panel from an actual strip, I believe from 1905.
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Herriman Saturday: April 17 1910
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, August 12, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: Men and Women
Field Newspaper Syndicate thought that his cartoons would go over big with the American public, too, but it was not to be. His panel created for them was titled Men And Women, and it debuted on our side of the pond on March 8 1976* to a lukewarm reception (claims of 300 client papers are patently ridiculous). Six months after its debut it would gain the competition of the new strip Inside Woody Allen, a neuro-fest offering editors one of the biggest names in comedy. That pretty much doomed Men and Women to also-ran status, but Field gamely continued to offer it for six years, outlasting even the navel-gazing 1970s themselves. The series ended on April 19 1982*.
Calman was not used to the grind of a daily cartoon panel, and had this to say about how he felt by the end of the run, "I had cannibalised every scrap of an idea from my filing cabinet, and my extensive researches into marital strife were wearing me out."
It is unclear to me if Men and Women was also published as a daily cartoon in England -- some sources seem to say yes, some say no. And one source says that at least selections from the American cartoon were offered in a British reprint book, but I do not know which one (Calman has an extensive bibliography). Anyone?
* Source: Dates from Dave Strickler based on Los Angeles Times.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ed Reed
… After Ed had finished high school in Paris he studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. In 1929 he began to his sketches to the New Yorker, Life, and Judge. He contributed to the mid-depression torrent of comic magazines and their success. He lived a sort of gag-to-mouth existence, some weeks finding many of his ideas accepted, others none.Reed estimates that between 1930 and 1934 he lived on an average of less than $7.50 per week. Much of this was eaten up in buying drawing materials for more submissions. He became an avid reader of newspaper classified advertising sections, and today turns to classified out of habit rather than out of need for a new job.In 1934 he began drawing his daily square three times each week for the Dallas Journal, and its syndication, on a daily basis, was begun some months later by the Register and Tribune Syndicate of Des Moines, Iowa. …… Those who knew Ed Reed when he came to Des Moines in 1934 with nothing but a big ambition and a bright new quarter, say that success has changed him not at all. He’s the same hardworking, sincere, appreciative lad he was then. He puts his money in the bank for the stormy day he hopes will never come. He is like a schoolboy with a new nickel every time he gets a fan letter (and he answers every one of them).
Ed Reed and Mary Cullum Marry TodayCouple Wed in Dallas in Bride’s Home.The marriage of Miss Mary Anne Cullum, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. Earl Cullum of Dallas, Tex. and Ed Reed of Des Moines, formerly of Dallas, is taking place Monday afternoon at the Cullum home. Only members of the immediate families are witnessing the ceremony being performed by the Rev. Jasper Manton, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian church and a boyhood friend of Mr. Reed. The couple will leave immediately for Des Moines. The bride has been a member of the amusements department staff of the Dallas News and Journal. She is a former student of the University of Texas and a graduate of Radcliffe college. Mr. Reed draws Off The Record cartoons. He was graduated from high school in Paris, Tex., and attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago. He and his bride will reside in the Cortez apartments.
Ed Reed, a retired nationally syndicated cartoonist, died of leukemia Sunday at a hospital in Cheltenham, England. He was 82. During the 1940s Mr. Reed was a cartoonist for the now-defunct Dallas Journal. He was syndicated in more than 400 newspapers across the United States and Europe. Off the Record and Three Bares were two of Mr. Reed’s many cartoons. Mr. Reed was a native of Paris and earned an art degree from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He started at the Journal after college. He retired during the mid-1980s and moved to Europe. Funeral: Monday at St. Saviour’s Catholic church in Broadway, England Survivor: Wife Mary Anne Reed of Broadway.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, August 08, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: Jobs of Sorghum Shortcake
Here's one from that wild and wacky back page of the Chicago Daily News, a daily page full of comics and gags when that wasn't even a thing yet. In 1906-07, the bullpen was home to someone who signed himself 'James'; he was a pretty good cartoonist, and he originated three different series during his brief tenure. Unfortunately I've never figured out what his full name might be.
One of those series was Jobs of Sorghum Shortcake (aka Li'l Sorghum), in which a black kid loses job after job due to an insatiable curiosity which lands him in hot water. This series ran sporadically from November 16 1906 to April 6 1907. It was 'James' last series.
The second example is interesting in that it shows an odd affectation that was pretty common among the Daily News crew of those days. Word balloons were sparsely used, perhaps because the strips were printed awfully small, but when they were you'd often see the text underneath giving a whole different speech to the same character. It's odd and a little jarring to a modern reader.
Sunday, August 07, 2022
Wish You Were Here, from Albert Carmichael
Another Albert Carmichael postcard, this one from Taylor Pratt & Co series 568. This is one of the few from that series where a single gal is featured in the lonely spot.
This card was postally used in 1910 (issued in 1909), and it was sent from one girlfriend to another -- apparently unattached as the sender added the caption "Such is Life" on the front.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Saturday, August 06, 2022
Herriman Saturday: April 16 1910
April 16 1910 -- Sam Langford and Jim Barry met in the ring again, and again, Mister Barry became closely and painfully acquainted with the business end of Mr. Langford's gloves. One hopes that Jim Barry was at least well-paid to take these repeated drubbings.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, August 05, 2022
Obscurities of the Day: Woman's First Thought is Man and In Darktown
Here are a pair of obscurities I've been meaning to post for years and years, hoping for some help on an IDing question.
In Darktown ran sporadically in the New York Evening World from September 12 to December 29 1904*, usually as a panel, sometimes as a strip. It's your typical distasteful stereotyping of blacks, the sort of thing that was quite commonplace in papers of the era. The art on this feature, though, has a certain quality that impresses me. The series was signed with the name "Dalg".
Also by "Dalg", Woman's First Thought is Man ran six times in the period January 13 to March 13 1905 in the same paper. It's nothing greatly memorable as a series -- just strips about how women, supposedly supportive of their men, can be anything but. Been done many times before and many times since. This strip, despite the less than original hook, is written and drawn with an appealing style as well.
These are two of a total of three series, all from late 1904 to mid-1905, carrying the signature "Dalg" (or is it "Salg"?). There are plenty of aspiring cartoonists that came and went not having left us their full names, but in this case, the guy was actually pretty good, and I'd love to credit his full name.
Of "Dalg"s three series, these two were for the New York Evening World, and one was for the Evening Telegram, so he was obviously a New Yorker shopping his wares around. Beyond that I can offer no clues. I can find a few people with the surname Dalgleish popping up in New York City papers at the right time, but none is identified as an artist.
* There was one additional panel using this title, run on January 2 1905, by R.E. Leppert. Since the series does not use continuing characters but just a common theme, hard to say if Leppert piggybacked on the series or just happened to use the same title.
Wednesday, August 03, 2022
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ethel Hays
Ethel had two aunts who recognized and nurtured her artistic talent. In 1911, they encouraged Ethel to study at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design. Once there, Ethel received a scholarship to the Art Students League of New York.
In the last week two leading art schools in Los Angeles have been holding exhibitions of pupils’ work. The College of Fine Arts, U. S. C., held its annual display Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the Los Angeles Schoo! of Art and Design, at Sixth and Alvarado, exhibited Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The work of students at the School of Art and Design is always of interest and while the collection this year is not so large as usual I am inclined to think that it is selected with great care and shows a healthy progress in artistic perception, The studies all show earnest, painstaking effort. The aim of the school is the practical as well as the beautiful and the instructors strive to point out the great truth that the real can never be successfully divorced from the ideal. The classes have been particularly successful in their work in design and many strong, well-considered plates are shown. Honor students in various branches are as follows: oil painting, S. Sasaki, Y. Hiaao, Miss F. Schilling, and Mrs. E. Kohler; drawing, Mrs. Grace B. Stuvert, S. Ito, and W. Crawford; pen and ink, Ethel Hays; design, Vera Barrett; anatomy, Ethel Hays; normal work, Mrs. Robbins; perspective, Ethel Hays.
Careful selection and artistic arrangement characterize the annual exhibition of pupils’ work at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design, which was held Friday and Saturday of last week. Many well-considered studies from life were shown which reflected much credit on pupils and teachers alike. The work of two graduates who will go abroad to seek careers deserves special mention. The oil canvases by Seijiro Sasaki have the touch of the professional and indeed are worthy to be hung in any art collection. The pen-and-ink illustrations by Ethel Maude Hays are excellent and no better work along this line is being done in the west today.
The Los Angeles School of Art and Design held its 27th Annual Reception and Exhibition June 12–13. The standard of the students’ work was exceptionally high, showing a training which is fundamentally strong and thorough as evidenced in the variety of work shown in life, composition, illustration, landscape, modeling, anatomy, perspectives and the department of Normal Art. The work of S. Sasaki in painting, Ethel Hays in illustration, May Mott-Smith and Ora Pierce in sculpture, call for special commendation. S. Sasaki has been awarded a scholarship. Hamilton A. Wolf, of New York City, is one of the faculty of this school.
The perfect woman, the American Venus, has been found. The discoverer is Hamilton Wolf, a New York artist and son of a New York artist, Henry Wolf. The American Venus is Miss Ethel Hays, the daughter of a Billings banker, and only three years out of school. She also is an artist with dreams of a career. Her discoverer is putting her on canvas and the painting is to be exhibited in the Paris Salon if the genius of the enthusiastic painter can win a place in the line.Hamilton Wolf is living in Los Angeles just now, and here is his critical judgment of the American Venus:“Every line, from the graceful wave of her hair to the curve of her ankle, is perfect. The broad shoulder, the broad, undulating waist, the long lines of arm and leg, all mark her as the prototype of the woman who posed for the Venus de Milo.”Miss Hays was graduated from the Billings high school three years ago. She is now twenty-one years old, determined to make a name for herself. While in school she was the mainstay of the school publication's art department, and after graduating followed the advice of friends who saw possibilities in her work and decided on a career of art. As the scene of her work she selected Los Angeles.That is how she became acquainted with Hamilton Wolf, how she became his pupil, and later his model.Like other artists, Wolf long had cherished an ambition to find and paint the perfect woman. It was to be his masterpiece. Where was she to be found?Then, one day, she came and work on “Woman” was begun. The artist settled down to a long grind, and in a few weeks or months, according as his temperament and physical power permit, “Woman” will be on her way to Paris.“I hope to paint a picture which, before it is sent to the salon, will make our naturally beauty loving people realize how far from the great ideals of the masters they have strayed,” says the sanguine artist. “I have drawn Miss Hays from every angle in merciless black and white—and she stands the test.”But Miss Hays herself takes her beauty less seriously than Wolf, and seems to regard the fact that she is hailed as the one perfect woman of less consequence than her work and progress in her chosen field.“I feel art is the greatest of all things,” she wrote in a recent letter to a friend. “I believe an artist is at once the happiest and unhappiest person in the world. The happiness comes from the knowledge and indulgence of a creative power, and the unhappiness from knowing that absolute perfection is never attained.”“Miss Hays might almost be called a genius,” declares Wolf. “She has everything at her command—love of beauty, humor and the quality of taking definite pains, which Carlyle says is genius. She can sketch for hours in a dusty studio, depicting the streams and hills of nature’s great outdoors; she can trace with wonderful exactness the lines of the human body, and can turn from that to evolve a cartoon possessing an instantaneous appeal.”“Woman,” with which Wolf hopes to capture Le Grand Prix at the Paris Salon, will represent the utmost in femininity, according to its creator. Although idealistic in every line, it will but portray the perfection of Miss Hays.“Miss Hays's body is almost inconceivably perfect in construction,” says Wolf. “It is just eight times the height of her head, her closely and delicately modeled ears are exactly even with the top and bottom of her nose, her neck is just the right proportion—every feature is in perfect harmony. Look at the space between her eyes—equal to the breadth of one eye! The fine line of her brows, the masculine strength of her chin, feminized by the soft moulding, the finely chiseled nostrils and the swelling of the throat recall visions of marbles seen in the great museums and galleries o the continent.“Her superb physical condition can be attributed largely to the exercise she has taken in the bracing mountain air of Montana. She walked, where we of the more crowded centers ride. People today do not walk enough—even the doctor, preacher of health, if he has three blocks to go takes a car or cranks up his machine. We ride, ride, all the time, and some day we'll lose the use of our legs, like a fish in the waters of a cave loses its eyesight. Miss Hays walked, and as a result her body is absolutely symmetrical, strongly but gracefully muscled and suffused with the glow of perfect health.”No bothersome rules of diet worry Miss Hays. She eats what she likes, in moderation—she has never followed any complex rule of diet, exercise or "beauty" culture. Early in life it was impressed on her that health is largely a matter of appetite, and about the same time her father impressed the value of moderation.“These,” she says, "have been my governing rules—eat and exercise in moderation. I take long walks and practice deep breathing, but I believe every woman who has regard for her health now does that.”Wolf went to Los Angeles about a year ago and since then has painted portraits of many prominent Los Angeles citizens.Miss Hays will finish her present course next June. Later she will go east for a year’s work in New York and Boston before continuing her studies in Europe.Miss Hays is the daughter of George M. Hays, assistant state treasurer of Montana from 1897 to 1901 and state treasurer from 1902 to 1905.
The Easter hop was especially enjoyed because there have been so many weeks without any social pleasures whatever during the long quarantine. The beautiful weather over the weekend also added materially to the enjoyment of the many weekend guests who were here. The hotel was crowded, and there were many guests visiting officers’ families. ...... Major and Mrs. Matheson’s guests for the hop and week-end were Miss Ethel Hays, of New York, and Miss Annabel Arnott, of the National Cathedral School at Washington; Miss Dorothy Chapple, who is a student at the same school and is spending her Easter vacation with Major and Mrs. Matheson. ...
Served at Camp Lewis, January 1919 to July 1919. Fitsimmons, July 1919 to May 1920. Johnson City, Tenn., November 1921 to June 1923. Dayton, Ohio, October 1924 to November 1924.
... Then the war came. Ethel had suspected for a long time that there was something bigger in the world than painting blue iris in crystal bowls, and now she knew. She dropped her paint brushes, enrolled in a Red Cross course; passed her examinations, obtained her passport, and was all set for Europe. She went home to tell the folks good-bye. While home she saw a newspaper pica for art instructors for government hospitals.It wasn’t because Ethel feared mal de mer, but because she saw here a chance to help win the war and also stay right on in her own field that she switched from Red Crossing to art instructor for Uncle Sam.The Chuckle GirlThen began her six years of work as aide to Uncle Sam. They called these girls who taught the soul-sick body-sick veterans how to draw and who made funny cartoon posters for hospital wards, “Uncle Sam’s Chuckle Girls.” And Ethel Hays’ “Chuckle Girl” was most famous of all. At Camp Lewis and government hospitals at Denver, Johnson City, Tenn., and Dayton, O., she taught and entertained sick soldier boys. And by the time this work was ended she knew without a doubt that she had found her line funny pen and ink drawings, featuring the modern American girl. Meanwhile she took a correspondence course in drawing. [Who's Who in Northwest Art (1941) said Hays took the Landon Course in cartooning.]The director of this correspondence art school knew the editor of The Cleveland Press. He showed some of Ethel’s drawings to him. Within an hour the editor had talked with Miss Hays on the phone at the government hospital in Dayton, where she was finishing up her war work, and asked her how soon she could begin work with The Press.Months afterward Ethel confessed that she thought she was being offered a lay-but job, meaning a touching up of photographs and a making of borders for them.But she came. Within a week the whole city knew Ethel. She and a girl reporter did a picture feature stunt a day. They interviewed and a “drew” every celebrity who came to town. They climbed church steeples and went down in diving suits. They rode speed boats and broke ice in the lake in order to go in swimming. Ethel’s girl drawings were a city fixture.NEA Service realized that here was something more than a local stunt. This girl artist, they knew, had a universal understanding of human nature, its griefs and joys, its high spot’s and low spots, which is why today Ethel’s pictures, her “Flapper Fanny” and her larger drawing or some phase of human experience at its funniest, and her gorgeous color Sunday magazine pages are seen by millions of people daily.
Plymouth Congregational church was the scene yesterday of a very quiet wedding when Miss Ethel Maude Hayes [sic] of Cleveland, Ohio, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George M. Hayes of Billings, Mont., and sister of Mr. George M. Hayes, Jr., 3214 Colfax avenue south, became the bride of Mr. William Sims [sic], of Kansas City. The Rev. Harry P. Dewey read the service, with only close friends and relatives present. Evergreens, palms and ferns decorated the chancel of the church for the ceremony. The bride, who was given in marriage by her brother, Mr. George M. Hayes, Jr., wore a straight line gown of brown chiffon velvet with satin to match. She carried an arm bouquet of orchids. Mr. Sims, who met his bride at the altar, was unattended. Mr. and Mrs. Sims left immediately after the ceremony for Kansas City where they will make their home. Sunday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Hayes entertained with a bridal dinner at the University club for the young couple.
Ethel Hays, artist, has signed a new long term contract with NEA Service, Inc. In addition to continuing her Flapper Fannies” and “Ethel” cartoons, she will also draw a cover each week for the forthcoming NEA Sunday magazine. A little less than three years ago, Miss Hays became connected with NEA. Previously she had been an artist on the Cleveland Press.
… Mary Young, author of Paper Dolls and Their Artists (1975), told the author that Ethel said to her during a 1970s telephone interview: “The favorite story that I illustrated was The Cat That Would Be King.”
Mesa—Mr. William C. Simms, 80, a retired insurance man who came to Mesa seven years ago from Santa Fe, died Friday at Mesa Lutheran Hospital.Mr. Simms. 5354 E. Dodge, was born in Kansas City, Kan. He was a World War I Army veteran and a Mason and Shriner.Survivors include his wife, Ethel, of Mesa; two sons, William and Preston, both of Santa Fe: two daughters, Mrs. William Spink of Cos Cob, Conn., and Mrs. Del Kath of Van Nuys, Calif.; a sister. Mrs. Huldah Simms of Phoenix, and another sister out of state; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.Services will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow at M. L. Gibbons Mortuary, 9702 E. Apache Trail. Mesa. Private cremation will follow.
Simms, Ethel Hays, 67—A resident of Santa Fe, passed away Sunday morning, March 19th at her home. She was born March 13, 1893 at Billings, Montana, the daughter of George and Jennie Hays. She trained at the Art Students League in New York, followed by a life long career in commercial art and as a syndicated newspaper artist for Hearst Publications.During the 1920s she illustrated the “Flapper Fanny” cartoon series. Originally living in Kansas City, Missouri, she moved to Santa Fe in 1948. During her retirement years she painted numerous portraits of Indians of the Southwest. She was active in the Santa Fe Altrusa Club and served for several years as a volunteer at the old St. Vincent’s Hospital. She was preceded in death by her husband, William Coy Simms in 1972.Survivors include her two sons: Preston W. Simms and wife Marion of Santa Fe, and William C. Simms and wife Helen of Templeton, California; two daughters: Barbara Simms Spink and husband Bill of Santa Fe, and Dorothy Simms Kath and husband Delbert of Megilto, California; and 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Cremation taken place in Santa Fe and a Memorial Service and burial will take place at a later date in Billings, Montana. Arrangements an under the direction of McGee Memorial Chapel, 1320 Luisa, 963-9151.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, August 01, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: The Flapdoodles
Per Ruse, who created comics under the Americanized pen name Pete Hansen, is one of my guilty pleasures. Even in the 1970s, when male bigotry was still a popular sport, I imagine even a chauvinist pig like Bobby Riggs would have flinched a little at Hansen's horribly sexist comic strip about a dippy blonde bombshell secretary, Lolly. But Lolly ran in my hometown paper, and I have to admit, though it sometimes made me almost as uncomfortable as Andy Capp's wife-beating episodes, something about the art and style was so darn appealing that I read it religiously every day.
The same would not have been true of Flapdoodles, Hansen's first comic strip. The art style is already coming into focus, but the crushing boredom of domineering wife gags practically every day, over and over and over ... my gosh, doesn't Bringing Up Father pretty much have that subject sewed up? As best I can tell from the relatively small number of Flapdoodles strips I was able to force myself to read, this seems to be about the sum total of the strip.
Evidently the King Features salesmen knew dirty secrets about enough editors to nudge this stinker over the brink as a launchable feature. The title was originally going to be The Noodles, but was changed shortly before the launch to Flapdoodles. The launch was supposed to have been on September 12 1949*, but perhaps due to the name change, it was pushed back to October 10 1949**. It was a daily-only strip, giving readers a well-deserved day off from it on Sundays.
King Features is notorious for sticking with a strip to the bitter end, and they stuck by Flapdoodles for four years, which may qualify the syndicate editor for sainthood. The strip was finally put out of its misery on September 12 1953***. Less than a year later Hansen would launch the much more successful Lolly through a different syndicate.
* Source: Editor & Publisher, 8/27/1949.
**Source: Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph
*** Source: Ottawa Evening Citrizen
Sunday, July 31, 2022
Wish You Were Here, from Phil May
Davidson Brothers, an English firm, put out a memorial series of postcards featuring works by the late great Phil May. The reverse says this is series #6076, but that number actually appears to be a code for this particular card in the series.
This card was posted to a recipient in the town of Abertilly, Wales, by someone who was, based on the message, regularly trading postcards with a friend. Abertilly is today a village of about 4,000 residents, but back when this was posted (apparently around 1907) it would have been a booming mining town of 20,000 or more.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Phil May was a very highly regarded cartoonist in late Victorian times. I have a circa 1898 deck of cards for a Yellow Kid game of some kind. They all depict him going through Europe, and one has the Kid visiting Phil May, happily sitting in his lap as May tells him a story.
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Herriman Saturday: April 15 1910
April 15 1910 -- The belongings of a married woman don't amount to much in 1910, it seems.
A man brings lawsuit against a hotel, because his wife's expensive furs were stolen during their stay. The opposing legal team brings up an important point -- does the husband actually have the right to bring suit when the clothes stolen were not his but his wife's? The judge asks the man if he paid for his wife's clothes. Yes, is the answer. Did he specifically state to her that the clothes were given to her as gifts? No, is the answer. The judge rules then that the clothes belong to the husband, not the wife, and he is within his rights to bring suit. His better half merely wears those things, while ownership stays squarely with the purchaser.
While the newspapers play up the anti-feminist aspect of this ruling, in fact, says legal scholar 'Stripper' Holtz, that judge in 1910 seems like he was on solid ground. Feminism, suffrage, women's rights, etc., just don't enter into the calculus of this situation, one in which merely the ownership of an article is determined by who paid for it.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, July 29, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: Grandma and her Little Black Blossoms
The popular comic strip Foxy Grandpa was about a jolly old codger and his young nephews. The typical plot of the strip was that the nephews would try to pull a trick on Foxy Grandpa, but he'd outsmart them and turn the gag right back on them.
Like most popular strips, Foxy Grandpa inspired imitators, and today we have one that recasts the characters as black, and grandpa is changed to a grandma. Because it ran as a small quarter-page strip, the gags were simplified such that the kids don't get to plan a trick -- grandma just plays a trick on them unprovoked. Grandma and her Little Black Blossoms ran occasionally in the Boston Globe Sunday comics section from November 1 1903 until January 31 1904*. The creator was James J. Maguinnis, who offered up quite a few forgettable series for the Globe in the 1900s.
* Source: Dave Strickler's Boston Globe index
Were the Boston Globe's cartoons syndicated at all in these earlier years? I've understood the tried maybe in the 1930s, but if they did, it was a feeble effort.
So pathetic as the effort was, yes, they were shopping their wares around!
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Early Eddie Eks Cartoon
Eddie Eksergian's cartooning career prior to 1901 is pretty much a blank for me; it was that year that he published his first series with both the McClure Syndicate, based in New York, and World Color Printing, based in St. Louis. But those are series cartoons, and those were the exception rather than the rule in those days. Above is a one-shot cartoon I recently found in the Sunday section of the New York Herald for November 14 1897, over three years before he'd pen his first series cartoon,when Eddie was just 24 years old.
Eddie was living in Brooklyn at this time, so it's not surprising that he was shopping cartoons around at the New York papers. His trademark zaniness is not in evidence; this cartoon is a pointed little political barb about women's suffrage, made theoretically funny because the giver and receivers are both little kids.
The circumstances shown in the cartoon are a mystery -- it is supposed to occur the day after elections, but November 1897 was an off-year. The only important election in New York that year was for a judgeship, and my research doesn't seem to indicate that suffrage was an issue in it. It doesn't even seem to refer back to the 1896 presidential election, as McKinley was famously silent on the suffrage issue, and his wife was very much for it. So what election this cartoon refers to I cannot say.
Monday, July 25, 2022
Selling It: Li'l Abner Cleans Up His Act
A lot of comic character marketing tie-ins make no sense to me (like our recently featured Dick Tracy ad for caramels...), but here we have a marriage made in heaven. If anyone needs a good laundry detergent, and will put it through a torture test, it's gotta be the denizens of Dogpatch.
In June 1952, the good folks with Surf detergent paired up with Al Capp's characters for a $100,000 contest, where in order to win you just have to give Daisy Mae some magic words to say about the wonders of her detergent. It seems like a wonderful idea, but the weird part is that the newspaper campaign came and went in practically no time. Seems like for $100 grand (in 1952 dollars!) you'd want to beat this contest's drum for months and months, but the whole thing seems to have come and gone in a month or even less.
Weirder yet, after the contest was over, I could find only a single report about a Texas lady who won third prize. Her local paper showed the photo op of her getting the check. The Surf people put not one single dime into advertising the contest results, and if they did send out publicity releases, I can find not one single paper that ran them. So $100 large later, we never found out who won the $10,000 first prize, nor what honey-soaked words they'd written to win the contest. Can anyone find a source for the contest results somewhere?
Labels: Advertising Strips
Sunday, July 24, 2022
Wish You Were Here, from Grace Drayton
Grace Drayton's postcard series for Reinthal & Newman (penned under her married name of Wiederseim) highlights her wicked sense of humour hidden behind a guise of cloying cuteness. This card is #112 in the series.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Herriman Saturday: April 14 1910
April 14 1910 -- Tonight Sam Langford will meet Jim Barry in the squared circle yet again, and yet again, things will not turn out well for Mr. Barry. But this is 1910, and white vs. black boxing is very much on the mind of the newspaper-reading public, and so the Examiner throws some coverage at this non-event. Surely Mr. Barry, with such fine dimensions to his various body parts, can beat Mr. Langford? No, because body parts matter not so much in the face of the freight-train like force of Langford's punches.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, July 22, 2022
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: R.C. Harvey
Boy Invents New Comic Strip HeroEdgewater has its own cartoonist. He’s Robert Charles Harvey, 15, of 2401 Lamar street, who has developed his own comic strip character, “Smokey Smith.”Bob caught the attention of the managing editor of The Denver Post when the youngster bombarded the newspaper office with requests for originals from his favorite comic strip authors-artists. Each letter carries a colored sketch of “Smokey.”Bob, a near-straight “A” sophomore at Edgewater high school, has a “studio” (a corner of his bedroom) decorated with original drawings from such big leaguers as Milton Caniff (Steve Canyon), George mcManus (Bringing Up Father) and V.T. Hamlin (Allie Oop). His bureau drawers are bulging with files of clips—gleanings for comic pages and books.Wants Own StripYoung Harvey’s dream is to “someday have a strip of my own.” His idol at the moment is Caniff.Bob began art work early. In first grade he won a poster contest.Bob uses colored inks, which he applies with brushes, using pens for straight black line work.“I find brush for black drawing is too slow,” he said.Bob, an Eagle Scout in troop No. 63 at Edgewater, is financing his trip next summer to the Boy Scout jamboree at Newport, Calif., with free lance art work around Edgewater and Lakewood. After high school he plans to attend the University of Colorado and, later, perhaps an art school.Bob’s father, Charles E. Harvey, assistant credit manager of the Denver office of the Standard Oil company, is scoutmaster of his son’s troop.
Edgewater Boy Gets CU AwardRobert C. Harvey, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Harvey of 2401 Lamar St., Edgewater, has been awarded a scholarship to the University of Colorado by the U.C. Denver Area Alumni Assn., officials announced Wednesday.Harvey, who will major in journalism, was top student and valedictorian of this year’s graduating class at Edgewater high school. He was graduated with a straight “A” average for four years.Editor of the student newspaper during his senior year, he has been active on the student council and yearbook staff. He is an Eagle Scout and president of the youth group at All Saints Episcopal Church.
… He began cartooning at about the age of seven. He blamed his father: “A talented artist himself, my father used to draw Disney characters for me. Once I asked him to copy a cartoon character I saw in a comic book, and he, being busy at that moment, said: ‘Draw it yourself.' And so I did. And have been drawing by myself ever since, for over 77 years at the last accounting.”Harv was the school cartoonist in high school and the campus cartoonist in college. In the Navy, he was the All-Navy Cartoonist one year, and the next, he was at sea, drawing cartoons in the monthly magazine of the USS Saratoga, a giant aircraft carrier, where he was otherwise occupied as disbursing officer. …
To wed Jan. 31Riceville—Jan. 31 is the date chosen by Miss Linda Kubicek, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Kubicek of Riceville, and Robert Harvey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Harvey of Denver, Colo. The ceremony will be in the Wesley Methodist Church at Urbana, Ill. The bride and her fiancé are employed by the National Council of Teachers of English ERIC [Educational Resources Information Center] Project at Champaign, Ill.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles