Monday, November 14, 2005
Obscurity of the Day: Sheer-Luck Homes
Sherlock Holmes was already an institution by 1907 when this satire appeared. There were quite a few strips that played on the Conan Doyle character, and this particular one ran just three times between 2/10/1907 and 4/14/1907. The creator, Myer Marcus, was a workhorse cartoonist who did many recurring features and one-shots for the Philadelphia Inquirer between 1906 and the late 1910s.
One tidbit about Marcus is that it took me a LOT of digging to determine whether his name was Myer Marcus or Marcus Myer. He always signed his work Myer, and seldom got a byline. When he did, though, the names were given in practically random order from one to the next. I don't recall anymore where I finally got a source that tied it down, but tie it down I finally did.
The Inquirer had lots of interesting strips running in these days, most of which have been summarily ignored by the published comic strip histories. I'll be posting several more samples in coming days. The Inquirer began its own Sunday comics section in 1901. The syndication of the section seems to have begun in earnest in 1906 (or at least that's when I start finding it appearing outside Philly). The section did quite well in syndication for a long while, but in 1914 when Harold Knerr left to take over Katzenjammer Kids the section went in to a nosedive in quality and the syndication business dried up quickly. The section limped along until the late 1910s and then the Inquirer started dropping most of their own strips in favor of buying syndicated material from other syndicates.
of Alfred E. Neuman. By the way, this is a great site.
That third episode of Sheer-Luck didn't appear in the Inquirer - I found the third in the Washington Post which ran their section for awhile. I guess the Inky ran an ad or a one-shot in that space.