Friday, November 04, 2005
Obscurity of the Day : Sleepy Willie
The great Sidney Smith, creator of the Gumps and Old Doc Yak, got his start in the bigtime at the Philadelphia Inquirer way, way back in 1902. He reportedly had earlier cartooning jobs, but this is the earliest comic strip work I can document (can anyone supply a sample of his earlier work?). Sleepy Willie was his premier strip at the Inquirer, though he did quite a few others.
Sleepy Willie And Johnny Brighteyes, the full title during parts of the run, started on 3/23/1902 and finally breathed its last on 9/9/1906. As was typical of the strips of the day, Smith did not produce it every week, but just when he had a bright idea for the character.
The example shown here is from the tail end of the run in 1906. For a bonus I'm also including a neat (though terribly blurry) newspaper photo of Smith from 1925. Sorry about the quality, folks - I don't print the newspaper, I just scan it!
thanks for posting this stuff-- don't know WHERE i'd ever see this stuff otherwise...
Thanks for the question!
better that you have them and post/research them than I have them and let 'em sit!
thanks again for posting this stuff--