Saturday, February 18, 2006

 

Mystery Strips of E&P - "A" Listings

Here's your chance to rescue some obscure strips from the graveyard of undocumented features. As many of you know, Editor & Publisher, the trade journal of the newspaper business, publishes an annual syndicate directory. They've published them since 1924, and they are a treasure trove of information. In fact, my friend Dave Strickler has published a book wherein he lists all the features that appeared in those directories (his website is here).

Most of the E&P listings are for standard mainstream features, but they have also listed many additional more obscure stuff over the years. Some are from tiny syndicates (including self-syndicators), others are strips that came from mainstream syndicates but ran only for a short time in few papers. Others are true phantom features - strips that the syndicates tried to sell but failed, amateur cartoonists who deluded themselves into thinking their feature was publishable, and so on. Many listings these days are for strips that run only on the web.

The E&P syndicate directories, then, are a valuable source of information, but full of pitfalls if we just assume that all the features listed actually ran in newspapers. And as most of you know, I'm working on a project called the Stripper's Guide Index that seeks to document every recurring comic strip and panel cartoon feature that ran in US newspapers. The most important rule that I have for including a feature in Stripper's Guide is that I have to have seen it for myself actually running in a newspaper. One reason for that rule is the E&P phantom strip listings - some other researchers have fallen into the trap of documenting features based only on that resource with absolutely no additional evidence to support the existence of the feature. I won't let that happen in Stripper's Guide.

A reader recently suggested that I should publish more on the blog about features that are a mystery to me, in hopes that you guys will be able to provide information. Of course I'm only too happy to oblige. So today I'm starting a series of posts listing the E&P information on features that I've not been able to find running in any newspaper.

Here's the deal. What I need from you is documentary proof of the feature's existence. Photocopies or scans of a few sample tearsheets work great (especially if you can provide dates and the name of the paper), but I can also when necessary check out leads, like "sure, I read that one every day in the Splutburg Chronicle back in 1970-71." On the other hand, please cool it on leads like "that sounds vaguely like something I half-remember from somewhere".

So what do I offer in return? Undying gratitude of your peers, of course, goes without saying. Credit in Stripper's Guide for your contribution as well. But let me sweeten the pot. For documentary proof of any feature listed here I will reimburse you with a goodie package of collectible old newspaper tearsheets from my collection. Your goodie package may also include original art, old comic books, reprint books or magazines. Believe me, I'll make it worth your while. Sound fair? Great. Here we go with the list of mystery strips for the letter "A". Each listing shows the title, creator(s) credited, the syndicate, the format and the years listed in E&P.

AC In DC - Edwards De Lon - Future Features - daily strip - 1996
AD-LIBerties - Ney Talbot - N.E.W.S. - daily strip - 1949-50
Abe Martin Junior - E.B. Sullivan - Dille - daily panel - 1938-39 (apparently replaced Abe Martin these two years?)
Academy Of Fame - A.S. Curtis - Curtis Features - Sunday strip - 1946-50 (suspect this might just be “Medal Of Honor” under a different title)
Ace Of The Staff - Leon P. Snowe II - Trans World News - daily strip - 1978
Acme Woods - Dyke Williams - Dickson Features - weekly strip - 1980
Ad-A-Line - Henri Arnold - Editors Syndicate - daily panel - 1955 (FOUND! in Great Bend Daily Tribune)
Ad-Ribs - Bob Poet - Richmond Syndicate - daily strip - 1979
Adam Apple’s Adventures - Don Herold - Dille - daily panel - 1932
Adam’s World - Wayne Phillips - Consolidated - thrice-weekly panel - 1974
Addled Ads - Harry Lutke - Chicago Sun-Times - daily panel - 1950-51 (FOUND! in Lowell Sun)
Addles - Shar Durksen - American International - daily panel - 1993-97
Adventure In Nature - Robert Peterson - American International - daily strip - 1988-98
Adventure, Culture And Humor In Proper English - uncredited - Cartoonics - daily and Sunday strip - 1942
Adventures In Death Valley - Stanley Miller - Matz Features - daily strip - 1940 (probably advertising comics?)
Adventures In Wonderland - Bob Pilgrim - Independent Syndicate - daily strip - 1930 (FOUND! by Bill Mullins in the LaCrosse Tribune and Leader Press - thanks Bill!)
Adventures Of Arsene Lupin - Maurice LeBlanc and Georges Bourdin - Service Cooperative de Diffusion d’Articles - daily strip - 1948 (French - did it run in US?)
Adventures Of Melisse - Melisse - Melisse Syndicate - daily panel - 1950
Adventures Of Mister A. Worm - Charles Sarka - F-Bean Syndicate - weekly panel - 1926
Adventures Of Skuddabud - Columba Krebs - Skuddabud Creations - daily strip - 1936-38
Adventures Of Ted And Jed - Raymon Naylor - Feature Sales Syndicate - daily/weekly strip/panel - 1936
Adventures Of Tiny Turtle - Brint Schorer Jr. - Tiny Features - daily strip - 1968-71 (FOUND - turned out to be a coloring and game page - not qualified for SG listing)
Afterworld - Todd Schowalter - Plain Label Press - daily/weekly strip - 1992-94
Agile Man - Rex Walthall - Dickson-Bennett International Features - daily strip - 1981-82
Agony - uncredited - Interpress of London & New York - weekly panel - 1976-81
Ahead Of Time - Ken Muse - Dickson Features - weekly strip - 1980-81
Air Fair - Dick Locher - Winford Company - daily strip - 1971-73
Air-Sub DX - Carl Burgos - Watkins (Brooklyn Eagle) - Sunday strip - 1939
Aladdin McFadden - Jim Lavery - Arthur J. Lafave - daily and Sunday strip - 1937
Aladdin And Company - Jaime Diaz - Ed Marzola & Associates - daily and Sunday strip - 1976
Alan O’Dare - Carl Pfeufer - Smith-Mann - Sunday strip - 1951-54 (probably topper to “Chisholm Kid”)
Albert - Robert Nunn - American International - daily strip - 1992-95
Alexander Gate - Gene Mora and Frank Bolle - McNaught Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1970-71 (EDIT: existence verified by Jeffrey Lindenblatt!)
Alfonso - Romano Garofalo, Regnal Adams, Charles Russo - Dickson Bennett/American International - daily strip - 1982-91 (Alberto Becattini says this is an Italian strip there titled "Mostalfonso")
Algy - Gene Rowls - Bryl Syndicate - daily strip - 1936
Ali Baba - Ostrup - Select Features - daily panel - 1948
Ali Katt - Walt Trag - unknown syndicate - daily strip - 1958
Alias The Skull - Kevin Miller and David Watkins - Suzerain - Sunday strip - 1993-95
All In America - Tom Ward - Winford Company - daily and Sunday strip - 1972
All In The Family - Bill Murray - Minority Features - weekly strip - 1980-2003
All-American Family - Lesnier - Popular Press Features - weekly panel - 1951
Almighty Dollar - Lo Linkert - Feature Associates - weekly panel - 1980
Along The Rail - John Williams - Community Features - weekly panel - 1980-81
Alpha Ant - Leonard Bruce and the Humane Society - Leoleen-Durck - weekly panel - 1983-88 (presumably a giveaway?)
Amanda y Rocinante - Resurrecion Espinosa and Dorthy Torres - self-syndicated - weekly strip - 1996-present
Amateur Etiquette - Dick Calkins - Dille - daily panel - 1925-30 (FOUND! in Edwardsville Intelligencer - more of an illustrated column, not qualified for SG listing)
Amazing But True - Albert Edward Wiggam - Dille - daily panel - 1931-32 (early name of “Let’s Explore Your Mind”?)
Ambitious Ambrose - Oscar Hitt - Wheeler-Nicholson - daily strip - 1926 (found! in Lowell Sun)
Amby - Dwight Parks - Dille - daily and Sunday strip - 1958 (never ran -- see comment by Ger Appeldoorn below - thanks Ger!)
American Scoreboard - Henry Riddick and Antoinette Leeds - Family Features - weekly panel - 1948
Amos The Analyst - Mick Stevens - Lew Little Syndicate - daily panel - 1966-67
Anabel And Rupert - Reub Allen and M.O.Doyle - Columbia Inc. - daily strip - 1935
And Bob Created Woman - David Watkins and Kevin Miller - Suzerain - daily strip - 1993
Andy Lane - Eustace Adams and Dick Brown - United Feature - unknown format/frequency - 1933
Anggie - Dawn Munson - American International - daily strip - 1992-94
Animal Chatter For A Clean Environment - Emil Abrahamian - self-syndicated - 1995-96 (ran in Arab News - ever is US?)
Animals On Parade - John Meissner - self-syndicated - daily panel - 1939
Another Day Another Doll - Henry Gaines Goodman - Beroth Features - daily panel - 1958-61
Anthracite And Bituminous - Ferd Himme - Lowry Cartoons - weekly panel - 1932 (ad panel for coal??)
Antics Of The Allens - Leonard Merrill - Thompson Service - weekly panel - 1932
Antoinette And Cleopatra - Joanne McGuire - Copley News - daily strip - 1979
Aphrodite - uncredited - Interpress of London And New York - weekly panel - 1985-97
Apple A Day - Richard Gerchak - Community Features - weekly panel - 1980-81
Applesauce - Dick Calkins - Dille - daily panel - 1924
Aram - Piet Wijn - Douglas Whiting Ltd - daily strip - 1959-60 (Dutch - ran in US?)
Ardith - Ken Muse - Dickson-Bennett - daily strip - 1982
Are You A Kopy Kat? - Robert Gill - National Features - Sunday strip - 1980-82
The Aristocrats - Bob Kane - Ledger Syndicate - daily panel - 1967-70
Armadillosaurus - R. Shirley - Famous Features - weekly strip - 1995
Arnaki - Aspro Coolidge - Mid-Continent - thrice weekly panel - 1978-79
Arnie - Arne Stockholm - Singer Features - weekly strip - 1973-99
Around Town - Rube Weiss - Blakely Features - weekly panel - 1970-76
Around The Dial - uncredited - Audio Service - daily panel - 1927
Arty Facts - Ray Fisher - Singer Features - weekly panel - 1983-99
As You Were - Jim Baker - Pioneer Press - daily panel - 1972-99 (FOUND! in Elyria Chronicle-Telegram)
Assignment Top Secret - Bill Barry - Adventure Features - daily strip - 1981-93
The Astronits - Pat Anderson - self-syndicated - daily strip - 1970-79 (found printed a single time in the Cedar Rapids Press - still looking for more evidence)
Astronuts - Dave Berg - Singer Media - weekly strip - 1994-99
At Andre’s - Sandy Brier - McClure Syndicate - daily panel - 1961
Atila - William Grosso - Colombian Comics - daily strip - 1990-96
Aunt Effie - Edgon Margo - Queen Features - weekly panel - 1939
Auntie’s Antics - uncredited - Keystone Features - daily strip - 1938
Auto Comics - Kenny Hall - Avanti Features - weekly panel - 1996-97
Auto Sense - Jack Williamson - Associated Editors - weekly panel - 1925-26 (FOUND! in Oshkosh Daily Northwestern)

Comments:
This is just the A's? Holy cow!
 
most of these i never heard of, of course. and yes, some of these appear to be strips that they wanted to distribute --
Didnt "Assignement: Top Secret" ran their samples in the MFG (Memonee Falls Gazette weekly strip paper)? Or was than one of Barry's other strips? anyway, he has an interview there too, if you hadnt already been through all of those.

If Bob Kane did a newspaper strip - but didnt tell anyone about it, that would be news! very unlikely.....

i recall publicity for ALEXANDER GATE, but dont think it actually saw print either....
 
Hi Steven - yeah, there's a lot of these that I'd bet money against, but I figured if I omitted some of the more unlikely ones naturally those would be the ones that someone would be able to help with.

Regarding Assignment..., I've seen the samples. It has always seemed to me that the material published in MFG, plus the advertising the guy did in E&P was more than enough to have gotten the strip in print somewhere in a real paper. Besides, the guy did several of these adventure strips, and the art was pretty darn decent.

On Alexander Gate, I'd swear I saw a tearsheet of that once ages and ages ago, figured that would be the most likely title that someone could document. But we shall see...

Best, Allan
 
This is a great idea. I would suggest not giving up on the idea after only a few letters.

I'm in the process of annotating the fiction of Dorothy L. Sayers, and I get about 20 e-mails a year from people suggesting corrections and additions to the work. I was surprised and gratified at the response.
 
I found a paper that ran Alexander Gate The Evening Capital in Annapolis Maryland they started running with daily dated November 30, 1970 they ran it for sure thourgh July 1971. The next reel is from November 1971 the strip is not there anymore.
 
Hi Bill -
Sorry, I was unclear in my post. I didn't mean I was going to give up after 2 letters, but just take some time off the project before plowing on ahead with this very time-consuming list. I'll definitely go further.

On the other hand, if I really do get no leads at all I will eventually cut my losses and pull the plug rather than plowing on to the end.

I'll be especially interested to see, though, if people Googling on the web for their relatives will stumble across this material and recognize their kin. I've been amazed through the years how many children, grandchildren, and such will track me down looking for information about their relations.

Best, Allan
 
Way to go, Jeffrey! Did you find this through the Godfrey Library site, or was it a microfilm run you indexed?

That's one mystery strip that we can tick off the books! Thanks, Jeffrey, and I'll send you a goodie pack when I get back home.

Allan
 
Hi Allan,
Afterworld did in fact run from 92-94.
Best,
Todd Schowalter

http://www.studiotodd.com
 
Hi Allan - I drew two features for Miller Features syndicate in the 90's - Double Bill and Two's a Crowd, both weekly features. Double Bill was a split panel game-type thing where the readers spotted eight differences in the drawings. It appeared in Canadian weeklies, and one that sticks out was the Yellowknife N.W.T paper, whose name I forget. Bill Buttle
 
Hi Bill -
Thanks for the info! As a puzzle feature Double Bill doesn't qualify for the Stripper's Guide index, but it's good to know we can stop searching for that one. Anything more you can tell me about "Two's A Crowd"?

Thanks, Allan
 
You are indeed a master of the obscure listing Ad-Ribs among your mystery strips. The strip was originally titled "Mad Ave," but changed at the suggestion of the late cartoonist Roy Paul Nelson who was a journalism prof at the time for the University of Oregon.

Ad-ribs appeared in only 1 newspaper, Oakridge Oregon's Dead Mountain Echo in summer 1980. Never inked a deal with Richmond Syndicate, although we did negotiate. Thanks for bringing back the memory.

Bob Poet
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
 
Hi Bob -
Thanks so much for the info on Ad-ribs! Any chance that we might get to see a sample of the strip, or could you tell us the specific start and end dates?

--Allan
 
I knew a family down the block with the name Lutke. Mr Lutke had been drawing a comic strip named Rock Sudson(sp)(Suds as in beer, kind of an Andy Capp). Just as I was moving out of the neighborhood I heard he had received a syndication offer to publish the strip. Did you ever hear of it? This took place in Bergen County,(Ridgewood) New Jersey 1971. In reference to: Addled Ads - Harry Lutke - Chicago Sun-Times - daily panel - 1950-51 (FOUND! in Lowell Sun)
Peter Zabriskie
 
Hi Peter -
Sorry, I have no info about Rock Sudson. Lutke would have had trouble getting that syndicated as US syndicates frown on liquor being used in strips. Andy Capp, being a foreign feature, for some odd reason gets a pass (and not just on the liquor, but on wife beating too!).

--Allan
 
Hi! I wrote/drew "C.B. Gordon" during the cb /trucker craze from 1978-1981 for a handful of CB trade publications/newspapers. Sort of the "HoneyMooners" with two kids added to mix and all revolving around the life of a trucker on the road. Of course, the craze faded out, especially with advent of cel phones.
Went on to drop "der" from name for length reasons. I'm still freelancing full-time with many clients, including directly for the Disney company, as well as my own projects and characters. Returned to the newspaper field three months ago with editorial cartoons that are in two newspapers and hoping to grow client list from there. Busy all the time which is always a good thing!
Best,
Mark Marderosian
 
Hi Mark -
Thanks for the info on CB Gordon. Are you saying, then, that the feature never appeared in 'mainstream' newspapers? If it did, do you recall any names?

--Allan
 
Hi Allan,

That's right, it appeared in small weekly newspapers and trade publications, especially those devoted to the fad, not "mainstream" newspapers like I'm working with now.
Best,
Mark
www.markmarderosian.com
 
Hi again Mark -
Small weekly newspapers would qualify for a listing in the Stripper's Guide index, as long as they were general readership news titles. Trade papers and such don't qualify. Can you give me an example or two of the weekly papers that ran the feature so that I can determine one way of the other?

Thanks, Allan
 
HI Allan,
Sorry about this, especially after having opened my mouth: It was thirty years ago and I sadly have no copies of its appearance or remember the names of the publications. That's why it was neat for me to see the name again. Except for a small tear sheet that I sent around to potential clients (that is buried in some file somewhere in the house) I have no other records.
Again, I'm sorry after all this that I don't have more exact historical info.
 
hi. i am looking for an italian comic called "the mystery of the apple" which was hosted on a site which has recently vanished. i discovered it through wikipedia- looking up this obscure book:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_beginning_was_the_end

i viewed the comic once, very surreal and obviously from the 1970's, but sadly it has since evaporated. i was wondering if you knew anything about this obscure comic?

thanks for any efforts into this!
 
Couldn't even hazard a guess. Perhaps one of our Italian readers can help?
 
I am in contact with Dwight Parks; son who confirmed to me that Amby was offered to papers, but as it got less then 20 papers interested, it was never started. A charming strip about a well dressd philospher bum, it lead to Park's Betsy and Me assignment. There was a package made, about which David Parks scanned a couple of pages for me. I will write about it in Hogan's Alley #317.
 
Hi Ger --
I don't plan to live long enough to see HA #317, but I'm going to guess Tom will move it up to the next issue if you ask nicely ;-)

Thanks for the info on Amby -- another one off the list!

--Allan
 
Don't know if this is the first year they did it, or if it something that has been ongoing, but the 2009 E&P Directory is online at
http://solis2.365media.com/NLSEP/search.aspx
 
I've been running some daily strips in a scandinavian magazine. Basically translating them and stripping them down moderne language and thinking though many were good old classics with more like a 50s perspective. Planning to publish all the strips on http://www.mrpink.dk soon, but for now we just publish in an old fashioned printed magazine - maybe more cool...
 
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