Thursday, February 02, 2006
A Second Helping of Elza Poppin
Elza Poppin, though supposedly written by the comedy team of Olsen & Johnson, was more likely written by the cartoonists who drew the feature. The first artist on the strip was Ving Fuller, a cartoonist who drifted in and out of syndicated newspaper strips on several occasions. His more famous strip, Doc Syke, was definitely straight out of the screwball school, so Elza Poppin was a good outlet for his talents.
However for reasons unknown Fuller left the strip after just six months, and his replacement was another cartoonist noted for his screwball strips, George 'Swan' Swanson. Swanson created one of the first, and best, screwball strips, Salesman Sam for NEA in 1921. He handled the strip until 1926, then switched over to the Central Press Association where he started the daily panel Nonsense and the comic strip High-Pressure Pete. Both features folded in 1937 after respectable runs. In 1940 Swanson returned to a byline on the comics page by taking over Elza Poppin, a perfect fit for his talents.
In 1943, with the pay for Elza Poppin probably slipping, King Features had him start The Flop Family, a Sunday only at the beginning. The new strip added a daily when Elza Poppin finally burst its bubble in 1944. The Flop Family continued on a monumental run that ended in 1982
I have always assumed Ving was a
Actor Ving Rhames(sp?) name is actually
Irving, is that possible for Fuller?
I've always assumed it was Irving, don't know if that's cause I read it somewhere or came up with it on my own.