Thursday, April 20, 2006
Obscurity of the Day: Sister
Sister stuck to a strict gag-a-day format in both the daily and the Sunday versions. The child, who was mildly mischievous, sort of a Little Iodine on Ritalin, had a pair of generic parents who went by the board-approved names Mom and Dad, befitting their complete lack of any distinguishing character traits. Now I speak of gags, but that may be gilding the lily. The writing on the strip gives me the impression that the Berenstains were big Dennis The Menace fans, because many of the gags seem to be recycled from that feature. As anyone can tell you, the recycling process does not yield new materials of the same quality as the original.
Perhaps the best gag in the strip, and it seems to be unintentional, is that the titular Sister is an only child. Anyone giving pause to think about this may wonder how the name came about. Is there a feral sibling locked up in the attic? Is there some horribly sad secret in this family to which we aren't privy?
That this strip lasted three years (running for its entirety in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for one) speaks, I think, to the possibility that strips just get cancelled a lot slower at sleepy Iowa-based syndicates. Surely it wasn't particularly popular in its run; I see it pop up as a Sunday rarely, and the daily is even more scarce.
As to 'kid's strips', when I was looking for more Blade Winters (the latest I found was februari 14 1953) I ran into that delightful Peanuts sized strip about kids dressed as their parents by Sam Brier. Could you tell more about that? Was there a sunday?
Ooh, that's even more disturbed. Nothing like a little incest to spice up a comic strip.
As for Small World (Brier's strip). I have running dates of 9/15/52-5/5/56. Delightful art and good gags on that one.