Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Obscurity of the Day: From Sue To Lou
This unusual feature, a single panel oblong that was printed quite large (usually 7 columns wide), was originally titled Letters From Sue To Lou. It began on September 24, 1922 and ran until sometime in 1938; the title was shortened in 1923.
The feature was a weekly, marketed for inclusion in the Sunday magazine or women's section. Each 'strip' was a series of vignettes surrounding a short letter between the two principles, a pair of flapper types named Sue and Lou (short for Louise). Sometimes, as in our example, the drawings had precious little to do with the subject of the letter, but merely functioned as an excuse for creator Clarence Gettier to draw lots of his highly stylized pretty girls.
Gettier did this feature as sort of a Sunday bookend for his daily series titled Girligags. Both features sported the same art style, sort of lowbrow art deco meets highbrow fashion art.
Though the feature had a very healthy run at 17 years, it never appeared in all that many papers. And seldom will you see tearsheets of the strip for sale today since clippers tend to miss the unusually placed feature when going through a stack of papers or a bound volume.