Sunday, August 06, 2006


Obscurity of the Day: Who's Zoo

I must assume that Tom Dibble, Jr. was either a relative or a pseudonym of Bernard Dibble. Tom produced Who's Zoo, a Sunday and daily comic strip for the New York World from October 19, 1925 through May 28, 1927 (the Sunday was added September 12, 1926). The strip was in theory syndicated, but I've never seen it outside the home paper, and even there the Sunday was obviously low man on the totem pole, strictly filler.

Bernard Dibble was not officially with the World at the time. He was producing Danny Dingle for King Features. However, I hear from various sources that he was also doing a lot of assisting or ghosting for Dirks on The Captain and the Kids, the New York World/Press Publishing flagship strip. Of course, Dibble pretty much took the strip over in the thirties. Could Bernard have been moonlighting here under then name Tom? Surely some expert has the straight skinny?

Sorry for the scan quality on this one. The paper was in pretty sad shape, but beggars can't be choosers. This is the only Sunday Who's Zoo I've got in my collection.


Bill Blackbeard on the Comic Strip Classics group has referred to Tom as Bernard's father (message #3625) and also as Bernard's brother (#5053). I'm partial to them being brothers.

Bill Blackbeard in discussing "who's Zoo" also mentioned "Some people have considered Tom Dibble's
startling page the most visually repulsize comic in strip history." (Platinum Age Comics message #6285) and " sometimes
referred to as the worst comic strip ever circulated by a major
newspaper, has to be seen to be believed for its outre awfulness" (CSC message #5053).

So thanks Allan for letting us see the strip.
DD -
Pretty strong words there from Bill B. on the strip's awfulness! I must say that the ostrich character is one of the most bizarre looking creatures ever. The strip almost has an underground comix feel to it, as if the cartoonist was on a bad trip, and these are the odd creatures he saw dancing in his eyeballs.

Bernard Dibble was my husband's father.

Tom Dibble, Jr. was Bernard Dibble's first cousin.

Bernard Dibble was the son of Theodore Savage Dibble.

Tom Dibble, Jr. was the son of Thomas Reilly Dibble.

Theodore Savage Dibble & Thomas Reilly Dibble were twin brothers. Their father Theodore Hoyt Dibble was a Civil War hero.

You may email our family if you have some questions:

Anna Dibble
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