Friday, February 09, 2007
More Mysteries - Can You Help?
Here's one old mystery and a couple of new ones.
First we have a 1940 E&P advertisement for a strip called G. Whiskers. I've never seen this strip, credited to Geoffrey Foladeri, but it supposedly had a nearly two decade run from 1940 to 1958. Has anybody seen it?
Next up is a current strip called Tokyopop. This strip appears to me to be printing manga comic book pages. Brilliantly, the creators aren't coloring the pages. I hear there's there's a great new concept in Sunday comics - it's called COLOR!
Anyway, I've got a few samples, but from what little I can find on the net about the strip -- Tokyopop has a website but it is just about the most confusing mess I've ever seen -- there have been various stories by different creators. Does anyone have a list of titles, creators and running dates?
There is a syndicate called Continental Features that offers columns, news stories and a rather extensive array of comic strip and panel features. The comics, with the exception of Frank Hill's strip, are all pretty obviously amateur work. Frankly the columns and stories aren't exactly top of the line either.
I ordered a sample packet from the syndicate and got the samples below (and many more) from them. My question is whether anyone has seen any of these features actually running in a newspaper somewhere.
By the way, many of the comics, though included with the packet of current material, have old copyright dates on them. And they really are printed as badly as you see here in what I assume is supposed to be proof sheet form.
"Tokyopop Presents Peach Fuzz"
by Lindsay Cobos and Jared Hodges
January 8, 2006 - July 2, 2006 (Sunday only)
Universal Press Syndicate
"Tokyopop Presents Van Von Hunter"
by Mike Schwark and Ron Kaulfersch
July 9, 2006 - December 31, 2006 (Sunday only)
Universal Press Syndicate
"Tokyopop Presents Mail Order Ninja"
January 7, 2007 - (Sunday only)
by Joshua Elder and Erich Owen
(Naturally this Sunday only strip runs on Saturdays in the San Jose Mercury News.)
And Mario, thanks for the ID on Foladori. Makes sense as this Press Alliance syndicate did seem to represent quite a few foreign features. The only feature of theirs that I've ever found actually in a newspaper is Brassband Bixby, a US based feature (by Bob Dunn).
Cobos, Schwark, and Elder would be the writers;
while Hodges, Kaulfersch, and Owen are the artists.
Some time back, TP decided to on a new concept -- Original English Language manga (OEL). The thought behind this seems to result from the increasing costs of licensing Japanese manga. So if you get someone in the U.S. to produce a "manga" (which most manga fans object to, choosing to keep the word to strictly refer to Japanese comics), you don't have those huge licensing fees and thus you can have a higher profit percentage.
TokyoPop is VERY keen on making this work, and thus have pushed this marketing scheme into the comic pages of newspapers. Indeed, prepare yourself for a new comic strip from Courtney Love (yes, that Courtney Love), "DJ Milky" (aka: Stu Levy, founder of TokyoPop), and I believe popular manga-ka (manga author/artist) Ai Yazawa (who is the creator of the popular manga "Nana") and manga-ka Misaho Kujiradou are involved with art and story.
As to why the Sunday's aren't in color, well its cheaper not to have them in color. Plus, manga only rarely has color pages (when they happen, it is usually only a couple of pages for some special edition in the weekly/monthly publication). So naturally, the OEL that TP published was also black-and-white to help it fit with the manga titles.
If you guys are interested, I've kinda ranted about Courtney Love's title here:
Regarding this Courtney Love newspaper comic strip, do you have a cite for it running in US newspapers? Do you know if and which syndicate is involved? I'd search out this info myself but it seems when I look for manga-related info I find websites that put me on instant over-the-top bad design website overload.
I don't think they have any samples of their comic strips on the site. The closest thing I found was at Universal Press Syndicate's site:
The Daily Newspaper Comic Strip: Princess Ai of Ai-Land:
In a landmark move a year ago, TOKYOPOP became the first company to publish manga in Sunday newspapers across North America. The launch was so successful that Princess Ai of Ai-Land, the all-new East meets West co-production written by D.J. Milky and illustrated by Pauro Izaki, will be the first manga ever to appear in American newspapers seven days a week. Based on the bestselling manga series created by D.J. Milky and Courtney Love, currently published in 18 countries and 17 languages, Princess Ai of Ai-Land captures the early teen years of the lovely Ai and her comedic struggle to cope with the doubled pressure of being a teenager and a royal princess. Fifty U.S. and international newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, as well as papers in Australia and China, have acquired the series beginning July 9, 2007
No mention of the syndicate, but if they are getting big papers like that, I'll have to assume its UPS.