Monday, September 24, 2007


An Obscurity & A Contest

George McManus had a brother named Charles, who, while not nearly as talented as his famed brother, apparently liked the comic strip limelight.

Charles, probably with a lot of corporate arm-twisting from his big bro, had a series of four different daily strips syndicated, more than a lot of certified masters ever did. The last of Charles' strips was this one called Tiny. Like all of Charles' strips, it gave the distinct impression of being a series of cutout model sheet images. I have always imagined that Charles would prepare for his next assignment by getting his brother to draw a stock company of characters in an exhaustive set of poses. Then, after a trip to the printer to make a big stack of copies, and a trip to the bookstore to pick up a cheap joke book, Charles was ready once again to take the national stage.

Tiny seems to have run from about March 1927 until August 1928.

The Contest
Charles was about as adept at gag-writing as he was with cartooning, that is to say nix on both. I've removed the punchlines, both straight out of Joe Miller's joke book, from two of the three strips above. First person to give me the correct punchlines on both gets their choice of one of the following three prizes:

1. The By George book offered as a prize in the last contest, which was won but not claimed.

2. A set of 3 Wallace & Gromit videotapes, the three shorts that made Aardman Studio famous.

3. A set of 9 Ren & Stimpy videotapes, those demented cartoons from the sick mind of John Krikfalusi.

I offer the two latter options since my VCR died and I can no longer enjoy these delightful items myself. All three prizes are postpaid if the winner is in the U.S., but if you're from elsewhere you'd have to pay the shipping.

UPDATE: Contest has been won, and the strips with hy-larious gaglines intact are now show.


I think I know, but where do I send them?

Oh, wait - I don't want to saddle you up with the postage. It's the honor that counts for me.
Answers can be sent as post comments or sent to me privately if you prefer (my email address is in the sidebar). If you don't want a prize, please refrain from answering publicly.

Hello---"TINY" was run in The Rochester Journal, a long-gone Hearst paper, as "TOTS".---Cole Johnson.
It really couldn't be as simple as "I'm talking about my temperature" and "I'm carrying it right now," could it?
I have no frickin' idea but here goes ...

1. I now count my age in fortnights, you fool! Now as your elder I am forced to cane your hide!

2. This package contains the hearts of 100 virgins. We shall be dining on them at six.
Kevin -
You got both of 'em! Congrats and let me know your address and which of the three prizes you prefer. You can email me privately with such details if you like, my email's in the sidebar.

Joecab, you get some serious points for ingenuity. If only Charles McManus had you as a gagwriter.

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