Monday, February 25, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: The Boy Friend
Marjorie Henderson, world famous as Marge, is known for creating Little Lulu, the mischievous little girl with the corkscrew curls for the Saturday Evening Post. A decade before Marge struck gold with Lulu, though, she dipped a toe into the world of newspaper syndication when she created The Boy Friend for Ledger Syndicate.
The Boy Friend was one of a torrent of single-column panel features created to capture some of the market that had been discovered by Ethel Hays with her Flapper Fanny. Marge gets a little credit for at least being original enough to turn the tables on the flapper panel by focusing on the boys instead of the girls.
Flapper Fanny debuted in January 1925, and The Boy Friend followed on June 8 1925. As with most of Hays' imitators, the panel never really took off and is most often found in small papers running on a space available basis. The panel ceased sometime in 1927 but can be found popping up in newspapers for several years after that, probably because the Ledger Syndicate was continuing to sell the feature in batches after its initial run.