Thursday, May 15, 2008


Obscurity of the Day: Your Newspaper

Here's a neat little feature that I rather liked, even to the point of cajoling a cartoonist of my acquaintance to revive a similar idea with yours truly at the writing helm. Said cartoonist wisely told me to go climb a tree.

Your Newspaper featured quick little factoids and bits of history concerning the journalism biz. It was most often used at the bottom of the front pages of Sunday comic sections and on the covers of those comic book sections that enjoyed a brief popularity in the late 70s and early 80s. I imagine it was a pretty easy sell to newspaper editors, the same way editors have a soft spot for comic strips about reporters.

Bill Kresse, who was a staple at the New York Daily News in the 70s, created Your Newspaper for the Journal Press Syndicate. Despite the impressive name I think this was just Kresse's self-syndication company name. If so he did an impressive sales job because the feature ran in a goodly number of papers, at least for awhile.

The earliest start I can find for the feature is November 2 1980. Although you rarely see the feature in newspapers after the mid-80s or so, the Journal Press Syndicate still faithfully offers the feature in the annual E&P Syndicate Directory to this day. My assumption is that once Kresse had a big batch of these evergreen panels completed he's just continued to offer them ever since.


What ever happened to Bill anyway? I liked his style. There's a bar in NYC that all the Daily News cartoonists used to hang out at and the walls are filled with their drawings and other cartoonists as well. Lotsa fun!
As far as I know Bill Kresse is still hale and hearty -- and retired?

Allan, you're right. Bill Kresse is doing well. He lives in Long Island with his lovely wife.

I used to see Bill at least once a month at the Berndt Toast Gang meetings. We had lunch at the Overlook Lounge last year and he showed me some of his recent work. He's been doing some gag cartoons!

The Overlook (225 E 44 Street, NYC) is the bar with not only one but two cartoon murals. Bill's work is on both the old one (from 1976) and the new one (2005). The Overlook used to be called Costello's and it was a big hangout for the Daily News staffers, which used to be just a couple blocks away.

This is a wonderful blog and I really should visit it more often. Great work, Allan. The only thing better might be if Ger Apeldoorn started his own blog!!!

All best,

Mike Lynch
Former Chair, Berndt Toast Gang (along with co-chair Tom Gill)
Hi Mike -
Thanks for the update on Kresse. If you check out the links on the left you'll see that Ger has indeed started a blog.

Yes, the Overlook, that's the one. I took a friend of mine there last year without telling him why I picked it, and when we got to the back he started laughing when he saw why. Thanks to Patrick Merrell for mentioning its existence. And I'm happy to hear about Bill again; I miss getting my weekly dose of his art.
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