Friday, June 13, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Teddy, Jack and Mary
After Tom McNamara's long-running Us Boys feature ended (use the Search function to find a month long reprint of that strip here on the blog) he got a berth at the Chicago Tribune with a very similar feature titled Teddy, Jack and Mary. The Sunday-only feature commenced on May 19 1929, about six months after the end of Us Boys.
I'd love to know if McNamara got canned at Hearst or if the Tribune offered him more money. If the latter then McNamara really got shafted, because after the one year of appearing in the Trib McNamara became the subject of a reader referendum. For three months his strip alternated with a new Sunday kid feature titled Little Folks by Tack Knight. Readers were invited to vote for the strip they liked best, and when the ballots were counted Teddy, Jack and Mary got a very public heave-ho in favor of Little Folks.
What a way for McNamara to end his long career -- a flogging at the hands of the readers themselves. The last Teddy, Jack and Mary, in which McNamara did not get to tell his audience to stick it where the sun doesn't shine, appeared on August 24 1930.
I agree that McNamara was an utterly awfully cartooner, but if you can get past that -- not easy, granted -- his strip (Us Boys) really had its moments. After ignoring it for years and years I forced myself to read a few months and was so impressed I ended up running a month of it on the blog. Go check it out and see if your opinion on McNamara doesn't mellow at least a little bit.