Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Bruno and Pietro
This simple but cute strip about a performing bear and his master is well drawn by another of those unjustly forgotten cartoonists, Clarence Rigby. Rigby spent most of his comic stripping years at World Color Printing, where he was one of the few artists who stuck with the company for a long stretch.
It's not hard to believe that for the rural folk who formed most of the audience for the WCP sections this strip about a circus duo was a particular delight. The arrival of the small itinerant circuses of the day, many of which would have featured bear acts much like this duo (sans the ursine loquacity), was an eagerly anticipated event for young and old in these towns. A weekly reminder of those joys in the comic section would be most welcome indeed.
Rigby must have had his own particular fondness for Bruno and Pietro because he produced three separate series of the strip. The first was in 1904 from July 3 to November 6. Our sample above comes from that first run. He returned to the strip in 1906, from March 25 to May 13, and then again in 1908, from October 18 to January 31 1909.