Monday, November 10, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Builders of Wisconsin
There's a whole laundry list of state history cartoon features, and Builders of Wisconsin was pretty typical of the genre except that unlike most it ran in color in the Sunday comics section rather than in black and white. The feature was by Kern Pederson, who is at least slightly better known as the creator of Little Farmer, a long-running weekly strip of the Al Smith Service.
The Sunday feature appeared in the Milwaukee Journal from October 22 1972 to sometime between May and October 1973. If it appeared anywhere else I'm unaware of it. A close look at the examples above reveal that the feature may have run as more of a daily style-panel at some earlier point -- notice that there are two numbered panels per Sunday episode. I've not found the feature running in that configuration, though.
One additional note -- don't blame Pederson for using such a muted and repetitive color palette on his feature. The Milwaukee Journal's whole Sunday comics section looked like this in the 1970s. Although they were definitely employing a 4-color press all the colors were washed out. I don't know if they were using cheap inks or what, but the whole section looked awful.