Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Times Have Changed?
Here's an obscure panel cartoon called Times Have Changed?. You might be thinking to yourself, "What a transparent rip-off of The Flintstones and their 'modern stone-age family'!". Only problem with that assessment is that this feature predates The Flintstones by about seven years!
We all know that The Flintstones owed a lot of its inspiration to Jackie Gleason's classic The Honeymooners, but could Hanna and Barbera also have been fans of this panel? The similarities go well beyond the modernized prehistoric locale -- here we have costumes that match, domesticated dinosaurs used as appliances, rocks used in place of paper, even Hollywood celebrities recast as their antediluvian equivalents. And since this feature was distributed by the Los Angeles based Mirror Enterprises syndicate, it was presumably showing up in papers read in Hollywood.
For such an intriguing feature, though, I'm afraid I don't have much information. It started on November 16 1953 and ran until sometime in 1955 -- my last samples are from February of that year. The creators were billed as "Clayton and Chick" (yes, the paper that printed my samples somehow misunderstood that and ran the credit as Clayton S. Chick). I don't have even a guess as to who these people are or what their respective duties were on the feature. Can anyone better ID these folks?
Modern cavemen aren't all that rare a breed in comics (see "Our Antediluvian Ancestors" elsewhere on this blog for instance) -- I just found this particular take on the subject to be almost ridiculously close to the concepts in The Flintstones.
Am I crazy or do I detect a resemblance?
Thanks for unearthing these classic strips. They are even better than I imagined!