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?


The inspiration for the updated cavemen motif may have come from a series of animated cartoons by Max Fleischer called the "Stone Age" series in Ca. 1940.
Hi Anon -
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.

Hello, Allan---Could the "Chick" here be the same one who did those goofy little religious comics one often finds left in restrooms and public telephones?------Cole Johnson.
Jack Chick? Ya know, you might have something there. According to a bio Chick was in California at the time. I found one of his comics online in which the styles are at least vaguely similar. Check out the tract "A Demon's Nightmare" on this site:

Am I crazy or do I detect a resemblance?

Jack Chick was my first guess too... and if that were the case, what a fascinating find! (I mean, it's interesting in its own right, but given the sort of strict scripturalism of Chick Publications, if this was indeed Jack Chick, I wonder if it was done before he was born again or something-- I mean, there's no cavemen or dinosaurs in Genesis.
Congratulations! You have found the strip I've been searching for years to locate. And not only that, you were on the right tract about the artist. It IS Jack Chick of Chick Publications fame. I wish I had seen this before finishing our documentary on the artist... it just came out in 2008! (You can see a preview of it at If you want to see more samples of Chick's work, the fan site for Chick collectors is
Thanks for unearthing these classic strips. They are even better than I imagined!
P.S. Clayton was the writer and Jack Chick was the artist... although I suspect Chick also wrote some of them as well. His comic style is clearly represented in many of these examples.
Jack Chick did tell me that he did a strip about dinosaurs! I'm sure this is the strip he told me about!!!
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