Saturday, May 03, 2008


Herriman Saturday

On February 13 1907 we have a rare Herriman caricature of Teddy Roosevelt -- George very rarely depicted him, choosing instead to concentrate on California matters. Schmitz is Eugene Schmitz, mayor of San Francisco. His life was about to get very interesting in coming months, but we'll cover that once it happens.

On the 15th and 16th Herriman takes aim at California state senator Savage of whom I can find practically no biographical information. The cartoons seem to be contradictory; on the one hand he is shown battling against Harriman's plans to consolidate his railroad holdings, and then depicted as a Harriman operative. I dunno...

On the 17th Herriman switches over to sports, commenting on one of the infamous "Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien freak bouts in which he'd take on multiple boxers. Tom McCarey, the promoter who made boxing a big business in California, is the one shown shilling in the middle panel.


Wrong consolidation, I think, judging from this bio blurb I found...this is the consolidation of LA and San Pedro:

The William H. Savage house is now the Union Baptist Church. It was built around 1904. Savage was born in Ireland in 1836. He came to New York with his family in 1843. At the start of the the Civil War in 1861 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and fought in several naval battles along the Mississippi. In 1863 he was captured by Confederates near Port Hudson and sent to Libby Prison as a prisoner of war, where he served three months. He was transfered to the Marine Barracks in Washington DC, where he befriended Tad Lincoln, President Abraham Lincoln's son. After the Civil War he left the Marines and joined the Army. He was transferred all about the country and served at the Drum Barracks in Wilmington in January 1866. He transfered a few more times and was discharged from the Army in 1872. He returned to Wilmington where he worked on the docks in the day and studied law at night. He was admitted to the bar in Los Angeles in 1879. He and family moved to Bisbee, Arizona in 1880. The following year he was elected to the 12th Legislative Assembly in Arizona. In 1883 he moved to Tombstone, Arizona and was elected District Attorney of Cochise County. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone on October 26, 1881. Savage lived in nearby Bisbee at the time, so it was easy speculate that he was well aware of the circumstance of the gun battle and the aftermath involving Wyatt Earp and his brothers. In 1887, Savage returned to San Pedro, California and practiced law. Later, he became the City Attorney of San Pedro. He was also Justice of the Peace. In 1889 he helped organize San Pedro's first volunteer fire department. In 1900 he was elected to the State Assembly, serving two years. At the end of this term he was elected State Senator and served 8 years in this capacity. For four years he fought hard against the proposed annexation of San Pedro to the big City of Los Angeles. He lost this bout and San Pedro was consolidated with Los Angeles in 1909. Savage lived well into his 90s.
Ah, I see. Just unfortunate that Herriman happened to use the train imagery in this regard. Thanks Eo!

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Friday, May 02, 2008


Dell Publishing's "The Funnies" Part 8

Today we have a round-up of the smaller daily-style strips that were running in my issue of The Funnies. First up we have Animal Crackers by Lane. This seems to be a renamed reprint or continuation of In Jungleland, an obscure series distributed by Paramount Feature Service a few years earlier. That series and this one both credited the strip sometimes to Lane, sometimes to Whitey.

Yet another VEP production, Clancy The Cop was one of the Dell features that got its own reprint book.

And here's Now You Tell One by Dunkel. I assume this is Courtney Dunkel. It's kind of a cute idea, a light-hearted pastiche of Ripley and all his imitators.

Here's Private Rhodes by Joe Archibald. His only other syndicated feature came from the Graphic Syndicate, but he did quite a bit of work for The Funnies, much of it quite snappy as the above example ably shows.

And here's the amateur artists feature in The Funnies. I draw your attention to the effort by Joe Simon. The Joe Simon we all know would have been fifteen at the time, and was in New York, not St. Louis, but could it be? We also have Frank Filchock, who went on to become a comic book artist in the 30s and 40s under the name Martin Filchock.


This was to be the final installment of Dell's The Funnies on the Stripper's Guide blog, but I hope you're itchin' for more, because big-hearted Cole Johnson sent me beautiful color photocopies of his issue of The Funnies with lots of different features and neat stuff that, as it says in the sidebar over to your left, I don't want to file away unseen. So I hope you're enjoying this material because we're going to feature it for another week.

I must admit that the series is disappointing for me in the respect that no one appeared with proof that the Dell section did indeed run as an insert in an American paper, or that some of the features continued in newspapers after the section went belly-up. Ah well, such is life!


I'm enjoying this so far. Yes, more please!
Joe Archibald is best known as a writer and editor for pulps. In the mid 1950s, he edited both ned Pines pulp and comic book line (and drew comic book fillers at that time)
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Thursday, May 01, 2008


Miscellany Day

We'll get back to The Funnies tomorrow, but there's a time-sensitive announcement to be made, so let's do a miscellany day.

Free Copy of Hogan's Alley
Hogan's Alley magazine, the only newsstand magazine devoted to the history of the funnies, is participating in Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 3. If you send an email to on that date requesting a free copy they'll mail you one absolutely gratis -- they even pay the postage! You can't beat that offer, and if you enjoy Stripper's Guide you're going to love Hogan's Alley -- I promise.

Be sure to send your request on May 3! If you make your request on any other date editor Tom Heintjes will instead send you a virus that wipes out your hard drive. He's strict but he's fair.

More Classic Daily Comic Strip Runs Now Available
It's been ages since I added any daily comic strip runs to my sale list, but I got busy this weekend and added several hundred lots to my daily comic strip tearsheet list. Heaping gobs of great new lots, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, now available. Go to the daily tearsheet list, then zip over here for ordering info.

A Mysterious Ad
This advertisement ran in a 1952 issue of Editor & Publisher. You have to wonder what syndicate placed it; my bet is a startup but who knows. Anyway, it conjured up some fantasies for me, thought I'd share. If you love comic strips like I do, but your facility is only with the keyboard rather than the artist's brush an ad like this is sure to make your heart skip a beat or two.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Dell Publishing's "The Funnies" Part 7

Here's another Victor Pazimino production, Bush League Barry. Perhaps this title would be a good candidate for a new revival. It could be about a lame-duck neo-con president who takes steroids. It's gold, Jerry, gold!


That's some super high-grade helium he's using! Not that I get how filling an already greased up ball with balloon gas is an improvement ...
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Dell Publishing's "The Funnies" Part 7

Just slightly more youthful than Foxy Grandpa, Percy and Ferdie made their debut in 1904 under the title The Hall-Room Boys. H.A. MacGill, who had shortly before caused a minor sensation in New York newspaper circles by producing the very first true sustained daily comic strip, followed up with this rather less interesting feature starring a pair of would-be gay rakes. Percy and Ferdie were always on the prowl for ladies and they usually tried to attract the fair sex by pretending to be well-off, a tactic that invariably blew up in their faces. The strip was reasonably funny, but suffered from a ridiculous surfeit of dialogue (a problem MacGill seemed finally to remedy in this incarnation).

Percy and Ferdie has much the same history as Foxy Grandpa as a matter of fact. MacGill jumped syndicates pretty often, usually taking the boys along with him. But they'd not appeared for half a decade before being revived one last time in The Funnies.


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Monday, April 28, 2008


Dell Publishing's "The Funnies" Part 6

Weekend's over, time to return to The Funnies. Today we have Foxy Grandpa, Carl "Bunny" Schultze's classic strip that first appeared in the New York Herald way, way back in 1900.

Foxy Grandpa was the Whack-a-Mole of comic strips. Schultze produced it for syndicate after syndicate, and every time a syndicate editor gave it the axe it would, sooner or later, pop up elsewhere. This, however, would be it's last appearance in anything approaching a newspaper. Schultze lived until 1939, though, and supposedly worked for awhile in the fledgling comic book industry -- I wouldn't be at all surprised if Foxy Grandpa made its last stand in the funnybooks.


Hello, Allan---Maybe one reason Schultze was constantly bounced by editors is his tedious inability to produce anything interesting. He has one story---the old dude pulls a swifty on the two young dopes. The tricks shown are always very small, dull things using costumes or balloons, nothing very wild or dangerous, ala Dirks or Knerr or anyone else making any kind of agressive attempt at humor. Schultze's idea of bringing novelty to his strip was introducing a new character, like an Uncle or a baby or a puppy----and then doing the smack-same things all over again. Foxy never goes anywhere, he never goes courting, he never has a business, he never tries social climbing, He never does ANYTHING beyond dressing up and briefly shaking his two mollycoddle grandsons. It's like it's target audience was four years old. Schultze was lucky in that he created a popular character in stripdom's paleolithic era, when people were still enthralled by the ability to tell a story by using subsequent pictures. (One of Schultze's other early features was a magician doing tricks!) The title "Foxy Grandpa" became well-known enough for him to keep selling it for thirty years, but i'll bet the dull results kept these runs short. Schultze never learned how to tell a story, or how to be funny. Take those elements out of your strip, and you have the FOXY GRANPA experience.-----Cole Johnson.
Now don't hold back Cole. Are you saying Foxy Grandpa isn't your very favoritest strip?


PS - Hope this isn't a dry run for a certain HH essay! Ooh, bad bad....
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Sunday, April 27, 2008


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics

Order Jim Ivey's new book Cartoons I Liked at or order direct from Ivey and get the book autographed with a free original sketch.


I'd love to see a strip about your all-time favorite strips!
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