Saturday, June 14, 2008
All four of these cartoons appeared in the Examiner's Sunday edition of March 10 1907, a rather incredible performance for any cartoonist. The first and last were both full page width!
Of particular interest is cartoon #3 ("Are You a Worker..."). This is Herriman's first appearance on the syndicated Hearst Sunday editorial. Usually at this time the cartoons accompanying this preachy Sunday tradition were penned by Robert Carter, but occasionally others would fill in. It seems as if Hearst, or at least Brisbane back in New York, were starting to take note of our man Garge.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, June 13, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Teddy, Jack and Mary
After Tom McNamara's long-running Us Boys feature ended (use the Search function to find a month long reprint of that strip here on the blog) he got a berth at the Chicago Tribune with a very similar feature titled Teddy, Jack and Mary. The Sunday-only feature commenced on May 19 1929, about six months after the end of Us Boys.
I'd love to know if McNamara got canned at Hearst or if the Tribune offered him more money. If the latter then McNamara really got shafted, because after the one year of appearing in the Trib McNamara became the subject of a reader referendum. For three months his strip alternated with a new Sunday kid feature titled Little Folks by Tack Knight. Readers were invited to vote for the strip they liked best, and when the ballots were counted Teddy, Jack and Mary got a very public heave-ho in favor of Little Folks.
What a way for McNamara to end his long career -- a flogging at the hands of the readers themselves. The last Teddy, Jack and Mary, in which McNamara did not get to tell his audience to stick it where the sun doesn't shine, appeared on August 24 1930.
I agree that McNamara was an utterly awfully cartooner, but if you can get past that -- not easy, granted -- his strip (Us Boys) really had its moments. After ignoring it for years and years I forced myself to read a few months and was so impressed I ended up running a month of it on the blog. Go check it out and see if your opinion on McNamara doesn't mellow at least a little bit.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
News of Yore 1951: Spector's Coogy Graduates
'Coogy' Sunday Page Due from Herald Tribune
Cartoonist Irving Spector crossed the country 13 times in three years awhile back and thereby became infatuated with the desert in New Mexico and Arizona. "I remember everything in vivid detail," he says. "I can draw it without seeing it."
That helps explain the locale of his Sunday page, due May 27 from the New York Herald-Tribune Syndicate. The characters apparently stem from 20 years of animated cartooning and the result: "In animation, you get so you consider that animals are people."
Mr. Specter's career goes back almost, but not quite, to the age of 14. At 14, he tucked some of his drawings under his arm, hied from his home in Los Angeles to the Walt Disney studio, in Hollywood—only to learn that Mr. Disney was "out." He came back that night though and noticing a light on at the back, gathered his courage and walked right into a story conference attended by, among others, Walt Disney.
"They all seemed amused and Mr. Disney was kind." says Mr. Spector. "He told me there'd be a place for me at Disney's when I finished school."
As a matter of fact, the cartoonist (who has recently taught motion picture cartooning at the College of the City of New York) didn't finish school. He left with half a year still to go at the age of 16, got a job with Universal Studios. A year and a half later he went to Disney's as an assistant. and, at 20, he became an animator for Columbia Studios.
As a writer later for Warner Bros., he helped in the development of the "Bugs Bunny" type of humor (zany, wacky humor as opposed to sweet, cute animals, he explains.)
Mr. Spector's animals, none of which struck us as sweet, include the title character, which has rather faint resemblance to a cougar and serves mainly as the interlocutor of the piece. Others are Big Moe, a bear; a tortoise; and Arresting Sam, a deputized dog.
The cartoonist, who is now connected with Famous Studios as a writer, started the strip as a small-sized Sunday filler in December.
Labels: News of Yore
Ger, if you do Coogy on your site, feel free to let me know. If you like, I'll help you out (Yes, I have original boards).
There are several posts, go to the September 2008 archives.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: The Wish Twins and Aladdin's Lamp
The creator, W.O. Wilson, was a regular of the humor weeklies where he was never a star player but did turn out good cartoons. He spent most of the 1900s at the New York World where he penned this feature as well as a number of others that hid in the section's interior. His one breakout strip was Madge the Magician's Daughter which he did for the Philadelphia North American; this strip has lately been the subject of a Hogan's Alley article.
The Wish Twins ran in the Herald from October 30 1904 through January 5 1908. You'll find more samples of this strip over on Barnacle Press.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: The Zanities
Whatever the reason was, they did run filler strips, often in series but occasionally one-shots. Above you'll find one of each. The Zanities, by a rather long in the tooth Thornton Fisher, showed up in the section on widely dispersed dates at least as early as 1949 and as late as 1955. Fisher's salad days were way back at the New York World in the 1910s.
Bus Stop by Adam Barth seems to have been a one-shot, though not having indexed the Daily News Sunday sections I couldn't say for sure.
Usually I use my el cheapo Mustek ScanExpress A3; when I need a larger scanning surface or want optimum quality I use my Epson 1640XL, a much more expensive scanner that I picked up from NASA surplus for a song.
I am going to devote some room to Coogy over on my blog soon (I have couple more coming in, which I am waiting for). Interesting stuff.
Doesn't seem all that prestigious when a lot of these fillers were grade B material. Both the Herald-Trib and Daily News printed some really great fillers but plenty of lesser material too (I think Zanities definitely falls into the lower category). But maybe they were just toeing the line on Sturgeon's Law.
It did occur to me today that maybe a lot of these filler producers were on the payroll at the papers as retouchers, layout men, etc, and maybe the filler spots were given out as perks.
I agree there were some beauts in the HT, Ger, but most of it was dreck. Specs, Bedelia, Oscar, Mr. Fussabout, et al. I might have to index it all, but I don't have to like it!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Radiobituaries
Here's another one of those radio page features that were showing up amid the circuit diagrams and frequency lists in the 1920s. This one is from Audio Service, one of several syndicates that specialized in populating these pages.
I know very little about the rather morbidly titled Radiobituaries -- it ran at least in June-July 1927 and possibly longer and it was signed by someone named Lawrence. Beyond that ya got me.
Tip o' the tam to Cole Johnson who supplied these samples of a feature previously unknown to me.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
I do remembered one Jack Kent did for Mad, around 1969 or 1970, about Sex Ed. That's about the only one I remembered he did.