Saturday, February 07, 2009


Herriman Saturday

Saturday, June 22 1907 -- The accompanying article explains this lovely cartoon pretty well, so here 'tis:

Australian Has Sports Guessing
Maintains his Reputation as Clever Boxer and Hard Hitter in Training
by C. E. Van Loan

Tommy Burns has fallen heir to Jim Jeffries' old training quarters at Harbin Springs. He succeeds to the trails through the brush, the mountain friends and the bear cub, now grown to gigantic proportions. The next thing we know, Tommy will be wearing Jeff's old coonskin cap and toting a 7-foot rifle.

Burns is due for a little trail breaking through unexplored territory. This man Squires is certainly a thick patch in the tall weeds and no hunter has ever come out on the far side with a perfect line on the unexplored belt. Thomas is to turn the trick on the 4th of July -- a Canuck and an Australian fighting for the championship of the United States, which means the wide world.

Squires has them all guessing. Nearly all the men who have seen him at work say that he is a demon at infighting and that he shifts and hits with lightning-like speed and force enough to stop a bullock.

Now, it is a fact that not one man in ten is competent to judge a man by his work in training quarters. Some fighters show up like champions in their daily stunts. The knock out their sparring partners, box like past masters of the art before a select audience and give great exhibitions of footwork with the rope. When they get into the ring they forget all about the clever part of it, push their jaws into a few hard ones and hit the floor for the long sleep.

Again there are fighters who never show up well when at work. Bat Nelson is one of them. He is a slovenly worker: he boxes without a bit of skill, and his work with the bag is very much to the sandpaper, yet see what the little Dane had done in three years. The slouchy, careless fellows in the quarters are sometimes real devils in the ring, and you never can tell.

Bill Squires works well, spars well, eats well and sleeps well. He says he will have no difficulty in giving Mr. Burns the time of his life at their little party on the afternoon of the 4th.

In the meantime Tommy is hitting Jeff's old trails, teasing Jeff's tame bear, eating at the table which Jeff used and trying to soak up some of the local color. He says he will wade through this mysterious foreigner with a searchlight.

Well, we shall see. And while we are hoping let us hope that it will be a fast light with a knockout on the end of it. This will give us some kind of a champion at any rate.

Saturday, June 22 1907 -- Herriman in years to come will do a lot of illustrations like the one above. It was pretty common in big city papers to single out a humorous news story every day and have the resident cartoonist provide an accompanying illustration. Below is the article, an excruciatingly inept attempt at humor, that goes along with the cartoon. One quick bit of explanation: a 'black hand' letter was an extortion letter from the Mafia. The letters were warnings of dire consequences that would ensue should the receiver not pony up what the mob wanted; the letters were named for the traditional 'signature', a drawing of a black hand.

John S. Cravens, Threatened By Letter, Startled
When Arrested for Speeding Auto

Chug-chug-chug! (Noise made by banker John S. Cravens in vain attempt to escape in automobile from persecution of "Black Hand.")

Chig-chig-chig! (Noise made by "Black Hand," rapidly approaching from rear on a blue motorcycle.)

Honk-honk-honk! (Meaning that banker Cravens has not seen the pursuing "Black Hand," but imagines that he is in the rear and wants to catch up.)

Suddenly, from out the dust at Pasadena Avenue and Avenue 64 the pursuing "Black Hand" appears to the startled Craven. Then the siren attached to Mr. Cravens' machine begins to blow and the horn continues, but in a higher key, to honk.

"Chiger-er-er"! Faster and faster appears the "Black Hand". Suddenly, without warning, almost, Mr. Cravens, in the tonneau of his car, feels a touch upon his shoulder. He looks backward and downward, then jumps forward and upward. For there, upon his coat sleeve lies an immense hand, gloved in black from finger-tip to elbow. At that instant the chauffeur cuts his engine and the machine grinds to a stop. Then another "Black Hand" appears.

The explanation is simple. Mr. Cravens was anxious to get to town yesterday morning and his machine came down from Pasadena at a great rate. Motorcycle policemen Humphrey and Triplett were lying in wait for scorchers. They wear huge black gauntlets. Mr. Cravens' rapid motion aroused their interest and they followed. Fifteen, twenty-five, thirty-five miles, the speedometers showed. They then decided that the law was broken and went after their man. In the meantime Mr. Cravens was thinking hard about the threatening "black hand" letter which he had received and when the policemen finally did get sufficient speed out of their machines to run down the fleeing auto, and Mr. Cravens saw the black-gloved hand by itself, he received a shock much greater than the one he experienced an hour later when he was told to hand the clerk of the court $15 and go his way.


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