Friday, February 06, 2009
Obscurity of the Day: The Happy Life of M.T. Dome
Not too often that you get a complete reprinting of a whole strip run here on the Stripper's Guide blog, but today's an exception. Here you have the entire run, all three days of it, of Ed Mack's The Happy Life of M.T. Dome.
In the New York American the strip ran from March 14 through March 16 1916. I think it's a delightful strip, too, and wish it had gone on longer but then I'm a sucker for any strip about baseball. Unfortunately Mack seemed to only be doing it as a fill-in for the more regular inhabitants of the American's comics page.
Of course Ed Mack is more famous, or infamous, as one of Bud Fisher's ghosts on Mutt and Jeff. Some references have him starting as ghost as soon as Fisher left Hearst, but this and a few other strips seem to belie that -- it seems doubtful that Hearst would have given Mack any work if he was also on the payroll of the now persona non grata Fisher. My guess is that Mack didn't work for Fisher until 1917. Either that or Mack worked for Fisher on the sly.
Plenty of strips went on for years on just as slender a thread of a running gag. Not GOOD strips, mind you...