Friday, June 05, 2009


Obscurity of the Day: But!

What you're witnessing directly above is exactly one-third of the entire run of an amateurish strip titled But! The strip ran three whole times. The creator, a fellow named Gardner, apparently didn't have a clue how to draw for reproduction because the strip is just as hard to decipher in its original milieu as it is here.

You've got to give Gardner some credit though. Notice that he's included a sub-strip along the bottom margin. Course you can't tell what the heck is going on in it, but hey, at least he put in the effort.

But! was syndicated through the auspices of Associated Newspapers and appeared in what I assume is its home paper of the New York Globe from April 16 to April 24 1913. You will recall that Associated was a co-op syndicate. Each participating paper was expected to pony up their own homegrown comics in exchange for access to those of the other participating papers. Amazing thing is that I've actually seen this strip in two other participant papers. Can you believe that no less than three major papers were desperate enough to fill space that they actually used this stinkeroo?

Gardner wisely gave up on But!, yet he returned with another feature about six months later. I won't tell you what it was (one obscurity per day is your limit) but I will tell you that Gardner definitely did not spend those months at an art school.

PS: Is this the first time in a newspaper comic strip that we see dripping blood? Won't see it again until Dick Tracy I'm thinking.


Aw gee, I kinda liked it!
Page one of has a September 28, 1908 comic strip (no evidence yet of it being recurring, but it sure looks to be intended that way) with dripping blood in it!
Hi Fram --
That is fabulous! My guess is that it was locally produced since I've never heard of this Holz fella. I'm dying to know if it continues!

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