Monday, July 20, 2009
Obscurity of the Day: Cwaking Cwacks with Cwack
This strip ranks pretty high in the pantheon of weirdly titled features, and amazingly all the spelling stayed consistent on it from week to week. Consistency in titles and character names was a common shortcoming of these short-run strips back in the day.
Cwaking Cwacks with Cwack was a delightfully dippy feature of the McClure preprint sections from May 28 to November 12 1911. The strip, when it was signed at all, bore the signature "Quack". My guess is that the strip is by Everrett Lowry.
Among barnyard strips, which tended to be numbingly dull productions, Cwaking was a wonderful exception. Our educated duck and his/her dimwitted donkey pal really knew how to pull off good comedy, as can be seen above. "I'm all killed inside"!
In the 1920s full four color printing expanded inside of the big city sections, though even the majors would often scrimp on one or two broadsheet sides. Only in the thirties did full color throughout become typical, though even then there were plenty of exceptions.