Friday, October 09, 2009


Obscurity of the Day: The Beelzebub Boys and Uncle Tom

The Beelzebub Boys and Uncle Tom ran from June 22 to August 10 1902 in the Philadelphia North American. A quick glance reveals it to be yet another Katzies wanna-be, but look at that first example above. This sort of playing with the form was a rarity in the early days, and this one is masterfully done -- a minor classic. Also notice that the cartoonist played with the form in a subtle way, too. All the lettering in the word balloons is slightly bulged out, as if these were actual balloons hanging in the air. Delightful!

What a shame that the cartoonist who produced this excellent, and occasionally extraordinary, series chose to hide his identity behind the pseudonym "Bow Wow". Could it be Art Bowen perhaps?

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans!


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