Saturday, January 10, 2009

 

Herriman Saturday


Wednesday, June 12 1907 -- Herriman admonished Angelenos to get out and vote for the Owens River water project, a subject we've discussed earlier in connection with the Mayor Harper on Tour comic strip series. The 'pointing man' imagery was made famous in the "I Want You" posters of World War I with images of Lord Kitchener in England and Uncle Sam in the States. I for one didn't realize that the iconic pointing image pre-dated those, and Herriman here says "with Apologies to a Number of Advertisers", indicating that this was already a popular image in print advertising.

Perhaps a blog reader will educate us on the pre-WWI history of this iconic image?

Friday, June 14 1907 -- With manager Billy Nolan in San Francisco lining up the fight, Battling Nelson takes it into his own hands in LA to drum up interest for his upcoming match against Jimmy Britt.

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Comments:
If you haven't received many posts celebrating your posts of Herriman's LA Examiner work I'd guess it's because most of us are slack-jawed with awe. Pat Ford
 
Thanks Pat. I'd make a joke about my blog readers being slack-jawed without benefit of my magnificent blog, but in truth everyone I hear from is delightful and intelligent in their comments.

--Allan
 
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Friday, January 09, 2009

 

News of Yore 1968: Walker Monopolizes the Funnies Page


Mort Walker Begins Third Comic Strip

By Ray Erwin (E&P, 1/20/1968)

One of the most successful cartoonists in the country has created a wild and way-out comic strip in which humor verges on the edge of fantasy.

The cartoon: “Boner’s Ark.”
The cartoonist: Addison (Mort Walker).
The format: Daily four-column strip and Sunday one-third standard page.
The release: March 11.
The distributor: King Features Syndicate.

Mort Walker, whose “Beetle Bailey” and “Hi and Lois” strips already have marked him as one of the most inventive and prolific of American cartoonists, is responsible for “Boner’s Ark.”

Chance to Change
“For quite a while, I felt a need to move in new directions, to change and to grow,” he explained. “I guess I’d been looking for a new way to express myself more imaginatively. About a year ago, I began to develop the idea that finally became ‘Boner’s Ark.’

“At first it didn’t jell, and I put it aside for a while. Then when I went back to it, the whole thing suddenly fell into place. I began making sketches and new characters emerged as though they had simply been waiting to be released.”

The title character is a plump and warmly funny little ship captain whose passenger list includes the kookiest group of oddly-shaped animals that ever came down a gangplank or across an artist’s drawing board. Boner made his first mistake when he took only one of each
species of animal on board his ark. After that, the other blunders just seemed to come naturally. A procession of wacky, wonderful, way-out quadrupeds marched into the strip displaying all kinds of quirks and temperaments.

Satire and Fun
The ark is a little cosmos in itself; the animals represent the foibles of man and the ship provides a stage for both wicked satire and innocent fun.

The new strip is aimed at young moderns whether they are hip teenagers or adult sophisticates. The byline “Addison” may be a new one to editors and comic strip fans but no secret will be made of the fact that the creator is Addison Morton Walker — Mort Walker — who created “Beetle Bailey,” the popular G.I. strip, in 1950 and the popular family humor strip, “Hi and Lois” in 1954.

“Beetle” is distributed by KFS to 1,073 newspapers globally, second only to “Blondie” by Chic Young, which reaches 1,617 papers, according to the syndicate. “Hi and Lois,” which Walker produces with artist Dik Browne, appears in 496 newspapers here and abroad.

Walker, who was born in Kansas and educated at the University of Missouri, started professional cartooning young, making his first sale at 11. At 15, he was a comic strip artist for a daily metropolitan newspaper and by 16 more than 300 of his cartoons had been published.
Walker’s wife is the former Jean Suffill, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. They live in Greenwich, Conn., with their four sons and two daughters.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

 

Obscurity of the Day: Bearville


Bearville (aka Bear Land) was the great Gene Carr's very first continuing feature. It ran in the New York Evening Journal for a grand total of six episodes from April 19 to May 7 1901.

Carr's bears were pretty much a straight copy of the famed Little Bears, a feature that brought Jimmy Swinnerton a measure of fame in the 1890s at Hearst's San Francisco Examiner. Hearst brought Jimmy out to New York after the Little Bears feature had run its course in San Francisco, and Swinnerton switched from (California) bears to (Tammany) tigers for his attempt to duplicate his previous success. Swinnerton's new animal choice did well by him -- his Mr. Jack eventually evolved from the tigers and popped up in one form or another for decades in Swinnerton's work.

Although of course it's impossible to know the inside story of Carr's feature, I like to imagine that the budding cartoonist Carr might have come to fellow Hearst man Swinnerton looking for instruction and advice. Swinnerton might have shown him a scrapbook of his San Francisco bear cartoons and told him something to the effect of "Hey, bud, try these on for size. They're easy to draw and they got me where I am today!".

A big tip of the bearskin hat to Cole Johnson who supplied the samples of this extremely rare and short-lived feature.

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Comments:
The bears seem to be on the immoral side, drinking and gambling.
 
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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

 

News of Yore 1968: Perkins Debuts


British artist hopes his silence is golden

By Don Maley (E&P, 12/14/1968)

The Register and Tribune Syndicate is offering a comic strip that is an innovation inasmuch as the cartoon character— “Perkins” — says absolutely nothing but is always getting himself into humorous difficulties within his frame of reference.

The cartoonist, John Miles, makes every line in the strip work—the horizons, the borders, the window frames—wherever there is a line, it is likely to become part of the joke.

Although Miles describes his strip as “functionally graphic,” comic buffs will recognize it as pantomime. Because pantomime is so rare in America the syndicate’s editors had to cross the Atlantic to find “Perkins”. Miles is a bearded Englishman who resembles a Victorian buccaneer. “Perkins,” his brainchild, came into existence in the London Sunday Times as a once-a-week strip (the first and only comic strip to ever appear in that paper), but Miles quickly demonstrated that he was full of too many good ideas to wait a whole week to present another.

“Therefore,” says the syndicate, “he has agreed to do six- a-week and share them with the whole world.” So far the “whole world” consists of 41 newspapers.

The 34-year-old cartoonist, described as “a keen observer of situations from which he derives a great deal of his inspiration,” is rumored to be a quiet person (it is hoped, however, he is more talkative than his brainchild “Perkins”), who “doesn’t conform to routine and works during the night if so inclined.” A voracious artist, he’s done portraits, poster, silk screen, advertising layouts, brochures and other commissions. In 1964 he was rated as one of the top designers for his designs of children’s toys.


Miles, an art school dropout, now lives “in one of the best known stately mansions in England.” He didn’t always. During his tour of duty with the British Army he lived and served in Germany, drawing maps and geographical designs. Later he, his wife of 13 years, Margaret, and their daughter moved to Bermuda where he worked on the island Press. Tiring of palm trees and incessant sunshine they moved to Greece.

“He’s remembered in Bermuda,” says the syndicate, “for his drawings of people who looked like their dogs at a dog show, and he’s remembered in Greece for his drawings of Greek Orthodox priests with their tall hats and umbrellas.”

It is hoped that he’ll be remembered in America for his “Perkins” strip. “I am very enthusiastic about this strip,” says Denny Allen, the syndicate’s managing editor, “because it simply brings fun and laughs to the comic page ... which is just what that page is for. This is something which is not imitative of another comic strip. It’s fresh, creative and offers a brand of humor to readers which they deserve. And, best of all, it was not conjured up to capitalize on some particular fad or mood. It is just one man’s attempt to - provoke laughter by clever drawings.”

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

 

Children's Tales -- a Few More


In response to a request made yesterday, here's a few more Children's Tales strips. As you can see the book publishers (and McNaught worked with quite a few on this series) get credited on the strips. It didn't occur to me while I was putting together my index on this series that anyone would be particularly interested in the publisher credits so I didn't make note of them. However, since the titles and creators are given I imagine it would be easy for a children's book fan to determine who published what in book form.

My question about the book adaptations is whether the strips are condensations of the books or complete reprintings. I always assumed the former to be the case but maybe I'm wrong.

EDIT:
Alberto Becattini informs me that most, perhaps all of the Children's Tales book adaptations were redrawn by Frank Bolle. Becattini explains that because the original artwork to these children's books was painted, that line-drawn equivalents were needed for the newspaper feature. He believes that Bolle used a lightboard extensively in order to faithfully translate the styles of all these various artists. Bolle did occasionally hide his signature in these pages, and he was pretty darn sneaky about it. Even with Alberto's directions to finding a few of them I could barely make them out. If you'd like to play hide-and-seek for Bolle signatures, here's some from Becattini to give you a head start:

2/5/67 - fourth panel, on canteen
2/26/67 - fifth panel, on wall on the left
4/30/67 - first panel, on door
8/20/67 - last panel, in box on the right
8/27/67 - last panel, in picture frame
11/26/67 - sixth panel, on tree trunk
12/03/67 - second panel

Thanks for that important inside story to this feature, Alberto!

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Monday, January 05, 2009

 

Obscurity of the Day: Children's Tales




This obscure Sunday series is aptly described by its title. The McNaught Syndicate feature was designed to appeal to the younger set, featuring multi-part stories that were meant to interest elementary school readers. In addition to original material, some stories were adapted from contemporary children's books, others from classics, and yet others featured well-known animated cartoon characters.

The information on this series has been terribly hard to track down because it ran in very few papers. This wasn't really a reflection on the quality of the material, though. The strip had two problems that made it unappealing to editors. First, it was offered only in half-page and tab formats in an era when most strips were being run as thirds. Second, because the stories were always multi-parters, the strip could never be bumped from the comics section to accommodate an ad (a problem that also hastened the downfall of Sunday continuity strips).

It took me the better part of a decade to get the story list as complete as you see below, but its been worthwhile as a number of famous illustrators made their only Sunday funnies appearances in this feature. Later in the run the big name talent disappeared and most stories were written and drawn by the ever able Frank Bolle.

I would be VERY interested in hearing from anyone who knows of any earlier or later stories in this series. As far as I know the list below represents the complete run of the feature, but only because this is all I've been able to track down.


StartEndTitleWriterArtist
10/17/6510/24/65The Little Red CabooseMarian PotterTibor Gergely
10/31/6511/14/65Sylvester The Mouse With The Musical EarAdelaide HollN.M. Bodecker
11/21/6512/5/65Tinker And Tanker In AfricaRichard ScarryRichard Scarry
12/12/6512/19/65The Night Before ChristmasClement MooreFrank Bolle
12/26/651/9/66Paul & Arthur Search For The EggAnne RockwellAnne Rockwell
1/16/661/23/66Where's Willie?Seymour ReitErik Blegvad
1/30/662/13/66Jeremiah OctopusMargaret Stone ZilboorgHilary Knight
2/20/663/6/66The Dragon In The Clock BoxM. Jean CraigKelly Oechsli
3/13/663/20/66The Happy Man And His Dump TruckMiryamTibor Gergely
3/27/664/10/66Borka - The Adventures of a Goose with No FeathersJohn BurninghamJohn Burningham
4/17/665/1/66Tobias And His Big Red SatchelSunny B. WarnerSunny B. Warner
5/8/665/22/66Henry The Uncatchable MouseSidney SimonNola Langner
5/29/666/5/66Pear-Shaped HillIrving A. LeitnerBernice Myers
6/12/666/26/66The King Who Learned To SmileSeymour ReitGordon Laite
7/3/667/10/66The Little Red HenUncreditedJ.P. Miller
7/17/667/31/66The Log and Admiral FrogB. WisemanB. Wiseman
8/7/668/21/66ThumbelinaUncreditedGustaf Tenggren
8/28/669/11/66Lolly's Pony RideCharlotte SteinerCharlotte Steiner
9/18/6610/2/66The Upside-Down ManShan EllentuckShan Ellentuck
10/9/6610/23/66Old Gray And The Little White HenPaul FrancoisLucile Butel
10/30/6611/13/66The Whale HuntKenneth S. NorrisClaude Humbert
11/20/6612/4/66The Good FriendsPaul FrancoisGerda
12/11/6612/25/66The Little Stowaway ReindeerFrank BolleFrank Bolle
1/1/671/15/67TrubloffJohn BurninghamJohn Burningham
1/22/671/29/67The Animals Search for SummerNatha CaputoGerda Muller
2/5/672/19/67Kangaroo & KangarooKathy BraunJim McMullan
2/26/673/12/67A Pickle For A NickelLilian MooreSusan Perl
3/19/674/9/67Noisy Nancy NorrisLouanna GaeddertGioia Fiammenghi
4/16/674/30/67A Dog's LifeMidoGerda
5/7/675/21/67Runaway JohnLeonore KleinSunny B. Warner
5/28/676/11/67Around The CornerJean B. ShowalterRoger Duvoisin
6/18/677/9/67Anna Amelia's ApteryxMary O'NeillBurt Groedel
7/16/677/30/67The Saggy Baggy ElephantK. & B. JacksonGustav Tenngren
8/6/678/27/67Little Boy With a Big HornJack BechdoltAurelius Battaglia
9/3/679/17/67Honey-DuckFrank BolleFrank Bolle
9/24/6710/8/67Mister DogMargaret Wise BrownGarth Williams
10/15/6710/29/67The Seven SneezesOlga CabralTibor Gergely
11/5/6711/19/67The Bear Who Became SheriffFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/26/6712/10/67Did You See What I Said?Shan EllentuckShan Ellentuck
12/17/6712/24/67A Snowflake For ChristmasFrank BolleFrank Bolle
12/31/671/14/68Gwendolyn and the WeathercockNancy ShermanEdward Sorel
1/21/682/4/68Little Yip-Yip And His BarkKathryn & Byron JacksonTibor Gergely
2/11/682/25/68Scuffy The TugboatGertrude CramptonTibor Gergely
3/3/683/17/68Mrs. TicklefeatherDorothy KunhardtJ.P. Miller
3/24/683/31/68Home For A BunnyMargaret Wise BrownGarth Williams
4/7/684/21/68The Big Brown BearGeorges DuplaixGustaf Tenggren
4/28/685/12/68The Merry ShipwreckGeorges DuplaixTibor Gergely
5/19/686/2/68The Sailor DogMargaret Wise BrownGarth Williams
6/9/686/23/68Little PeeweeDorothy KunhardtJ.P. Miller
6/30/687/14/68Benjamin Budge and Barnaby BallFlorence Parry HeideSally Mathews
7/21/688/4/68Not This Bear!Bernice MyersBernice Myers
8/11/688/25/68The Elves and the ShoemakerFrank Bolle Frank Bolle
9/1/689/15/68Sam and the Impossible ThingTamara KittBrinton Turkle
9/22/6810/6/68The Note That Wouldn't PlayNick MeglinFrank Bolle
10/13/6810/27/68The Princess And The PeaFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/3/6811/17/68The Cow Went Over The MountainJeanette KrinsleyFeodor Rojankovsky
11/24/6812/8/68Mister Puffer-BillLeone ArlandsonTibor Gergely
12/15/6812/22/68The Twelve Days of ChristmastraditionalFrank Bolle
12/29/681/12/69Fun For HunkydoryMay JustusSue D'Avignon
1/19/692/2/69Scotty and the Story-TellerNick MeglinFrank Bolle
2/9/692/23/69Hazel Was an Only PetJohn HambergerJohn Hamberger
3/2/693/16/69Peter PotamusCarl MemlingHawley Pratt, Bill Lorencz
3/23/694/6/69The Golden EggMargaret Wise BrownLilian Obligado
4/13/694/27/69ThistleEra Zisteluncredited (Frank Bolle)
5/4/695/18/69Ruff and Reddy Go To a PartyUncreditedHarvey Eisenberg, Neil Boyle
5/25/695/25/69The Fox and the CrowFrank BolleFrank Bolle
6/1/696/15/693910 16th AvenueNick MeglinFrank Bolle
6/22/697/6/69Mushmouse and Punkin Puss, the Country CousinsJay FreemanPeter Alvarado, R. Jacobs
7/13/697/13/69My ShadowFrank BolleFrank Bolle
7/20/697/27/69Wally Gator - Guess What's Hiding at the Zoo?Eileen DalyMel Crawford
8/3/698/17/69The Day of the TrucksNick MeglinFrank Bolle
8/24/699/7/69RumpelstiltskinFrank BolleFrank Bolle
9/14/699/21/69We Like KindergartenClara CassidyEloise Wilkin
9/28/699/28/69The Horse and the LionFrank BolleFrank Bolle
10/5/6910/12/69Sam the Firehouse CatVirginia ParsonsVirginia Parsons
10/19/6910/19/69The Kid and the WolfFrank BolleFrank Bolle
10/26/6911/9/69Doctor Dolittle Stops the BullfightsFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/16/6911/30/69Percy the Plain Old Spruce TreeNick MeglinFrank Bolle
12/7/6912/21/69A Christmas CarolFrank BolleFrank Bolle
12/28/6912/28/69The Hare And The TortoiseFrank BolleFrank Bolle
1/4/701/11/70When I Grow UpIlse-Margret VogelIlse Margret-Vogel
1/18/702/1/70Doctor Dolittle - The Dog AmbulanceUncreditedUncredited
2/8/702/22/70Ricochet Rabbit - Showdown at Gopher Gulch BakeryPatrick HagenAl Anderson, Peter Alvarado
3/1/703/15/70Snagglepuss - The Way To Be a KingWilliam JohnstonArt Seiden
3/22/704/5/70Touche Turtle and the Fire DogJean LewisMel Crawford
4/12/704/19/70The Tiny Tawny KittenBarbara HazenJan Pfloog
4/26/705/3/70The Boy With A DrumDavid L. HarrisonEloise Wilkin
5/10/705/10/70The Lion and the MouseFrank Bolle Frank Bolle
5/17/705/31/70The Siren HoundPatricia BoydFrank Bolle
6/7/706/14/70The Wonderful SchoolMay JustusHilde Hoffmann
6/21/706/21/70The Cat and the MiceLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
6/28/707/12/70Huckleberry Hound The RainmakerUncreditedUncredited
7/19/707/19/70The Fox And The GrapesLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
7/26/708/9/70Peter Potamus and the PiratesJean LewisHoward Forsberg
8/16/708/30/70CinderellaLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
9/6/709/13/70The TrophyNick MeglinFrank Bolle
9/20/7010/4/70Touche TurtleCarl MemlingBill Lorencz, Norm McGary, Al White
10/11/7010/25/70A Gift For TedNick MeglinFrank Bolle
11/1/7011/15/70The Duck and the LeavesLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
11/22/7012/6/70The Sleeping BeautyLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
12/13/7012/20/70The Night Before Christmas (1965 reprint?)Clement MooreFrank Bolle
12/27/701/10/71The Lazy Fox and the Little Red HenLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
1/17/711/31/71Prairie PupLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
2/7/712/21/71Matilda the CowLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
2/28/713/14/71Hansel and GretelLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
3/21/714/3/71The Special Mister Reggie FrogLinda Moggio, Frank BolleFrank Bolle
4/10/714/25/71Clever Trevor and his Bag of TricksFrank BolleFrank Bolle
5/2/715/16/71The Funny Little SquirrelLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
5/23/715/30/71The Boy Who Couldn't RhymeNick MeglinFrank Bolle
6/6/716/20/71The Crabby CrabFrank BolleFrank Bolle
6/27/717/11/71Jack and the BeanstockLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
7/18/718/1/71Clever Trevor and the Forbidden IslandFrank Bolle Frank Bolle
8/8/718/15/71A Short Dog StoryLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
8/22/718/29/71My Own RoomNick MeglinFrank Bolle
9/5/719/12/71The Snappy TurtleFrank BolleFrank Bolle
9/19/719/26/71Errol Digs AdventureFrank BolleFrank Bolle
10/3/7110/10/71Goldilocks and the Three BearsLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
10/17/7110/24/71The School of FishLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
10/31/7111/7/71A Ride In SpaceLinda MoggioFrank Bolle
11/14/7111/14/71The PaperFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/21/7111/21/71That's WhyFrank BolleFrank Bolle
11/28/7111/28/71One Track MindFrank BolleFrank Bolle
12/5/7112/5/71The EaselFrank BolleFrank Bolle
12/12/7112/19/71A Snowflake For Christmas (reprint of 1967 story)Frank BolleFrank Bolle

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Comments:
Just wanted to post a note to say thank you for these invaluable insights; I've been doing some research for a small curatorial project and your notes have been completely invaluable. I'm both really impressed and quite grateful. Thank you!
 
Hi Alan,
Judging from the titles and artists on this strip, it appears to be repurposed artwork from Golden Books/Whitman publications. Do you have any examples of the earlier strips in the series such as THE LITTLE RED CABOOSE by Tibor Gergeley or THE LITTLE RED HEN by J.P. Miller? Thanks for all your great research, Mark Kausler
 
Hi Allan,
Please excuse the mispelling of your name.
All best, Mark K.
 
I agree with Mark that alot of the titles seems to be repurposed from the Golden Books series, especially in stories that appears to feature Hanna-Barbera characters (Peter Potamus, Huckleberry Hound). The artists listed, such as Hawley Pratt, is also a tipoff.

Pratt is best known for directing a bulk of the "Pink Panther" cartoons. He was a layout artist for Friz Freleng during the "Looney Tunes" days, doing most of the character layouts for him.
 
My grandfather used to cut these comics out of the newspaper every week and glued them into a "scrapbook" made from an old magazine. I have all of them through Runaway John Part 3. I wish I had more, but he got sick and passed away in 1972 when I was 9. My comic book scrapbook is a very precious memory of lazy days spent with a grandfather I adored.
 
Hi Caryn -
Do you know what newspaper he clipped them from? Does your scrapbook include any that pre-date "The Little Red Caboose"?

Thanks, Allan
 
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Sunday, January 04, 2009

 

Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Jim Ivey's new book, Graphic Shorthand, is available from Lulu.com for $19.95 plus shipping, or you can order direct from Ivey for $25 postpaid. Jim Ivey teaches the fundamentals of cartooning in his own inimitable style. The book is 128 pages, coil-bound. Send your order to:

Jim Ivey
5840 Dahlia Dr. #7
Orlando FL 32807

Also still available, Jim Ivey's career retrospective Cartoons I Liked, available on Lulu.com or direct from Jim Ivey for $20 postpaid. When ordered from Ivey direct, either book will include an original Ivey sketch.

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Comments:
Gotta love Jim's toons!
 
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