Saturday, January 10, 2009
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.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
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.
Labels: News of Yore
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.
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.”
Labels: News of Yore
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.
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!
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.
|10/17/65||10/24/65||The Little Red Caboose||Marian Potter||Tibor Gergely|
|10/31/65||11/14/65||Sylvester The Mouse With The Musical Ear||Adelaide Holl||N.M. Bodecker|
|11/21/65||12/5/65||Tinker And Tanker In Africa||Richard Scarry||Richard Scarry|
|12/12/65||12/19/65||The Night Before Christmas||Clement Moore||Frank Bolle|
|12/26/65||1/9/66||Paul & Arthur Search For The Egg||Anne Rockwell||Anne Rockwell|
|1/16/66||1/23/66||Where's Willie?||Seymour Reit||Erik Blegvad|
|1/30/66||2/13/66||Jeremiah Octopus||Margaret Stone Zilboorg||Hilary Knight|
|2/20/66||3/6/66||The Dragon In The Clock Box||M. Jean Craig||Kelly Oechsli|
|3/13/66||3/20/66||The Happy Man And His Dump Truck||Miryam||Tibor Gergely|
|3/27/66||4/10/66||Borka - The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers||John Burningham||John Burningham|
|4/17/66||5/1/66||Tobias And His Big Red Satchel||Sunny B. Warner||Sunny B. Warner|
|5/8/66||5/22/66||Henry The Uncatchable Mouse||Sidney Simon||Nola Langner|
|5/29/66||6/5/66||Pear-Shaped Hill||Irving A. Leitner||Bernice Myers|
|6/12/66||6/26/66||The King Who Learned To Smile||Seymour Reit||Gordon Laite|
|7/3/66||7/10/66||The Little Red Hen||Uncredited||J.P. Miller|
|7/17/66||7/31/66||The Log and Admiral Frog||B. Wiseman||B. Wiseman|
|8/28/66||9/11/66||Lolly's Pony Ride||Charlotte Steiner||Charlotte Steiner|
|9/18/66||10/2/66||The Upside-Down Man||Shan Ellentuck||Shan Ellentuck|
|10/9/66||10/23/66||Old Gray And The Little White Hen||Paul Francois||Lucile Butel|
|10/30/66||11/13/66||The Whale Hunt||Kenneth S. Norris||Claude Humbert|
|11/20/66||12/4/66||The Good Friends||Paul Francois||Gerda|
|12/11/66||12/25/66||The Little Stowaway Reindeer||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|1/1/67||1/15/67||Trubloff||John Burningham||John Burningham|
|1/22/67||1/29/67||The Animals Search for Summer||Natha Caputo||Gerda Muller|
|2/5/67||2/19/67||Kangaroo & Kangaroo||Kathy Braun||Jim McMullan|
|2/26/67||3/12/67||A Pickle For A Nickel||Lilian Moore||Susan Perl|
|3/19/67||4/9/67||Noisy Nancy Norris||Louanna Gaeddert||Gioia Fiammenghi|
|4/16/67||4/30/67||A Dog's Life||Mido||Gerda|
|5/7/67||5/21/67||Runaway John||Leonore Klein||Sunny B. Warner|
|5/28/67||6/11/67||Around The Corner||Jean B. Showalter||Roger Duvoisin|
|6/18/67||7/9/67||Anna Amelia's Apteryx||Mary O'Neill||Burt Groedel|
|7/16/67||7/30/67||The Saggy Baggy Elephant||K. & B. Jackson||Gustav Tenngren|
|8/6/67||8/27/67||Little Boy With a Big Horn||Jack Bechdolt||Aurelius Battaglia|
|9/3/67||9/17/67||Honey-Duck||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|9/24/67||10/8/67||Mister Dog||Margaret Wise Brown||Garth Williams|
|10/15/67||10/29/67||The Seven Sneezes||Olga Cabral||Tibor Gergely|
|11/5/67||11/19/67||The Bear Who Became Sheriff||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|11/26/67||12/10/67||Did You See What I Said?||Shan Ellentuck||Shan Ellentuck|
|12/17/67||12/24/67||A Snowflake For Christmas||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|12/31/67||1/14/68||Gwendolyn and the Weathercock||Nancy Sherman||Edward Sorel|
|1/21/68||2/4/68||Little Yip-Yip And His Bark||Kathryn & Byron Jackson||Tibor Gergely|
|2/11/68||2/25/68||Scuffy The Tugboat||Gertrude Crampton||Tibor Gergely|
|3/3/68||3/17/68||Mrs. Ticklefeather||Dorothy Kunhardt||J.P. Miller|
|3/24/68||3/31/68||Home For A Bunny||Margaret Wise Brown||Garth Williams|
|4/7/68||4/21/68||The Big Brown Bear||Georges Duplaix||Gustaf Tenggren|
|4/28/68||5/12/68||The Merry Shipwreck||Georges Duplaix||Tibor Gergely|
|5/19/68||6/2/68||The Sailor Dog||Margaret Wise Brown||Garth Williams|
|6/9/68||6/23/68||Little Peewee||Dorothy Kunhardt||J.P. Miller|
|6/30/68||7/14/68||Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball||Florence Parry Heide||Sally Mathews|
|7/21/68||8/4/68||Not This Bear!||Bernice Myers||Bernice Myers|
|8/11/68||8/25/68||The Elves and the Shoemaker||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|9/1/68||9/15/68||Sam and the Impossible Thing||Tamara Kitt||Brinton Turkle|
|9/22/68||10/6/68||The Note That Wouldn't Play||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|10/13/68||10/27/68||The Princess And The Pea||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|11/3/68||11/17/68||The Cow Went Over The Mountain||Jeanette Krinsley||Feodor Rojankovsky|
|11/24/68||12/8/68||Mister Puffer-Bill||Leone Arlandson||Tibor Gergely|
|12/15/68||12/22/68||The Twelve Days of Christmas||traditional||Frank Bolle|
|12/29/68||1/12/69||Fun For Hunkydory||May Justus||Sue D'Avignon|
|1/19/69||2/2/69||Scotty and the Story-Teller||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|2/9/69||2/23/69||Hazel Was an Only Pet||John Hamberger||John Hamberger|
|3/2/69||3/16/69||Peter Potamus||Carl Memling||Hawley Pratt, Bill Lorencz|
|3/23/69||4/6/69||The Golden Egg||Margaret Wise Brown||Lilian Obligado|
|4/13/69||4/27/69||Thistle||Era Zistel||uncredited (Frank Bolle)|
|5/4/69||5/18/69||Ruff and Reddy Go To a Party||Uncredited||Harvey Eisenberg, Neil Boyle|
|5/25/69||5/25/69||The Fox and the Crow||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|6/1/69||6/15/69||3910 16th Avenue||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|6/22/69||7/6/69||Mushmouse and Punkin Puss, the Country Cousins||Jay Freeman||Peter Alvarado, R. Jacobs|
|7/13/69||7/13/69||My Shadow||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|7/20/69||7/27/69||Wally Gator - Guess What's Hiding at the Zoo?||Eileen Daly||Mel Crawford|
|8/3/69||8/17/69||The Day of the Trucks||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|8/24/69||9/7/69||Rumpelstiltskin||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|9/14/69||9/21/69||We Like Kindergarten||Clara Cassidy||Eloise Wilkin|
|9/28/69||9/28/69||The Horse and the Lion||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|10/5/69||10/12/69||Sam the Firehouse Cat||Virginia Parsons||Virginia Parsons|
|10/19/69||10/19/69||The Kid and the Wolf||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|10/26/69||11/9/69||Doctor Dolittle Stops the Bullfights||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|11/16/69||11/30/69||Percy the Plain Old Spruce Tree||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|12/7/69||12/21/69||A Christmas Carol||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|12/28/69||12/28/69||The Hare And The Tortoise||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|1/4/70||1/11/70||When I Grow Up||Ilse-Margret Vogel||Ilse Margret-Vogel|
|1/18/70||2/1/70||Doctor Dolittle - The Dog Ambulance||Uncredited||Uncredited|
|2/8/70||2/22/70||Ricochet Rabbit - Showdown at Gopher Gulch Bakery||Patrick Hagen||Al Anderson, Peter Alvarado|
|3/1/70||3/15/70||Snagglepuss - The Way To Be a King||William Johnston||Art Seiden|
|3/22/70||4/5/70||Touche Turtle and the Fire Dog||Jean Lewis||Mel Crawford|
|4/12/70||4/19/70||The Tiny Tawny Kitten||Barbara Hazen||Jan Pfloog|
|4/26/70||5/3/70||The Boy With A Drum||David L. Harrison||Eloise Wilkin|
|5/10/70||5/10/70||The Lion and the Mouse||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|5/17/70||5/31/70||The Siren Hound||Patricia Boyd||Frank Bolle|
|6/7/70||6/14/70||The Wonderful School||May Justus||Hilde Hoffmann|
|6/21/70||6/21/70||The Cat and the Mice||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|6/28/70||7/12/70||Huckleberry Hound The Rainmaker||Uncredited||Uncredited|
|7/19/70||7/19/70||The Fox And The Grapes||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|7/26/70||8/9/70||Peter Potamus and the Pirates||Jean Lewis||Howard Forsberg|
|8/16/70||8/30/70||Cinderella||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|9/6/70||9/13/70||The Trophy||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|9/20/70||10/4/70||Touche Turtle||Carl Memling||Bill Lorencz, Norm McGary, Al White|
|10/11/70||10/25/70||A Gift For Ted||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|11/1/70||11/15/70||The Duck and the Leaves||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|11/22/70||12/6/70||The Sleeping Beauty||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|12/13/70||12/20/70||The Night Before Christmas (1965 reprint?)||Clement Moore||Frank Bolle|
|12/27/70||1/10/71||The Lazy Fox and the Little Red Hen||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|1/17/71||1/31/71||Prairie Pup||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|2/7/71||2/21/71||Matilda the Cow||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|2/28/71||3/14/71||Hansel and Gretel||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|3/21/71||4/3/71||The Special Mister Reggie Frog||Linda Moggio, Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|4/10/71||4/25/71||Clever Trevor and his Bag of Tricks||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|5/2/71||5/16/71||The Funny Little Squirrel||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|5/23/71||5/30/71||The Boy Who Couldn't Rhyme||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|6/6/71||6/20/71||The Crabby Crab||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|6/27/71||7/11/71||Jack and the Beanstock||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|7/18/71||8/1/71||Clever Trevor and the Forbidden Island||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|8/8/71||8/15/71||A Short Dog Story||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|8/22/71||8/29/71||My Own Room||Nick Meglin||Frank Bolle|
|9/5/71||9/12/71||The Snappy Turtle||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|9/19/71||9/26/71||Errol Digs Adventure||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|10/3/71||10/10/71||Goldilocks and the Three Bears||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|10/17/71||10/24/71||The School of Fish||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|10/31/71||11/7/71||A Ride In Space||Linda Moggio||Frank Bolle|
|11/14/71||11/14/71||The Paper||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|11/21/71||11/21/71||That's Why||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|11/28/71||11/28/71||One Track Mind||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|12/5/71||12/5/71||The Easel||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
|12/12/71||12/19/71||A Snowflake For Christmas (reprint of 1967 story)||Frank Bolle||Frank Bolle|
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
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.
Do you know what newspaper he clipped them from? Does your scrapbook include any that pre-date "The Little Red Caboose"?
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:
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.
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics