Tuesday, February 09, 2010
E&P 1950 News Round-Up
By Jane McMaster (E&P, 8/5/50)
The syndicates have followed a rather conservative policy in adding new comic strips during the last year (mid-'49 to mid-'50), a check of the E&P Syndicate Directory shows. The comic strip mortality was 19—and syndicates have added 29 new strips.
In some cases, a strip's disappearing act was directly connected with the emergence of a new one. "Dr. Bobbs," for instance, a strip which Elliott Caplin wrote, fell by the wayside when Mr. Caplin began doing continuity for a new prizefight strip, "Big Ben Bolt." (John Cullen Murphy is artist for the latter King strip). Cartoonist Bob Schoenke let "Jack Armstrong," the all-American boy, go, to concentrate on "Laredo Crockett," new Western strip offered by Des Moines Register And Tribune Syndicate.
"Just Kids"—a comic title around for some time is missing this year, but Ad Carter's King page, isn't. Its name has been changed to "Mush Stebbins" and the characters and drawing were modified a bit.
Included in those biting the dust were: a revival of an old-time humor strip; a strip discontinued after the cartoonist died; one whose artist wouldn't turn his work in on time, and anyway, the syndicate feels humor is the most marketable commodity right now. And, amazingly, a western strip.
Several new comics listed in the directory are not yet being produced. In two cases syndicates haven't cleared up all the routine details for launching them. In a third, the syndicate looks at the Korean situation with baleful eye, and waits and wonders.
'Veiled Personal Interest' In Comic Characters
Vested interests are apparently convinced of the great pulling power of comic strips and keep trying to identify themselves with what goes on, according to some notes we made recently. Arthur Folwell of "Mr. and Mrs.," New York Herald Tribune Syndicate, says use of a bottle of chutney in the strip, no brand mentioned, nevertheless brought a letter of thanks from some chutney people in India.
A concern whose zippers are allegedly catch-proof posted paeans to Mr. Folwell after a strip showed a full-scale operation to get a zipper undone. Seems the zipper company had been sent a lot of copies of the strip by customers who hadn't had to operate.
"It's one of many instances where we get a response from a man who makes something—who is grateful for help we didn't intend to give," says Mr. Folwell.
Frank King, of "Gasoline Alley," Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, also talks about "veiled personal interest in comic strip characters." "A lot of people would like to have their products mentioned in the strip," says Mr. King, who received baby carriages, a baby chair with a silver name-plate on it, bassinets, etc., after the arrival of Baby Skeezix.
Comics Ad Firm Formed
As a service for advertisers and agencies, the National Cartoon Associates has been formed by Ernest Bache, Joe Pena, Harold Betancourt and Harrell Holmes, with offices in New York City. The firm prepares panels, gags, spots and strips for ad campaigns.
'Mr. Holiday' New GMA Daily Strip
Rod O'Keef was worried about the state of holidays: "Last New Year's showed a steep increase in hangovers . . . Lovers' quarrels on Valentine's Day . . . Tree chopping on Arbor Day . . . Hunger at Thanksgiving . . . Even the ground hog refused to live up to his tradition."
As young assistant to do-gooder "Mr. Holiday," whose beard is the Toni twin of old Kris Kringle's, Rod O'Keef sets out with pure, high hopes to get holidays on a better basis. He encounters villains along the way, which makes for continuity.
The new daily George Matthew Adams Service comic is titled "Mr. Holiday" and is drawn by 23-year-old Fran Matera, used to do AP's "Dickie Dare," and the Marine Corps' comic "Ship to Shore." Young Chad Kelly, who had done a number of comic books, writes it.
Labels: News of Yore
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