Friday, March 12, 2010
Obscurity of the Day: Gallus Coon
Richard Outcault's Gallus Coon was a feature that he did for the New York World from June 3 to July 1 1900. Outcault was jumping around between syndicates at this time, and this strip seemed to be just a throw-away, though I confess that I like the style of this one more than Outcault's more fussily-drawn productions. I also like the original use of Ah Dope's ponytail as a sort of word balloon. I don't know if that was a recurring theme in this short-run strip, but it certainly is a neat idea, much as Outcault's other innovation, writing on the Yellow Kid's smock, was.
Perhaps most interesting about this strip is the use of the word gallus. I had never heard of this term before, but it turns out that it's Scottish slang meaning self-confident, cheeky, and stylish, all of which describe the nattily dressed title character. Everything I need to know I learned from comic strips...
Thanks very much to Cole Johnson who provided the sample of this rarity.