Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Doc Sure Pop

From the 1920s through the 1970s there were quite a few features syndicated that were designed specifically to run in the classified ad section of the newspaper. The features ran the gamut from gag panels to (believe it or not) serious adventure strips. Few of these features were particularly successful in syndication, but some ran for many years. The purpose of these features was twofold -- to lend some visual interest to those bleak columns of agate type, and to convince readers of the wisdom of buying and selling through the classifieds.

Doc Sure Pop, which was syndicated by Register & Tribune Syndicate, was an early and not particularly successful example of the genre. It is only known to have run in 1923. One of the problems with this feature was that the syndicate customized it for each subscribing paper. You can see that here in panel two where the client paper's name has been lettered onto the desk. These features weren't expensive and that custom lettering made sending out the weekly proofs a time-consuming chore.

The feature was produced by R.M. Williamson, who always signed the feature RMW. The sample above includes the rarely seen credit line which most papers (including the home paper!) usually omitted.

Thanks to Mark Johnson for the sample!


The phone in panel three has no wires!
Maybe they had cell phones in Janesville in 1923--How can we be sure? And by the way---WHEN DID COMIC STRIPS TURN TO CRAP????
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