Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Romantic Raymond

When you think of Russ Westover, on the off change you ever do, I imagine the first and possibly only thing that comes to mind is Tillie the Toiler. Westover, however, has a lot of other credits to his name, albeit not icons like his Tillie.

Actually Tillie came along rather late in Westover's career, which stretches back all the way to the 00s. Today we're looking at one of his least remembered efforts, a short-lived daily strip called Romantic Raymond. This strip is the only series he produced for the New York Evening Telegram. The feature began on June 1 1919, a mere month after Harold Teen debuted. I mention that merely as an observation, no intimation at all that Raymond was a slavish rip-off of the other strip.

Raymond is a lovesick teenager who schemes to impress his darling Betty and fend off her many other suitors, and that appears to pretty much sum up the entire plot of the strip. Oh, and Ray is inordinately fond of the term "Aw Crumps", a bit of hip slang which I suspect Westover made up himself.

Romantic Raymond ran until January 31 1920, after which Westover seems to have been out of a job for awhile. Later that year he found a berth with the New York World where he stayed but briefly, and then to Hearst where Tillie was born.

Thanks to Mark Johnson for the samples.


Come to think of it, I do think about Russ Westover once in awhile, but usually in connection with Alex Raymond.
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