Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Obscurity of the Day: Dizzy Dramas
The strip normally used stick figures for characters and large lettering (our second example above is an unusual entry with detailed art) so it could be easily read where it typically lurked down at the bottom of the page. The gags were simple and didn't use continuing characters. Although the feature was a daily, few papers ran it more than once a week. However, some papers would run a whole weeks worth on Sundays by pasting a strip on the bottom of each page of the Sunday comics section.
Dizzy Dramas was distributed by the Ledger Syndicate of Philadelphia, and they initially ran it in their tabloid paper, the Philadelphia Sun. The feature started there on February 7 1927, though a contemporary article in Editor & Publisher cites a start date sometime in January. Eventually the long-running strip was moved over to the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, where it ended on May 2 1942. Although this was probably the end of new material, the strip was sold in reprints for many years. I've seen it appearing as late as 1957.
The strip was credited to Joe Bowers, but Cole Johnson says that F. O. Alexander told him it "was a pseudonym for a fellow with an Italian name, which I've conveniently forgotten now."
Trenton Evening Times
May 12, 1943
Comics Artist Killed on Camp Rifle Range
Philadelphia, May 12 (AP).
Hugh J. Deeney, 41, Philadelphia artist, who drew
the comic strip "Dizzy Dramas" under the name
Joe Bowers, was killed accidentally yesterday on
the rifle range of Camp Blanding, Fla., the War
Department notified his family.
Hugh was actually 49 at the time of his death.