Friday, June 25, 2010
Obscurity of the Day: Prince Errant
H.C. Greening had a vivid and original imagination that always make his features a special treat. No Katzie knockoffs for this cartoonist! Greening's best-remembered strip is the delightful robot fantasy Percy -Brains He Has Nix, but he did lots of interesting series. This one, Prince Errant, is about a medieval boy prince who is dead set on rescuing princesses. Things rarely turn out in his favor, though, like in the top strip here where he's consigned to a dungeon to be tortured by reading newspaper comics!
Prince Errant ran in the C.J. Hirt copyrighted version of the McClure Sunday section. The strip ran from February 11 to August 12 1906.
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans!
I'm puzzled by how many of these early strips you post ran only for a few months. Is there some reason so many features were cancelled so quickly? Didn't they believe in giving them a year or two to build a readership?
You're thinking about it the wrong way. These short-lived strips were not usually canceled as such, the cartoonists usually just went on to new ideas. In these early days the idea of being tied down to one strip, like Outcault, Dirks, etc. was not necessarily the end all and be all for newspaper cartoonists. They'd do a half-dozen, a dozen, fifty episodes of a strip and then they'd feel that the concept had been milked out and go on to something new.