Thursday, June 03, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Uncle George Washington Bings, the Village Storyteller

Although it certainly qualifies as an obscurity today, Uncle George Washington Bings was one of the headliner acts in the C.J. Hirt version of the McClure Sunday comic section for almost three and a half years. H.C. Greening produced this well-drawn and entertaining strip from September 25 1904 to January 12 1908. As with all the C.J. Hirt strips, in which the creators were rarely allowed to sign their work, Greening's name only appeared on the strip on a handful of occasions.

The star of the show was that staple of small-town life, the old-timer who loved to tell tall tales to anyone who would listen. This sort of character was a regular in prose humor of the day, but curiously enough few of these leg-pullers were employed on the comics pages. 

Although the series ended in 1908, McClure occasionally used a reprint of the strip to fill a hole in later sections, and Uncle George can be seen every once in a while popping up as late as 1912.


Hello, Allan----Were the post-1908 UNCLE GEORGE WASHINGTON BINGS episodes reprints, or were they being used for the first time?-------Quite a difference from my old scanner (Humboldt Standard) and my new one (Columbus Press Post), eh?---Cole Johnson.
The 1912 ones are definitely reprints, can't absolutely vouch for the occasional one that ran 1909-1911.

What great artwork! Strong lines, nice use of shadow and light, great expressions. Feels more like 1950's Mad than early 1900's.
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