Tuesday, July 27, 2010

 

Obscurity of the Day: Dramatic Events in Bible History


Many syndicates have explored the concept of melding religion with comic strips over the years. Some have tried to inject a little originality by having kids participate (like Jack and Judy in Bibleland) but most have elected to be solemn and sober in their productions, making them equivalent to the typical Sunday school lesson.

This strip, Dramatic Events in Bible History, even used Sunday School Lesson as an alternate title. The strip was a once-a-week production that was typically run on a newspaper's Saturday religion page. Unlike many religious strips, which had long storylines, writer Harlowe R. Hoyt made each strip a self-contained little episode. Walt Scott contributed respectful but uninspired illustrations.

My guess is that Publishers Syndicate sold this strip in batches to papers, because there's not much rhyme or reason to when a given paper ran the strips. Earliest I've found it is in December 1926 (Denver Evening News), and the latest is December 19 1931 (San Francisco Examiner). The feature was only advertised in Editor & Publisher once, in 1927.

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Comments:
Scott's art might have been respectful but uninspired, but this is still pretty hot stuff, being pre-Hal Foster and all that. Comparing it to other strip art of the time, and at the risk of being irreverent, if you throw some monkeys and tigers into these strips, you have a decent Tarzan "lost city" strip - a few years before the fact.
 
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