Friday, July 23, 2010
Obscurity of the Day: Homeless Hector
Today we're going to discuss an obscurity that had no less than three separate substantial runs, Homeless Hector. The strip originally ran in the syndicated Chicago Daily News daily page of funnies from January 4 1906 to October 20 1908. It was Hershfield's very first newspaper comic strip series. In each strip the endearing pooch Hector tried to find himself a master only to be disappointed over and over. However, when Hershfield left the Daily News his final strip gave readers some closure when Hector found his yearned for happy home.
After leaving the Daily News, Hershfield made the trek west to work for the San Francisco Chronicle for awhile, then all the way back across to New York where he hooked up with the Hearst organization. After producing the wonderful Desperate Desmond strip for a few years, he gave his indigent pooch another walk around the block. Happy home forgotten, Homeless Hector's second series ran in the New York Journal from July 22 to December 3 1912, and was syndicated under the auspices of the National News Association syndicate name.
Many years later when Hershfield was producing his popular Abie the Agent strip, Hector got pulled out of the pound one last time as a topper strip to the Sunday Abie. It ran from sometime in 1927 (anyone have an exact date?) until January 24 1932 when Abie went on hiatus due to contract negotiation issues. When those were finally resolved and the main strip returned in 1935 Hector was nowhere to be found. We can only hope that after all those years he finally found a good home and was there to stay.
Samples above are from the second run of the strip, and were provided by Cole Johnson. Thanks Cole!