Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Billy the Bold as a Hero of Old

Billy the Bold as a Hero of Old ran in the third and last incarnation of the Boston Herald's homegrown Sunday section from September 2 to November 4 1906. It's a cute strip about a kid who fancies himself a knight and brings evil-doers to justice atop his donkey 'steed', accompanied by his faithful companion Bingo, who rides a goat. The strip is a bit old-fashioned, even for 1906, with the dialogue running as captions under the art.

There's a mystery here -- who did this strip? The art was never once signed, but the style is definitely familiar to me. I've held this obscurity back from the blog for many months, figuring that the answer would eventually come to me. No such luck though. Hopefully one of you blog readers can come to the rescue and supply the answer.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans!


It is a parody of Don Quixote, the hero of Miguel Cervantes great novel, the old chevalier who set out to fight injustice dressed in ragtag armour and a lance on a tired old horse, with his fat compadre, Sancho Panza,who rode a mule.
Hello, Allan-----My guess as to the artist on BILLY THE BOLD is Walter J. Enright. ----Cole Johnson.
I see where you get that, but it's certainly not the "Oh, of course!" moment I was expecting. In fact I don't really know much of what Enright was up to in the mid-oughts. From the little pieces I can Google it sounds like he was pretty heavily into book illustration at the time. If he was a 'name' artist, wouldn't the Herald have given him a byline?

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