Friday, September 03, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: The Family Foursome

Seems we seldom cover topper strips here as obscurities, not sure why I don't mine that rich vein more often. Anyhow, here's The Family Foursome, the original topper strip to Blondie. It started with the new Blondie Sunday strip on September 21 1930, began running in tandem with new topper Colonel Potterby and the Duchess in early 1935 and gave way entirely to the new topper after its final episode on April 21 1935.

Not sure why Murat "Chic" Young elected to do a strip about golf for his topper but this one was about a links-mad family. The example above, provided by Steven Stwalley (thanks Steve!) doesn't show the golfing angle, but how about that decapitation scene, eh? Can't believe that wasn't done 'off-stage'! Some syndicate editor was sleeping on the job the day that crossed his desk.

It is probable that Alex Raymond did some ghosting or at least assisting work on the topper, though I see no really solid evidence of it on this example. I'm also told by Alberto Becattini that the venerable Bud Counihan also did assisting on the Sundays during this period (that iceman looks sort of Counihan-ish to me).

I should take this opportunity to mention some pretty exciting Blondie news ... well, exciting to historians anyway. The 'official' starting date of the Blondie strip has long been cited as September 8 1930, but after trying to verify that date for many years and coming up empty, I have contended that September 15, the start date found in several papers, was more likely to be correct. However, when IDW and Dean Mullaney decided to do a reprint book of Blondie that began from the start he delved further into the question and finally found paydirt in, of all places, the Wisconsin News, where the strip did indeed begin on 9/8. Congratulations on that important find Dean! Unfortunately now that casts doubt on my Sunday start date of 9/21. It would seem more likely that the first Sunday, then, was on 9/14. Has anyone seen that Sunday?


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]