Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Languid Leary and his Wonderful Tomato Can

What more really needs to be said than Best Comic Strip Title Ever!

Languid Leary and his Wonderful Tomato Can came from the fertile pen of Walter "Brad" Bradford in his early days at the Chicago Tribune. Although long-forgotten, Brad is on my short list of the funniest cartoonists ever. Every pen stroke and every word is pregnant with comedic genius.

Languid Leary is a play on the old Aladdin tale with a tatterdemalion standing in for Aladdin and an empty tomato can for the lamp. Only Brad could be so inspired and then follow through with just a few hilarious strips on the subject, then throw it away in favor of his next big idea. Brad was no slave to continuity either, as we note in the final strip that Leary has turned into a typical commuter for Brad's skewering of Chicago's north side trolley service.

Languid Leary and his Wonderful Tomato Can ran in the Trib from January 5-26 1902. Cheers and applause to Cole Johnson, who provided the gems above.


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