We know Rudolph Dirks as the creator of the Katzenjammer Kids
and really nothing else, and that's as it should be. Unlike many early creators who bounced around from idea to idea, Dirks seemed utterly content to work exclusively with that pair of Teutonic imps. Ironically, even they really weren't his creation but just an unacknowledged revival of Max and Moritz
If we don't count much later Sunday topper strips, Dirks can be credited with a mere two other series besides the Katzies. One was a run of the mill jungle animal strip that we'll cover one of these days, and the other is this oddball item, The Pinochle Twins
. I say it's oddball because I can think of very few instances where a cartoonist ripped off his own strip with a copycat. But yet here we are with another pair of little German hellions who play tricks on their elders.
Dirks produced this strip for the Philadelphia Inquirer
starting on September 16 1900, the only instance of him working for a newspaper outside of New York. It's hard to gauge when he left it, because after a few scant months he or someone else was signing the feature as Hirts, Dirts, etc. Whether this was still Dirks seeking a little plausible deniability or not I don't know. But on January 13 1901 Clare Victor "Dwig" Dwiggins officially took over the strip. Dwig kept it going, showing little interest in producing anything memorable for the feature, until September 15 of that year. He did provide a title-billed victim for the kids, Aunt Tina. The example above comes from the era of Dwig's stewardship.
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan!
EDIT: Cole Johnson weighs in with better information:
The Pinochle Twins
had the "Aunt Tina" character from the first episode, The Pinochle Twins Show Aunt Tina Some Stunts
(9-16-00). Aunt Tina lived on as the Mama surrogate in the Fineheimer Twins
in 1903. Dirks was only there for four episodes (9-16 to 10-7-00), and two 1/2-page one-shots, Rebellion in the Jungle
(10-7-00), and The Education of Willie Rubberneck - He Discovers his Pup has Teeth
Gus Dirks contributed gag panels and one-shots throughout 1899-1900, as well as a two-episode series, Tommy the Artist and his Wonderful Living Pictures
(11-18-00) and Tommy Tumps and his Wonderful Living Pictures
(11-25-00). The Pinochles took 10-14 and 21 off, returning on 10-28 with The Pinochle Twins Take Aunt Tina Automobubbling
by "Dirts" (Dwiggins). Following episodes were 'signed' by Squirts, Hirts, Birks, Tirks, Kirks, Lirks, Zirks, Wirks, and Girts, until 1-13-01, when Dwiggins started owning up to it. It's like they were angry with Dirks, and wanted to mock his name. Of course, September 1900 was also the same month as the weird one-shot which appeared in the Pulitzer section. He must have been playing hardball with Hearst for additional remuneration, or something.
Who's Who Among Leading U.S. Syndicate Executives
(from Editor & Publisher, 9/7/46)
George Matthew Adams - George Matthew Adams Service
Dean of active syndicate executives, George Matthew Adams started as president of the Adams Newspaper Service back in 1907 and has been carrying on sheerly for the joy of creating ideas and setting them in motion. President and executive editor since 1916 of the George Matthew Adams Service, he occupies a luxurious office tailored to his taste with cases full of books, mostly first editions, and walls covered, literally, with original paintings and etchings. As his greatest enjoyment in features is in creating and launching them, so his enjoyment is satisfied when he has a collection of Stephen Crane or de Gros and he has given away some of his best collections. Friendly, mellow, interested in living rather than in making money, Adams is known and loved by newspaper men throughout the country, especially by other veterans.
Giordano Bruno Pascale - George Matthew Adams Service
After 37 years with George Matthew Adams Service, Manager Giordano Bruno Pascale is still one of the least known executives in the syndicate business personally, acts retiring whenever he sees anyone approaching to ask personal questions and substitutes a series of hearty laughs for answers. Bruno Pascale first felt the fascination of newspapers at the age of five when he started selling them in Chicago. He entered syndicate business fortuitously as an office boy at GMA when the chief clerk at the Northwestern Mail road where he was working told him of the opening. Aged 50, and two-thirds of it spent at the syndicate, he attributes his rise to manager to "luck" and "vacancies."
Charles Elsworth Honce - AP Newsfeatures
Twenty seven years with Associated Press, Charles Elsworth Honce rates as one of the service's most experienced editors and news administrators — and one of its most distinguished looking men. Born in Keokuk, Iowa, Nov. 18, 1895, he was sports editor of the Keokuk Constitution-Democrat at 18, graduated to the Keokuk Gate City Guide in 1915 and the Des Moines Capital in 1919, shortly after joining AP. Assistant general manager of all AP special services since April 7, 1944, he oversees AP Newsfeatures editorially as only one of his duties. World Wide Photos is another. Once most frequently to be found at a desk on the news floor (where he could make the necessary split-second decisions without ruffling his impeccable appearance), Charley Honce now solves problems in one of AP's seventh floor carpeted offices. Successively Central Division, Eastern Division and executive news editor for AP, he has frequently returned to his typewriter when he has dug up interesting data on the arts, music, or books, and has taken on himself to enrich AP's news reports along these lines.
M. J. Wing - AP Newsfeatures
Anytime anyone enters the offices of AP Newsfeatures he can find M. J. ("Joe") Wing at his corner desk, wiry, intent and concentrated on the copy or proofs before him. Since 1936 Wing, who is general editor of AP Newsfeatures, has written and edited features for the Associated Press. From several years connection with the Lincoln (Neb.) Star and brief association with papers in Denver, Omaha, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City, Wing moved to AP at the Lincoln bureau in 1929, learned the fundamentals of press association work by putting out a state mail service, filing wires, covering legislature and helping report such stories as the dust bowl saga, a million dollar bank robbery, a stratosphere balloon descent and elections. He has been with AP ever since. In 1934 he was transfered to New York for assignments on the general news wire desk and continued to write features on the side. In two years he moved to the general feature desk and some months later became the first editor of AP's weekly news summary page, "The World This Week". He was appointed news editor in 1937. With the combining of the leased wire feature service, known as AP Special, and the AP Feature service in 1944 he gained the title of general editor of AP Newsfeatures.
John N. Wheeler - Bell Syndicate
If John N. Wheeler is asked whether there are any newspapermen he doesn't know, he'll reply, "I hope not." Generally the president of Bell Syndicate and North Anmerican Newspaper Alliance knows them by first names. A veteran of the syndicate business, Wheeler founded Bell Syndicate, put NANA and Associated Newspapers back on their feet and took over David Lawrence's Consolidated News Service, now known as Consolidated News Features. During the last five years he has concentrated much of his efforts on ideas for NANA -- "Features once sold become routine, but NANA is a day-to-day job." Graduated from Columbia in 1908 with a year's experience as campus correspondent for the New York Herald, he got a job on the Herald the day after he graduated instead of going on to law school and in less than a year was a baseball writer. Stories written with Christy Matthewson led him to syndication by McClure Newspaper Syndicate and to his own fling at selling such experts as Matthewson and McGraw. He didn't have a controlling interest in the Wheeler Syndicate and sold out after a row with his associates in 1916, founded Bell after some litigation on the Wheeler name. Formerly a hustler and considerable of a traveler, he prefers to travel little now, but "doesn't pull any (fair) punches" if there's a job to be done or a deal swung. He was the editor of Liberty for three years when it first started.
Henry M. Snevily - Bell Syndicate
Henry M. Snevily's connection with Bell Syndicate goes back almost to the beginning of the syndicate but the general manager's association with Bell's president, John Wheeler, goes back to 1904 and the freshman - sophomore fight at Columbia University in which each mistook the other for a sophomore. The fight made them friends and after graduation Wheeler called in Snevily to act as his partner in covering Catskill resort news for the New York Herald, a job previously calling for four men. Some five years after Wheeler left the Herald, both were back from World War I service and Snevily rejoined Wheeler at Bell Syndicate in 1919. He left behind not only his Herald news writing, but also the gory, Indian-slaughtering adventure stories he had been writing for McClure Syndicate regularly. Ambidextrous like most syndicate oldtimers in business and editorial operations, he has always had all the syndicate's operations at his finger tips and been ready to take over whenever Wheeler made a trip. Currently he manages most of the features serviced by Bell, Consolidated Newsfeatures and Associated Newspapers, as Wheeler has been concentrating most of his energy on North American Newspaper Alliance.
Harry Baker - Chicago Sun Syndicate
Harry Baker, general manager of the Chicago Sun Syndicate, has 34 years of syndicate experience to his credit. He started with Associated Newspapers in 1912 under George Matthew Adams. After a short period with International News Photos, Baker served in the U. S. Merchant Marine during World War I. He returned to INP, where he remained until 1920, when he became assistant manager of the old P & A Photos for the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. After 10 years with P & A, Baker returned to the Hearst organization, joining King Features Syndicate as eastern editor of Central Press. He became manager of INP in 1936, continuing in that capacity until he joined Marshall Field's PM organization as picture manager in 1940. He became manager of PM Syndicate and when Field started the Chicago Sun in Dec. 1941, Baker was chosen as manager of Chicago Sun Syndicate.
Russ Stewart - Chicago Times Syndicate
Russ Stewart holds the combination title of general manager of the Chicago Times and Chicago Times Syndicate, having organized the latter when he was promotion manager of the Times. Stewart, 37, is now vice president of the Times and busily engaged in his dual duties as general manager of the Chicago tabloid and its syndicate. He has been with the Times for the past 11 years coming to the newspaper as promotion manager, later as managing editor of the Times, a post which he held during the war period, from March 1942 until December 1945. He began newspaper work as a cub reporter on the Bridgeport (Conn.) Times, later becoming rewrite man and columnist for the Bridgeport Times Star.
Mollie Slott - CT-NYN Syndicate
Small, hardworking — and sometimes hard-worrying — Mollie Slott as manager of the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate finds her routine still revolves pretty much about the syndicate's comics and the editors who drop in frequently. The comics were her job for years before she became manager in April, 1946, but she worked into the syndicate through a secretarial job at the Chicago Tribune Syndicate which she built up into an all-around assistance-ship. Under the late Arthur Crawford in New York she handled most of the activities which have devolved upon her officially since April. Shrewd, sometimes tactful, sometimes blunt, Mollie Slott has a ready sense of humor and even readier conscience. Married and the mother of two sons, she has adjusted much of her housekeeping to the syndlcate's deadlines with perhaps one exception: She seldom does much traveling for the syndicate.
S. George Little - General Features Corp.
A blend of Southern tact and Northern business aggressiveness, S. George Little was able to start General Features Corporation just before getting into war work, leave it for two years on the Treasury Department's War Bond program, then return to find it still in business. The brother of the president and publlsher of the
Ada (Okla.) News, W. D. Little, GFC's president catapulted into newspaper work while carrying a full schedule of courses and athletics at East Central State College, and became advertising manager of that paper at 18. From South to North he journeyed to Columbia University for a postgraduate course in journalism, then returned south to handle financial advertising for the Oklahoma City Oklahoman and became national advertising manager of the Ashevllle (N.C.) Citizen. Intensely promotion minded, he was for 10 years vice president of a newspaper promotion organisation and more recently juggled four titles and jobs connected with newspaper cooperation in the War Bond campaign.
Louis Martin - General Features Corp.
Creative, unoffensively frank, Louis Martin is vice president and editor of General Features more by virtue of enjoying change and innovation than because of any plan. His father was the state engineer who built Montana's famous Going-to-the Sun Highway and for a while after graduating from the University of Vermont he followed in his father's footsteps working on the Highway Planning Board of the State of Montana, then wandered back from his native West to New England. At one time he picked up and went to Mexico just to find out if he'd like to live there—and he still likes to toy with the idea. His newspaper associations began when he became an advertising solicitor for the old Worcester (Mass.) Evening Post. Later he was general manager of the Metropolitan News, Hartford. Conn., then as newspaper contact man for Home Economics Service Corp. gained wide acquaintance with newspapermen throughout the East and some Midwestern states, incidentally making the contact with S. George Little which led to their association in General Features. He was in the maritime service as a radio officer during the war.
Ward Greene - King Features Service
Quiet, genial Southerner Ward Greene, as editor and general manager of King Features, keeps the hundred ring circus of the syndicate jumping smoothly through its hoops without often losing his calm control. From acquiring features — and frequently competing for them — to clearing up difficulties with temperamental artists, he works on the trouble spots with such executive efficiency that associates have wryly nicknamed him "Southern Comfort." Before Greene was a syndicate man he was a reporter and war correspondent for the Atlanta Journal 1913 to 1917, the New York Tribune 1917, then the New York Journal again, as correspondent in France and Germany 1918 to 1919. Since 1921 with King Features, Greene has been successively writer, editor of the magazine section in 1925, executive editor and editor and general manager. As a war correspondent his most famous exclusive dealt with the story of Sgt. Alvin C. York. Who's Who calls Greene a writer (he's written considerable fiction, notably "Death in the Deep South") but he prefers to think of himself as a syndicate man.
Frank Nicht - King Features Service
King Features Syndicate's Frank J. Nicht can work promotion for some King feature into practically any personal question. Eager, tirelessly energetic, he is both general sales manager and vice-president of KFS and International News Service. An upstate New Yorker, Nicht went to New York "in short pants," for several years, was commercial manager for United Press and reached KFS via several more years with Scripps Howard and with the American Telegraph and Telephone Company, yet is young looking despite his 29 years since with Hearst. He became general sales manager in 1943, vice-presldent in 1945, and deserves credit for the "near saturation" sales in this country of such features as "Blondie" "Bringing Up Father" and Ripley. As for hobbles — "Just my job; I don't recognize any other hobbies," he says.
Elmer Roessner - McClure Newspaper Syndicate
When Elmer Roessner was at OWI training school, he filled in an experience blank with "pearl diver, galley boy, peanut butcher, and whistle punch." Actually in addition to these quondam jobs the McClure Newspaper Syndicate editor-in-chief has a longer list of newspaper jobs than could be easily fitted into any experience blank: His first newspaper job was "carrying the San Francisco Bulletin - later I was cily editor of the Bulletin." He began reporting as a cub on the Oakland edition of the San Francisco News ... got very briefly into World War I ... became city editor of the News ... city editor of the Bulletln ... joined NEA Service in 1923 to set up a bureau in the Southwest, became managing editor and managed the New York office ... editor of Hearst's International Illustrated News ... back west to Los Angeles Herald as assistant city editor 1927 to 1930 ... back to New York In 1930, on the World Telegram for 10 years as assistant city editor, photo editor, feature editor ... one of the original PM staff ... "got interested in the war" and joined the Division of Information, later the OWI ... went to London with the Psychological Warfare Division ... borrowed by Stars and Stripes as civilian consultant ... joined McClure Syndicate.
Henry Nimis - McClure Newspaper Syndicate
Except on the West Coast and in the Deep South Henry Nimis claims he has visited every town in the United States that has a newspaper during his 17 years with McClure Newspaper Syndicate. And his recent promotion to vice-president and general manager after James Lenahan's purchase of the syndicate hasn't changed his essential preference for selling. Born in Manhattan, he held a succession of accounting and sales jobs before going to McClure June 17, 1929. Tall, blond and ingratiating, Nimis likes to meet newspapermen, to discuss McClure features enthusiastically. At the syndicate he has been salesman, sales manager and midwest representative. Married, he lives at Lake Ronkonkoma when he is home. He likes to swim and does it well.
Charles V. McAdam - McNaught Syndicate
The president of McNaught Syndicate, Charles V. McAdam frankly prefers humorous features and in newspaper offices all over the country is known for practicing what he seeks in his features. A native New Yorker, second generation, he started in syndicate business with McClure Newspaper Syndicate in 1914 as secretary to Clinton T. Brainard, but soon found himself selling Hearst features between 1917 and 1919. After two years he joined V. V. McNitt, president of McNaught Syndicate as sales director, became vice-president in 1922 and president in 1930. He is also publisher of Columbia Comics. Primarily a salesman, he enters an editor's office or receives an editor in his own characteristically with jokes or a magic trick, and the feature deal occurs without apparent effort on his part. Married and the father of three, he lives in Greenwich, Conn., enjoys golf, screwballs and reading newspapers from all over the world. He is a member of the Society of American Magicians.
Fred S. Ferguson - NEA Service
Competition is the life of the syndicate business to NEA Service's president, Fred S. Ferguson. Characteristically dry and factual in his manner, he warms up to any discussion of an NEA or ACME "first" or "beat" and for the same reason enjoyed most in his pre-NEA experience the World War I period when he matched wits with the best of the correspondents overseas and came up with such notable beats as the first gas attack, the San Mihiel offensive and the wounding of Archie Roosevelt. Short, hard working, ingenious, Ferguson is a frequent commuter between the two NEA offices in New York and Cleveland — a commutation he is responsible for as he started NEA's convenient New York office. Other developments since he became president of NEA in 1920 have been the trebling of business, growth of Acme from a little agency to a big photo operation with 10 times the staff, world service, tele-photo system and its own research department that has pioneered sending and receiving instruments, and development of NEA feature material from fillers to exclusive news dispatches that every so often make front pages. A cub on the Indianapolis News in 1907, he worked next for the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, then joined United Press and worked in various capacities as bureau manager in different places, general news manager and war correspondent. Back from the World war he started U.P.'s night wire feature service and built it up, then became vice president and general news manager in charge of both day and night services.
Boyd Lewis - NEA Service
Since Boyd Lewis became executive editor of NEA Service a year ago the syndicate credits him for the number of exclusive stories and pictures with which NEA has made front pages. Energetic and casual, Lewis has a valuable capacity for turning work out, fighting for a new feature or relaxing with characteristically llvely humor when the pressure is off — and the same humor colors his words when he turns his hand to writing, as he does after most business trips. Eighteen years with United Press after his graduation from Boston University In 1927, Lewis was successively Boston night manager, bureau manager at New Haven, Conn., night cable editor in New York, night bureau manager, Central Division news manager, feature editor In New York and war correspondent He was U.P. European news manager when he was appointed NEA executive editor.
Harry Staton - New York Herald Tribune Syndicate
After 52 years with newspapers and the New York Herald Tribune Syndicate, Harry Staton will admlt with a smile that he's ready to take it easier. So these days he leaves the syndicate business management to Buel Weare, the telephones to his secretary, and still remains syndicate editor. Staton has built up during his syndicate career a circle of newspaper friends who are ready to accept his judgment on a feature he's selling. Foundation for this faith in his judgment is a newspaper career which began in 1894 on the Brooklyn Times. From 1898 on he reported successively for the Brooklyn Standard Union, New York Evening World and Evening Sun. He relates how he got his first break in the newsroom by learning how to use a typewriter, then a rare machine, overnight. He was editor and art director of the New York Globe from 1904 to 1912, then successively editor and publisher of Trend magazine and publicity man for Barnum and Bailey Circus. In 1920 he became editor and manager of the syndicate.
Buel Weare - New York Herald Tribune Syndicate
New to the New York Herald Tribune Syndicate, as of June, Buel Weare won't admit to knowing much of what is going on there — but he does. The new business manager went to the syndicate from serving as colonel and executive officer to Maj. Gen. R. M. Littlejohn, chief quartermaster in Europe. Born in the Illinois "bailiwick of Scarface Al Capone," and reared In Cedar Rapids, he studied at Princeton, then two years at the Harvard Graduate School of Business, leaving in 1927. After flve years of the tool and steel business, he "got mixed up with the newspaper business." For seven years he was with the Des Molnes Register and Tribune, sold national advertising, was circulation manager of Look magazine, special assistant to the general manager.
Robert M. Hall - New York Post Syndicate
In the New York Post office, on the telephone, or rushing through trips to newspapers or possible new features, Robert M. Hall is perhaps the most highly charged dynamo in the syndicate business and during his two years as president and general manager of the New York Post Syndicate has established several Post features firmly in the national market and originated a number of profitable new ones. Fresh, different features rather than imitations are the syndicate materials he likes to work with and a fight to get or establish a feature is his element. Tall and tense, he moves with a long jerky stride that wastes little time. When once sold on a feature, he backs it with the unsmiling zeal of a partisan, but his friends and competitors know him as likable and square. Formerly sales manager of United Feature Syndicate, he joined that organization in 1935 directly from the Columbia University School of Graduate Journalism and got the promotlon in the following year. Earlier, he worked for the Providence (R.I.) Journal throughout high school, his three years at Northeastern Law School and his four years at Brown University.
Harold H. Anderson - Publishers Syndicate
In developing and launching new features and services, Harold H. Anderson, manager of Publishers Syndicate, has maintained personal contact with most of the prominent newspapers in all 48 states and Canada. Interest in the advertising and research problems of newspapers has resulted in his acting as a personal consultant to 14 large metropolitan newspapers during the past 10 years. In 1939, he aided in the establishment of the Continuing Study of Newspaper Reading. Co-founder of the American Institute of Public Opinion (Gallup Poll) in 1935, he's been instrumental in the expansion of similar institutions in other countries. He was graduated from Northwestern in 1924.
Charles E. Lounsbury - Register & Tribune Syndicate
Known as "Chuck" in newspaper offices throughout the country, Charles Edwin Lounsbury signalizes his descent on newspaper offices with a characteristic impish grin, greetings for numerous friends from editors to secretaries, genuine interest in each person's family (whom he remembers by name) and practical jokes. Editor of the Register and Tribune Syndicate since 1930, Lounsbury straddles both news and business jobs because he likes to travel, to keep in touch with editors and their thinking. Born In Denver, C. E. Lounsbury reported for the Denver News-Times 1919 to 1921, then the Denver Post five years, joined Scripps-Howard in 1928 and became editor of the Denver Rocky Mountain News in 1931.
Henry P. Martin - Register & Tribune Syndicate
Manager of the Register and Tribune Syndicate, Henry P. Martin Jr. carries the air of a good solid businessman along with him on trips throughout the country. It was he who started the syndicate in 1922 after Register and Tribune features had gained such currency in Iowa that organized selling seemed advisable. He sent the first broadside and made the first selling trip. Urbane, genial and considerate, Martin is always ready to discuss in his rich, deep voice any or all phases of the newspaper business, and his comments are direct and to the point. On the Des Molnes Capital prior to joining the syndicate he worked in advertising and circulation, but since heading the syndicate has been ambidextrous, both selecting features and selling them.
Laurence Rutman - United Feature Syndicate
A decade with United Feature Syndicate, Laurence Rutman is a one-syndicate executive who has been with UFS since he first joined the business department. Aged 40, likable and enthusiastic, he seldom leaves his desk for the night until long after the rest of the staff and he shows the same zest in acquiring new features, tempered by a characteristic caution against "going overboard." First in advertising, then in UFS' sales department, Rutman was appointed sales manager early in 1944, business manager later the same year and editor and general manager more recently to succeed the late George Carlin. Born in Boston, reared in California, he attended the University of California, Tufts College, Northeastern Law School.
Watson Davis - Science Service
More than a syndicate man, Watson Davis, director of Science Service, is an apostle of science. He has been an enthusiastic executive of the Service since its beginning 23 years ago and within and without it developed dozens of ways of propagating news of science and bolstering the position of science as news: as managing editor of the service, 1921 to 1933, as editor of the Science News Letter since 1922, as conductor of the national network program "Adventures in Science" since 1924, as author and editor of numerous scientific books and publications, as director of the Science Clubs of America since 1941, and for the last six years as founder and director of the syndicate's Science Talent Searches to uncover scientific talent and offer it educational opportunities. Born In Washington. D. C., in 1896 and trained in civil engineering at the George Washington University, he began his newspaper career as science editor on the Washington Herald in 1920.
Labels: News of Yore