Saturday, December 18, 2010
The second cartoon commemorates the Jonathan Club's annual Jonathan Jinks revels, which apparently featured quite a bit of cross-dressing by L.A.'s rich set.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, December 17, 2010
News of Yore 1950: Dale Goss Introduces Tom Trick
Alex Jay submits these images from the Seattle Times, chronicling the start of syndication of local artist Dale Goss' Tom Trick feature. Thanks Alex!
First, a little background. Here's Goss' bio from a 1941 edition of Who's Who in Northwest Art:
Labels: News of Yore
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Obscurity of the Day: Skimpy
Most of these 'filler' strips are eminently forgettable, with some notable exceptions. The great Harvey Kurtzman's Silver Linings, for example. Skimpy, on the other hand, well, let's just say I'm not expecting Fantagraphics or IDW to issue a reprint volume anytime soon. It was, however, one of the more frequently used filler strips in the H-T, so someone thought well of it.
Joe Calcagno's filler strip ran as needed in the Sunday comics section of the H-T from March 7 1948 to November 12 1950.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Obscurity of the Day: Flook
While this strip is certainly an obscurity in its U.S. run, Flook was a beloved institution in Britain for over thirty years. So rather than expound on a strip that others know much more about, let me direct you to:
A quick Wiki overview
An appreciation of the strip by Stephen Worth, plus a nice long series of strips
A bio of creator Wally 'Trog' Fawkes
An E&P article about Flook
So all that's left for my comment is about the short and unsuccessful U.S. run. General Features, a perennially anemic second-string syndicate, took on the U.S. distribution of the strip a couple years after it began on the other side of the Atlantic, starting here September 10 1951. Why GFC thought Flook would go over in the States I can't imagine -- the strip is so rooted in British sensibilities, slang and culture that most Americans would need annotations to fully appreciate it.
GFC gave it their best shot, though, offering it for almost three full years to a whole country full of indifferent newspaper editors. The U.S. run ended on June 26 1954 when GFC finally pulled the plug and filled Flook's slot in their line-up with a very American two-fisted, take no prisoners reporter strip, Jeff Cobb.
I'm one of those shlubs who would need the annotations, but, yeah, I imagine in the original the mirage was Swingin' London.
Gothasm = the excitement a visitor feels when first arriving in NYC? Make a great marketing gimmick I think, replace "I (heart) NY" with "Visit NY, Have a Gothasm!".
And I put a little page or two fom a tiny Flook book I have, on my blog, after talking a little to Chris about the character:
Not as good, nor as quirky, in my opinion as 4D Jones by Peter Maddocks, which I suspect you might like, it's posted here:
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
News of Yore: More E&P Mystery Features
4/13/29 - Bell Syndicate, Inc. has started a new daily continuity strip, called "Tark." It is drawn by Aslan Bey and the continuity is written by J. Kenneth Jovey. The central character is a detective.
3/22/30 - A local cartoon strip, done by Dennis McCarthy, has been added to the San Francisco News. Each day, McCarthy interviews some prominent San Franciscan and tells the story in a picture strip.
9/26/36 - (Hopkins Syndicate ad) -- Pictur-Grams are a new kind of cartoons. Here are cartoons that not only produce laughs but have a definite educational value -- build vocabulary. Johnny Stork with his simple wisecracks is always corrected by Sammy Bear who knows the right word for everything. Their remarks greatly enliven this entirely new type of gag-cartoons, securing reader interest for the whole family. (The sample cartoon was credited to 'Eisenzoph')
"San Francisco News" is mentioned 44 times. And there is this line:
Pen and ink sketches of persons off the regular news paths form
an interesting series of human interest stories that Dennis McCarthy
is doing for the News.
The feature did exist but only in the San Francisco News.
by Alex Jay
Fred Eisenzoph (Frederick Michael Eisenzoph) was born in MIchigan November 22, 1905. He seems to have spent his adult life in Chicago where he died on October 14, 1969. In the 1930 Chicago census he lists his occupation as commercial artist.
The puts him just a hundred miles north of the Hopkins Syndicate homen=base of Mellott, Indiana.
Couldn't find a Pictur-Grams sample though.
I don't doubt that there was such a feature, but it can't be ticked off the mystery list until I see samples. SF News has been added to my research list for the next Library of Congress trip (that list is getting loooooong) but thought I'd throw it out there just in case someone's holding a sample.
Eisenzoph drew cartoons for the book, Behave Yourself, which was published by J.B Lippincott in the mid-1930s.
He married Mildred V. Birch in Chicago on August 5, 1933.
His obituary from the Chicago Tribune, October 16, 1969:
Services for Fred Eisenzoph, 63, of 4926 N. Mozart st., will be held at 11 a. m. today in the chapel at 5303 N. Western av, Mr. Eisenzoph, who was art director for Science and Mechanics magazine for 25 years before entering semi-retirement five years ago, died Tuesday in Edgewater hospital. He had been hospitalized since he fell in his home three months ago. Mr. Eisenzoph worked part-time as a commercial artist for Opportunity magazine and a syndicated columnist after he left Science and Mechanics and before he retired two years ago. Survivors include his widow, Mildred; two daughters, Mrs. Johanna Benson and Mrs. Gail Bush; a brother; and two grandchildren.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Obscurity of the Day: Bottom's
Over the years Lee tried his hand repeatedly at newspaper syndication with the Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News Syndicate, never with much success. His outre cartoons just didn't seem to be what newspaper readers wanted with their morning coffee, or rather what newspaper editors think they wanted. Frankly Lee's syndicated work is not nearly up to the level of his magazine cartoons anyway. Either the pressures of a daily deadline were too much for Lee, or he tried to dumb down his gags to appeal to the masses. Whichever was the case, his newspaper work tends to be sorta meh with occasional flashes of the Lee brilliance.
Bottom's, his second feature for CTNYNS, was a daily panel set loosely, very loosely, in a restaurant. The sketchily defined cast includes the bartender, a fellow named Bottom who sports a clownish bow tie, waitress-actress Jenny and Ralph the cat. Although the gags are often set in the restaurant, Lee has no problem with abandoning this locale in search of gags. The humor is sometimes bizarre in the best Bill Lee tradition (a school of sharks 'swim' in the floor of the restaurant in one gag), sometimes political (a headless man runs for vice-president), and on off days disappointingly conventional (see "Nice Serve" above).
The panel ran from 1984-85 but I don't have anything like definite start and end dates for this rarely seen feature. The syndicate advertising folder for the feature begins with the week of October 15 1984, but I suspect that might not be the first week, perhaps by a couple months. I have no idea how far the feature got into 1985.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics