Thursday, January 06, 2011


News of Yore 1908: Herald Calls it Quits

Abandons Use of Comics
(The Fourth Estate, 10/31/1908)

The Boston Herald, of which William E. Haskell is publisher, announced editorially in its issue of Sunday last that it had abandoned the use of the comic supplement, saying:

"We discard it as we would throw aside any mechanism that had reached the end of its usefulness, or any feature that had ceased to fulfill the purpose of attraction.

"Comic supplements have ceased to be comic. They have become as vulgar in design as they are tawdry in color. There is no longer any semblance of art in them, and if there are any ideals they are low and descending lower.

"But while relinquishing this feature of the Sunday paper we add others. The quantity of matter provided is not diminished, but the quality is improved. The pages remain, but are otherwise and more fittingly occupied."

The New York State Assembly of Mothers Clubs at its final session in Saratoga, N.Y., last week placed itself on record as condemning "Yellow" newspapers and the Sunday comic sections of newspapers.

[Allan's note: Pretty strong words from Mr. Haskell about a comic section produced right under his own roof! If Haskell was so disappointed by the quality of the material his cartoonists were producing he certainly had the power to do something about it. Of course, the reality is that the Herald wasn't successful in syndicating its lackluster comics and that's the real reason for its demise. Follow the money...

The date of Haskell's editorial, which would have been October 25, comes well after the homegrown comic section disappears from the Herald (or the microfilm, anyway) on August 18. The syndicated section has been found as late as August 30.]


Just as a little sidenote: the Boston Herald dropped their Sunday paper completely at some point and only started printing it again about 10 years ago.
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