Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Obscurity of the Day: Milt Gross' Revolving Title Comic Strip
I've called these 'revolving title' or 'multiple title' features, but those are certainly not terms that come trippingly off the tongue. I often wonder what term the creators themselves used, but in all my reading about the form I've never come across a pithy term for the genre. So does anyone know the proper term for these, or failing that, have a suggestion for a term that properly describes them and is elegant and succinct?
Anyhow, while you're grinding your mental gears on that, take a look at this multiple revolving title (ugh!) comic strip series by Milt Gross. Gross' short-running series boasted a mere three recurring titles -- The Meanest Man, I Did It and I'm Glad, and Draw Your Own Conclusion. Considering it ran for just six months I guess Gross didn't need to invest in more.
When Milt Gross left Pulitzer's Press Publishing for Hearst's King Features around September 1930, he was faced with creating new strips to replace his then-current series; this daily-only strip was the successor to Looy Dot Dope. The new strip probably began on October 6 1930, though the Wisconsin News, one of the few papers to run it, ran it ROP, so that date could be a week or two off. The strip ended on March 28 1931, replaced by Milt's new daily (and soon to be Sunday) series, Dave's Delicatessen.
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!
Maybe "rotating feature"?
When I first saw your very elegant suggestion, I just loved it. I may have even let out a little squeal of pleasure. But I was chastened when I read the dictionary definition and was reminded that the term 'anthology' is often used to imply a multiplicity of authors, and I decided that the last thing I want to do is be obfuscatory. Pity. I loved the origin of the word, too, which apparently was something to the effect of a bouquet of flowers. How nice.
Oh well, so close.
More correct and not used otherwise: a polyonymous strip. Polyonymous = "Having many names or titles."