Monday, May 23, 2011


Obscurity of the Day, Again: Colonel Daffy-Dil Nutty

Cole Johnson comes to the rescue of this brain-dead comic strip guy by pointing out that Colonel Daffy-Dil Nutty, the obscurity I (badly) covered on Friday, owes nothing at all to Foxy Grandpa (other than the age of the star), but is instead a pretty shameless copy of the wordplay from Tom "TAD" Dorgan's feature, Daffydils. You'd think the title just MIGHT have been a clue to me. Oy. 

Cole sends these two examples, both from October 1912, that, although unsigned, are almost certainly the work of Foster Follett. Panel five of the second example is, for me, the clincher on that artist ID. The sample I showed on Friday is by a different anonymous cartoonist.


Hello, All---I would really like to know if anyone at this late date can identify the ghost artist seen on Friday's COL. DAFFY-DIL-NUTTY strip. Whoever this guy was, he worked like a slave at the McClure syndicate from about 1908 to 1912. He thumped out dozens of episodes of SAMBO. ROBINSON CRUSOE, BUB, CWAKING CWACKS, FADDER UND MAMA LADE, COL. DAFFY-DIL-NUTTY, and others. Not that he was very good, he had a poor grasp of continuity, anatomy,(sometimes he forgets to give Sambo any ears) and it looked like he drew with a melted Hershey bar. Just the same, he contributed so much, he ought to get some recognition.
So I have this strip on my blog, a 'modern' strip from 1961, which in my files is called Arnold. But I have nothing else on it, no artist's name, I am not even sure of the title. I can't even find the paper to look for some more dailies...
Direct link to Ger's blog post with the mysterious "modern" strip: here

I have no information about it myself, except that I note from the last strip's cutoff byline that the creator's first name was much shorter than his last name -- maybe a three-letter first name and a seven- or eight-letter last name.
After some searching I found that the artist's name was Bill Johnson. He started the strip in student newspapers and after seven years (including a stint in the navy) it was transferred to the big time. The first one to do this? I found two papers that ran the strip and will be collecting more for a new post next week.
A daily of Arnold was running in the ITHACAN in early 1960. It was from the Bell syndicate.
re: daily - that is odd. All the papers I have seen have Sundays only. And a januari 1961 article announcing it says it starts there. So is the Ithacan a university paper?
Arnold was in the Ithacan from December 9, 1959 until April 20, 1960. The Ithacan was a weekly campus newspaper of Ithaca College in Ithaca New York. daily strips were used, but original dates and copyrights were removed.
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