Thursday, May 26, 2011


Obscurity of the Day: Mayme the Manicurist

Mayme the Manicurist is one of those features that I have to wrestle with. Is it an illustrated column (not eligible for my guide) or is it a cartoon panel that goes a little heavy on the text (welcomed)? I think in this case it was the jaunty, sassy text blocks that won me over.

I'm willing to bet that Mayme is the only cartoon series ever on the subject of palm-reading. While that pseudo-scientific silliness was the bread and butter of the feature, sometimes the feature veered off into reading body language, handwriting analysis and other subjects. It was all quite cute and entertaining and rarely took itself too seriously, a big plus for this oddball niche feature.

Fun it might have been, but it certainly didn't catch on. The daily panel ran in the New York Daily News, and there was a syndication attempt but I've never seen it elsewhere. All my samples are from 1930, and so was the syndication listing in E&P. I don't have definite start and end dates. The art was signed by Glen Ketchum, who doesn't have any other credits that I know of. He may have also been the writer, but there was no official byline on the feature.

The feature vacillated between the 2-column format shown above, which includes a large cartoon, and a 1-column format in which the cartoon is not nearly so prominent.


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