Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Obscurity Revisited: Paramount-Bray Animated Cartoon Promotional Strip

My plea for additional examples of the Paramount-Bray Animated Cartoon Promotional Strip has been answered by blog reader and contributor Fram, who found these two additional strips in the Urbana Democrat (through the Google Newspaper Archive, which is now an orphan as Google has decided to get out of the newspaper archiving biz -- here's hoping picks up the material before it disappears). Thanks Fram!

These two additional examples rounds out the number of strips to 12, a nice tidy number. Unfortunately it throws off the previously nice neat character counts because we now have four Bobby Bumps and only three Colonel Heeza Liars. Harumph.

The Hurd strip is for the 1916 Bray short Bobby Bumps Helps a Book Agent. The Carl Anderson strip is a mystery to me -- his series for Bray was The Police Dog, but this gag doesn't involve that character. Maybe this is from a one-shot, or another series for which IMDB doesn't have info, or represents a Police Dog short gag without the main character -- seems strange they would do that. By the way, Anderson made frequent use of chicks in his newspaper strip work, so I'm not surprised to see that character show up in his animation work.

Since we're revisiting this strip, I'd like to repeat an intriguing question posed by Mark Johnson after the original post, to wit, would we not regard these as the first newspaper comic strips based on animated characters (as opposed to newspaper characters making the opposite transition)? Anyone care to weigh in on that? Not being knowledgeable about early animated cartoons I can venture no opinion.


Aug. 11 1914: Gertie the Dinosaur enters the comic strip in "Midsummer Day Dreams".,2237455&dq=&hl=en

First crossover from animation to comic strip that I'm aware of.
Hello, all--The new Bobby Bumps strip is based on the similarly-titled BOBBY BUMPS HELPS OUT A BOOK AGENT (Released 10-23-16). The earliest strip series based on an animated character was perhaps a mid-1915 daily series starring, once again, Colonel Heeza Liar, by Bray. It ran in the Chicago Herald, but I don't think it was a Keeley strip, more likely self-syndicated by Bray.
The Colonel Heeza Liar series ran in July-Aug 1916, not 1915, so very shortly before this promo strip. Wish I'd made copies of some samples so I could figure out if they were re-used in this series.

I don't know if it ever appeared in a newspaper, but there are still more Bobby Bumps comic strips, like the one at (seems like another Fiklm Fun version)
HELLO----Bray's first Col. Heeza Liar strip was different from the Paramount promo strips. In the original series, the Colonel goes around the world on Minchausen-like adventures, demonstrating wild weapons to the fighting powers of World War One, meeting pretty Senoritas in Villa-era Mexico, visiting the Arctic, etc., similar to W.L.Wells' Nicodemus Nimble daily.
The Eugene Daily Guard (archived on Google News Archive under the Eugene Register Guard) ran eight of these strips, all of them included in the 12 shown on this blog (which suggests that there won't be dozen of others still to be discovered). Since some of them are of better quality than the scans shown here, I'll list them anyway:
*Oct. 14: Heeza Liar: Scandal
*Nov. 9: Bobby Bumps queers the choir
*Nov. 17: Greenland's icy mountains
*Nov. 24: Al Falfa: Prune plantation
*Dec. 1: Heeza Liar: Peeved
*Jan. 3: Heeza Liar: Married
*Jan. 4: Bobby Bumps: Book agent
*Jan. 15: Bobby Bumps: Circus

You can find the Greenland one at
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