Monday, September 26, 2011


Wrigley's Sunday Comic Strip Ads -- Part I

Courtesy of the Cole Johnson archives, we have with us for three days a series of Wrigley's gum ads penned by the leading cartoonists of King Features. These ran in Sunday comics sections in 1926-27. We begin with the Katzenjammer Kids by H.H. Knerr (originally published March 14 1926) and Barney Google by Billy DeBeck (May 9 1926).

(By the way, I posted last week that Cole was being chased around by a surgeon with a knife. Well, the report is in; Cole was indeed carved up but came through the ordeal and is home again breathing those refreshing old newspaper fumes.)


Good to hear Cole is well.
What was the first advertising strip? Was it these?
Oh my, no. Assuming you mean advertising strips using licensed characters, they go further back. I recall seeing Mutt & Jeff ad strips, pre-1910 if I recall correctly. I can't think of any actual STRIPS earlier than that, but of course advertising using licensed characters goes right back to the Yellow Kid. I bet there are earlier strips than the M&J, too, but they're not coming to mind at the moment.

Wasn't there also at least one in this series where all (or at least six) Hearst cartoonists collaborated, each doing one panel with their characters?
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