One of the few real gems in the Boston Herald
's comic section of the 1900s was Sawdust Sim
. Most of the Herald
's Sunday comics were reasonably well-drawn but the writing was almost uniformly execrable. Paul F. Brown's Sawdust Sim
was, in stark contrast, not just well-written but also quite avant garde. Strips that broke the fourth wall in those days were quite rare, but Brown's strip used that motif every week in ways that still seem quite fresh today.
Brown had the good sense not to overdo the strip, and it ran for only about four months, from November 18 1906 to March 10 1907. It was one of only two comic strip series he is known to have done.