Saturday, April 30, 2011
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, April 29, 2011
Mystery Strip: Marge by Russell Cole
The page gives no indication of the newspaper, but most of the collection comes from New York papers, so I'm betting it's from the Evening Graphic, the Daily News or the Mirror. Many of the roto photos are credited to P & A Photos, but that doesn't help me any.
The signature is covered with bandage tape (the whole page is edged with the stuff) but with the aid of a bright light and magnifying glass I managed to determine it is by Russell Cole. I lose track of him after 1926, though, when he was doing a feature for Editors Syndicate.
So can anyone ID the newspaper and, even better, confirm that this was a series, not a one-shot? Comics rarely ran in rotogravure sections, so this one is quite the oddball.
Labels: Mystery Strips
There were some Graphics clippings in the collection, so it's a distinct possibility. Did the Mirror not do a Saturday roto like the Graphic did?
Somewhere I have a bound volume of Graphics rotos, so I do have a feel for them. They (not surprisingly) featured lots of scantily clad starlets. This roto page, though, is pretty chaste stuff.
Russell Alger Cole was born in Marysville, Kansas on September 18, 1889, according to his World War I draft card. He was the oldest of two children born to John and Mollie, as recorded in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The family of four was recorded in the 1905 Kansas State Census.
Cole's father passed away before the 1910 census. Cole lived with his mother and sister on Elm Street in Marysville; his occupation was cartoonist. He signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. He lived at 3205 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa. He gave his occupation as newspaper artist at the Des Moines Register and Tribune. His description was tall, medium build with blue eyes and light brown hair.
Cole has not been found in the 1920 census, but his mother remained in Marysville, Kansas, and his sister, Miriam, was a teacher in Des Moines. The Morning Herald (Gloversville, NY) published, on August 27, 1921, an Associated Press story on the annual Des Moines Printers' Golf tournament. Cole was paired with a writer. The April 1922 Graduate Magazine (University of Kansas) gave his address as 2714 Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines; he was in the class of 1909. On August 8, 1924, Cole sailed from Montreal, Canada to visit England and Europe. He returned on October 31. According to the passenger list, he lived at 722 18th Street in Des Moines. In the 1925 Iowa State Census, Cole was the head of household which included his mother and sister.
The date of Cole's move to New York City is not known. Beginning in 1936 he worked in the comic book industry; a list of those credits is at the Grand Comics Database, www.comics.org/credit/name/russell%20cole/sort/alpha. He signed his World War II draft card on April 25, 1942. He resided at 410 Riverside Drive in Manhattan.
Cole passed away on January 27, 1967; he was buried at the Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Obscurity of the Day: Sporting Adventures of Mr. Reginald Fitz-Noodles
This series penned at the dawn of the comic strip boom was by a fellow named Gray Parker. Though he doesn't have any other series credits, Cole tells me that he was a regular contributor to the World's Sunday section in those antediluvian days. The fellow's got a really strong art style, and he knows how to present a gag, so too bad he didn't stick with the newspaper cartooning business. Of course he would have had to learn to refrain from blasting dogs with a shotgun for comedic effect. I say, old fellow, bad show, bad show indeed.
In the 1880 census, he, his wife Louisa, and son Dudley, lived in Jersey City, New Jersey at 257 York Street. His occupation was artist. The census said his parents were born in England. Parker's wife passed away on May 18, 1890 according to a death notice published in the New York Times on May 20.
Parker and his son resided at the same address in the 1900 census. His occupation was illustrator. A death notice for Parker was printed in the New York Times on January 22, 1910.
Entered into rest at Belmar, N.J., Jan. 20, 1910, Clarence Gray Parker.
Funeral Sunday afternoon, Jan. 23, 1910, at 2:30 o'clock, at residence
of Isaac U. Quimby, 33 Duncan Av., Jersey City, N.J.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Obscurity of the Day: Guindon
EDIT: Since this post ran I have seen the Guindon panel still running (now as a weekly) in 1992 in the Detroit Free Press.
One detail that did puzzle me: I could understand the guys with one bicycle clip on their pants, but not the teddy bear dangling from the belt like some sort of emergency device.
I believe he was the first of the single-panel absurdist artists to to show up in a newspaper instead of a magazine. *Then* came 'The Far Side' and the rest.
"Carpenters turning fish boards into fish sticks."
"Things to do in case of nuclear war #8: Go to a movie."
Two shopping carts are stuck together. The words are: It must be mating season.
I still love his humor. -Kim
LIke the above example and others mentioned here, his cartoons often didn't need a picture, e.g. "You can make as many copies of carp as you want, because carp aren't copyrighted."
By the way I believe his cartoons first appeared in the Minnesota Daily, the U of M campus newspaper.
Funny, I think that might point to a miscalculation in your piece above: he really was aiming right at the audience depicted in his panels. It’s more the rest of us don’t appreciate how out there regular midwestern folk are...
I was trying to find the cartoon -- I think it was Guindon's -- captioned something like "Remote controls for traffic lights were a great idea -- until every motorist got one."
I don't even know why I found that so funny
Guindon really lost me with the whole “carp” fixation. It just wasn’t funny, and he stuck with it for ages, probably hoping for better ideas to come along and they just didn’t. It happens with a lot of comedians, musicians and writers who burn through their creative fuel early on and when they run dry, they just turn weird.
Two of my favorites are people carrying a ladder away from a sign reading “Welcome to Detroit,” with a tacked on poster beneath continuing the thought: “A great place to buy a wig.”
And a group of people, pants rolled up, standing in a lake, with little “ooph” speech bubbles rising from the water, captioned “Fish kicking,” and signed “Guindon, who doesn’t understand this cartoon.”
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Bill Blackbeard RIP
I never met Bill in person, and our occasional correspondences was usually argumentative, though always civil and respectful. I rarely contacted him except to question something he'd said. I can now only regret that I never took the time to write him the gushing fan letter that he deserved. Always too embroiled in trying to get to the bottom of some fine point of comic history, we debated, we argued, we compared notes, but I never did a great job of expressing my deep appreciation for his lynchpin role in researching, archiving, and popularizing this art form that has become a big part of my life.
Goodbye, Bill, and thank you for so ably sharing with us your passion. I can only hope that you got some satisfaction that a new generation of researchers and archivers like myself have tried to take on the mantle and continue the work that you pioneered.
For a much more artfully worded and informative tribute to Blackbeard, please click over to R.C. Harvey's essay at Comics Journal (from whence I stole the image).
From Mark Kausler
Monday, April 25, 2011
Obscurity of the Day: J.M. Muggsby's Social Aspirations
The strip seems to have been more of a filler than anything else. It only ran from October 13 to December 8 1907.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics