Friday, October 26, 2012


Foster Follett Week: Tidy Teddy

We close out Foster Follett week here with Tidy Teddy, one of Follett's earliest efforts, which ran March 8 1903 to April 3 1904 in the New York World. There's an interesting evolution in this strip, where Teddy seems to start out having a mania for being clean, but then later it seems to be more that his desire to keep clean is merely to avoid the strenuous bathings of his mama, and not a true mania at all.

On a separate note, it is very hard to capture even a dim reflection of the incredible coloring of the New York World Sunday sections of the early 1900s, but a few of the samples here come pretty close. I hope you enjoy them. I have to tell you that seeing an early World color section in person is the sort of experience that got me irretrievably hooked on newspaper comics. The colorists and printers who were working for Pulitzer at that time were fine artists and craftsmen, and the coloring of the comics sections could make any artist, even an amateurish one, look like a master. The coloring has so much depth, such fine highlights and shadows, all executed with an incredibly limited palette that was exercised to the ultimate degree, that it is a terrible shame we don't know and thus can't celebrate the names of the production staff who produced such works. Another reason not to rely entirely on reprint books for your comics fix -- I have yet to see that glorious coloring reproduced in its full glory!

One further note; the second example, where Teddy visits the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, presumably would have had the title customized for each paper which used the Funny Side section.

Hope you enjoyed Foster Follett week on Stripper's Guide, and thanks again to Cole Johnson, who supplied all the samples for the whole week!


Thanx for sharing, this is a great 'forgotten' artist whose work I shall revisit often.
Thanks for all your great posts.
One strange little recurring item that has piqued my curiosity is "Character Close-ups." It appeared in my hometown paper, the Winnipeg Free Press, in the early 1930s. It featured physical traits that cartoonists could use to portray stereotypical behaviours. I haven't been able to find mention of it anywhere else, and was wondering if you've heard of it.
I posted a few samples here.
Character Close-Ups by George Spayth seems to have run from 1926-35. Spayth was an entrepreneur as well as a cartoonist, and moved into the business of weekly newspapers in the 1930s, apparently making a very nice living at it, and hence the end of Character Close-Ups.

Although I have seen this feature on a few occasions, I wasn't really sure if it qualified as a cartoon panel feature. However, since someone is asking me about it, I guess maybe it must be. I'll add it to the Stripper's Guide database.

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