Monday, August 19, 2013


Obscurity of the Day: Oh, You, Patricia!

There were some really big name artists contributing Hearst magazine cover cartoons in their heyday of the 1920s and 30s -- Nell Brinkley, Dan Smith, Russell Patterson and John Held Jr., to name a few. In the company of all those heavy hitters there was another frequent contributor who, as best I can tell, is a complete unknown. Philip Loring did at least five different series, but otherwise seems to be a non-entity. I can find no information at all about him, and even master sleuth Alex Jay comes up completely dry.

Loring, or whatever his/her real name is, has a nice elegant drawing style, though the faces tend to be a bit cookie-cutter. If someone were to threaten me with an atomic wedgie if I didn't take a guess at an ID, I'd have to say it was Paul Robinson. But what in the world would Robinson have to gain by not admitting his real moniker on such a prestigious berth? It's not as if he's really moonlighting -- he was working for Hearst subsidiary Central Press at this time.

Oh, You, Patricia, is a lightweight series even by the standards of magazine cover cartoons. Our heroine goes off to 'camp' for the summer and meets various eligible bachelors and a bunch of catty women. It is one of the shortest series I've seen, running a mere six episodes between June 14 and July 19 1931. It was syndicated through Hearst's Newspaper Feature Service division.

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