Monday, October 21, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: Minnie in a Minute
In the early to mid-teens the McClure Syndicate's Sunday sections were almost always in disarray. They generally featured a couple of new features, often lackluster, and some ridiculously dated reprints from the 1903-05 era.
To make matters worse, someone at the syndicate had also come up with the brilliant idea that creators should not be allowed to sign their work. Thus the cartoonists producing new material had no overwhelming reason to give it their best effort. Minnie in a Minute is a good example of that. The strip about a lazy Scandinavian maid and her unreasonable employer began on May 25 1913. Though it was never signed, I believe the early episodes may have been by the superb cartoonist Charles A. Voight (but see below). Later in the series the art becomes cruder, and Cole Johnson believes the examples above (from September-November 1913) are by Foster Follett, an ID with which I concur.
Perhaps Follett was in reality responsible for the series all the way through -- he was certainly capable of excellent work -- but it took him awhile to get it through his head that there was no reason to bother bringing his 'A' game to this strip.
Minnie in a Minute changed to Minnie's Day Off for the October 26 and November 2 episodes, then the original title was restored. The series ended on November 23 1913.
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!
EDIT: I have since seen early episodes, including the first, on newsprint as opposed to microfilm. It appears to be Follett's art throughout the series. Sorry for the bum steer about Voight.
Thanks for bring back a nice memory!