Saturday, July 27, 2013
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, July 26, 2013
Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase
Adam Chase strip #31, originally published January 1 1967. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.
Labels: Adam Chase Sci-Friday
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: C.P. Meier
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the youngest of three children born to William, a plumber, and Ida. They lived in Newark at 136 Spruce.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: Willie Ikindoit
Stripper's Guide post. I can't say I held out a lot of hope for the feature turning up, as the stupendously klunky name alone speaks of a comic strip done by a cartoonist of questionable ability. My guess was that the feature never actually found a buyer.
Well, as you can see above, the strip did run, and has been found. Our own contributor Alex Jay was the treasure finder, and he also furnished all the samples, and wrote an Ink-Slinger Profile, which you'll see tomorrow. Thanks Alex!
Today I'll pass along Jay's research on the strip. It was discovered in the Long Island Press, and I think it is a pretty good assumption that no other papers picked it up. C.P. Meier, the cartoonist, was a local, and the paper might have allowed him a tryout on a 'local boy makes good' basis. As you can see, Meier couldn't draw worth a lick -- the only decent work is his self-caricature in the first strip. The idea is intriguing -- the secret of a magic trick being revealed in each strip -- but Meier was just not up to the task.
The strip ran there for two months, from May 28 to July 28 1928.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: World Citizen
Sometimes I wonder, if we dig deep enough, whether we could find a comic strip series by every editorial cartoonist in the world. You sure could have knocked me over with a feather when I stumbled across this rarity, a comic strip by one of the most celebrated political cartoonists in the world, David Low.
According to a Time magazine article, the famed cartoonist decided he wanted a "try at new things and a change of air." Low created World Citizen, a politically charged but non-topical feature, while cartooning for the London Daily Herald. The weekly strip was syndicated all over the world, and in the U.S. distribution was handled by the Register & Tribune Syndicate.
The pantomine strip featured a mild-mannered everyman character who was apparently nude under his oversized trenchcoat. The inky black authority figures of the strip, whether politicians, police or bosses, subject our protagonist to all sorts of Kafka-esque mistreatment.
The strip debuted in the Sydney (Australia) Herald and other foreign papers on or about September 16 1951, but doesn't seem to have debuted in the U.S. until November 11 of that year (has anyone seen it earlier?).
Low's strip had the same problem here that any weekly strip would -- newspaper editors don't seem to have a readily open slot for such an animal. It doesn't really fit in the weekday papers, where 6-day a week features are the norm, and it doesn't really fit in the Sunday paper either, where comic strips are supposed to be clad in gay colors for the comics section. The stature of Low stimulated some papers to figure out how to make it work, but very few editors were up to the apparently monstrous difficult task.
In the U.S., World Citizen was advertised until 1954, though I haven't found it running in a paper later than 1952. I don't know how long the weekly strip ran in foreign markets.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: Excuse It, Please!
George Swanson, who signed himself 'Swan', managed to turn wild success into abject failure. I say that because for a full decade (1927-37) he produced the 1-column panel Nonsense, which ran in a huge number of papers. But then either he or King Features decided to scrap Nonsense and replace it with this 2-column panel with the ungainly title Excuse It, Please. It did give Swanson a little more elbow room to draw, but the new panel, which used stand-alone gags without a unifying theme, pointed out that Swanson's gift for slapstick and silliness didn't necessarily make him a good single-panel gag-man. Swanson could produce a few good cartoons per week in this format, but the rest were right out of Joe Miller's jokebook. Excuse It, Please debuted on October 23 1937 and the last its been seen was April 2 1938.
Why King Features decided that this move was a good idea I can't imagine. If nothing else, why didn't they have someone continue Nonsense, a popular panel that took nearly zero effort to write, to another cartoonist?
On the other hand, I wonder if perhaps Nonsense was allowed to die because it's popularity was actually due to it being part of the low cost Central Press Association package for small papers. Nonsense, and its nearly constant companion, Noah Numskull, were both part of King's CPA package, and that package seemed to be getting phased out in 1937. Perhaps when editors were offered Nonsense as a feature that actually had to be paid for, the response was a resounding, "No"?
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics