Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Obscurity of the Day: The Maestro and Amalita
You have to give cartoonist Werner Wejp-Olsen Brownie points for selling Field Enterprises on a strip about an opera company. If there's anything the average American is more clueless about, and downright disinterested in, than opera, it doesn't come to my mind.Talk about selling ice cubes to Eskimos!
As you might surmise from his chosen subject, Wejp-Olsen (who often goes by the slightly rearranged acronym 'WOW') ain't from 'round these parts; he is Danish. Despite the handicap of distance he has had good and consistent success in marketing his comic strips over here. The Maestro and Amalita is the second of at least five series he has placed with syndicates in the U.S. (the first was Granny and Slowpoke).
The Maestro and Amalita, whatever its assets might have been, was doomed from the start by its subject. It is only known to have run for about five months, and that in just a few papers. Running dates in the only place I've found it, the Detroit News, were October 30 1978 to March 3 1979. Ohio State University apparently has the original art to a Sunday dated April 2 1979, so perhaps somewhere it ran a bit longer.
The Torrance Daily Breeze ran this strip from Jan. 1, 1979 to April 29th, 1979. That may have been the end of the strip?
The 4/29 strip was about aliens who visit Earth and make fun of Opera. No main characters even appear in this strip. Very odd page.