Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Little Pic

Little Pic started out as a mystery strip in a previous post, because I had only one example of it, and even that was missing a section which presumably would have held the cartoonist's signature. But between the title and the fact that this sample ran in the Chicago Record Herald on September 28 1903, intrepid treasure-hunter Alex Jay was able to unearth both the artist and the fact that this was an unusually long-lasting feature for the time.

Not that it was easy. Alex found that the online finding aid of Ohio State's Cartoon Library leaves something to be desired. He found this page on which we can see that Little Pic ran almost every Sunday during the period 1902-03. Only problem is that they don't tell you what newspaper they're talking about. Luckily Alex kept digging and determined that the Chicago Record-Herald Sundays of that era are in their collection, so between my sample, and triangulation of their finding aids, we can reasonably assume that Little Pic was a regular feature of the Record-Herald for at least two years, and the artist was one E.H. Brotts.

I'd feel better about the time and effort that went into determining these things if the strip had any positive merit whatsoever, but based on my sample I can't think of anything nice to say about Mr. Brotts' contribution to the history of the American newspaper comic strip.

Tomorrow: Alex Jay's Ink-Slinger Profile of E.H. Brotts.


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