Monday, May 19, 2014
Obscurity of the Day: Do You Know
Where Kaharl's panel couldn't measure up to the soon-to-be Ripley blockbuster is that former's panels, in addition to only serving up a single odd fact, are wordy and ... dare I say it ... too informative. Whereas Ripley is pithy and dramatic, Kaharl is plodding. I'd love to find Ripley's treatment of candle fish as a comparison, because I'm sure his version is delightfully grotesque, probably featuring a lurid sketch of a burning fish face.
Kaharl's panel never caught on with McClure, but it did continue until 1929 through their auspices. In 1930, the backstock of the feature was apparently sold to Western Newspaper Union, which redistributed the old panels to their weekly newspaper clients until at least 1935, and perhaps later.
Alex Jay has done some research on Kaharl and found evidence that he may have adapted his panel feature into an advertising piece -- more tomorrow with Alex Jay's Ink-Slinger Profile.