Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Fatty English

Charles H. Spencer, whose delightfully noodly, loose cartooning style I find very appealing, apparently got into and out of the profession in short order. His only known series, a whopping two of 'em, are with the Philadelphia Inquirer, both in late 1906. Today we look at Fatty English, also known as Mr. English, about a rotund British big game hunter. English is dead set on bagging himself an African lion, assisted by his stereotypical jet black guide. His hunting expedition is under surveillance from the local king, Vilkilloo III, who appears regularly to extract some tax revenue from the bumbling duo.

Fatty English ran from September 30 to December 2 1906.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!


Interesting that the term "23 skidoo" is used in the last panel of the second strip...I always thought that was a '20s term....
Likewise re: 20's use of 23 skidoo......apparently a long time before.....and accredited here to TAD !

"'Tad,' Cartoonist, Dies In His Sleep.". New York Times. May 3, 1929. "Thomas A. Dorgan, Famous For His 'Indoor Sports,' Victim of Heart Disease. Was A Shut-In For Years. Worked Cheerfully at Home in Great Neck on Drawings That Amused Countless Thousands. His slangy breeziness won immediate circulation. It was he who first said 'Twenty-three, Skidoo,' and 'Yes, we have no bananas,' 'apple sauce' and 'solid ivory.' Other expressions that are now part of the American vernacular include 'cake-eater,' 'drug-store cowboy,' 'storm and strife,' 'Dumb Dora,' 'dumb-bell,' 'finale hopper,' 'Benny' for hat and 'dogs' for shoes."
"23 Skiddoo" refers to 23rd street, New York City, where the once tallest structure, the Flatiron Building stands.the configuration of the building and the layout of the street lead to the phenomenon of powerful winds nearly constantly going down that street.So the expression was more or less to say, "Blow Away!"
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