Tuesday, October 07, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Pretending Percy

In the considerable legions of comic strip li'l bastards, C.W. Kahles' Pretending Percy doesn't really stick out as an overwhelmingly interesting entry. His schtick of dressing like and pretending to be a good little boy reminds us of Buster Brown, except that Percy never does resolve at the end of his escapades to do better -- Percy is plain and simple rotten, and happy to be that way.

Kahles' art style, as always in this period, is stiff and formal. That works well for this particular strip, as it makes the rather extreme activities seem that much more shocking. Our top sample is particularly stomach-turning, leaving me with the desperate wish to thrash Percy myself. But I guess that's the idea, isn't it?

Kahles contributed Pretending Percy to the Philadelphia North American Sunday comics section from May 1 1904 to July 8 1906. Kahles got a bit confused and called the kid Willie in the second installment, but with as many strips as he did, I guess we can forgive such a slight bookkeeping error.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!


Kahles' HAIRBREADTH HARRY floors me for the writing alone. NEMO reprinted a Sunday page wherein Rudolph uses atomic energy and destroys the world--"Sweet Cookies! This is a FIX!" And that's from one panel, never mind the remaining 11!
"leaping from one plane to another over an erupting volcano became second nature to me"
From the same Nemo.

Too bad Kahles didn't live long enough to write scripts for TV's TJ Hooker. He was a natural
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