Saturday, April 26, 2014

 

Herriman Saturday

Wednesday, June 24 1908 -- Herriman has been on vacation for two weeks, and would continue on vacation for an additional week before appearing regularly again. Oddly, though, this cartoon snuck in right smack in the middle of what I presume was his time off.

Tag Day was a program of Associated Charities. On that day, vendors would offer official charity tags for sale, and purchasers were to affix their purchased tags to themselves to show that they gave to the charity. A pretty effective technique to shame slackers into coughing up some dough when most people are walking around with tags displayed.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

 

Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, November 8 1936, courtesy of Cole Johnson. Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

 

Obscurity of the Day: The Bantykin Brothers -- Three Little Men Who Couldn't Grow Up





The Bantykin Brothers was a New York World series, but may not have appeared consistently in the World itself -- it could conceivably have been a filler mostly used by syndicate clients and other Pulitzer papers. I say this because Ken Barker's World index doesn't mention it, I only have a single example from the Rocky Mountain News, and Cole Johnson's examples (seen above) are all from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Fillers were sometimes distributed to newspapers when the home paper had an advertisement to run -- so the way to figure this mystery out is to check the World's Sunday sections for the known Bantykin Brothers dates -- 5/27/06, 6/10/06, 6/17/06, and 10/7/06. Alex Jay has determined that the Bantykins ran in the World at least sometimes, based on an ad in the Evening World on 10/26/1906.

It is probable that Barker didn't list the series in his index because the signature on the Bantykin Brothers strips are illegible, and Barker organized his index by artist. The signatures on our samples give the vague impression of a first name initial G, then a last name starting with M. But it's really little more than a scrawl. Based purely on the signature, Gus Mager would seem a likely suspect. However, these strips are not particularly in his style, his signature was normally legible, and he was working for Hearst at the time, though admittedly mid-1906 was an oddly lax time in his work there. No, based on the art style, I lean more toward these being done by an undercover Carl "Bunny" Schultze. This doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense either, since he was also gainfully employed by Hearst, but to me some of the stylistic details sure look like his work. So ... other opinions?

Anyway, all that bookkeeping business aside, these are pretty cute strips, though we've seen enough animated cartoons use variations on this gag later on that it doesn't have quite the punch it may have enjoyed in 1906. I suppose the funniest aspect of all is the description Cole Johnson used for the series when he sent me the samples -- "These guys are kind of like Leighton Budd's characters, only violent, cheap, and horny."

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples and the punchline to this otherwise rather dry post!

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Could this possibly be the handiwork of Cornell Greening?
 
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 

Obscurity of the Day: Strictly Classified





Regular readers of Stripper's Guide know that there is a long history of comic strip and cartoon panel features that were specifically designed to be run on classified ad  pages.Here's a few we have covered in the past: Classified Ad-Ventures, The Little Old Wise Man,Want Ad Willy. The idea of the features was not just to entertain, but also to point out the virtues of classified advertising, thus stimulating ad sales.

For some reason, starting around the 1970s I'd estimate, these 'classified strips' seem to have fallen out of favor. Maybe newspapers felt that the marketing wasn't paying off, but if that was the case you'd think they would have figured it out a little faster than over the span of fifty or sixty years that these features were around.

Today we're taking a look at what may well be the last 'classified strip' ever offered by a major (or maybe even minor) syndicate. Debuting in 1987 through Tribune Media Services, Strictly Classified was by the team of Paul Reynolds (art and writing assist) and Mike Dikas (writing). These two were a real dynamic team -- they not only wanted to produce a daily strip for classified sections, but also offer a steady supply of spot art that could be sprinkled amid the ads to break up the monotony. It seems like a really attractive package deal, but it just never caught on. Despite claimed sales to 175 newspapers, and an NCS award nomination in 1989, the feature was running so far below the radar that it wasn't even listed in Editor & Publisher's annual directory after 1988.

According to co-creator Paul Reynolds, the reaction of newspaper classified editors was rather bizarre -- they generally regarded the strip as a loss of ad space revenue, ignoring the marketing potential entirely. With that kind of half-witted thinking, it wasn't long before Strictly Classified was demoted to a part of the Tribune weekly service, and then dropped altogether around 1995.

Dikas and Reynolds considered resurrecting the strip as a self-syndicated feature, but they quickly found that they got about the same reactions as the syndicate salespeople had -- why would I want to 'waste' space in my classified section?

Thanks very much to Paul Reynolds, who was nice enough to answer questions about the strip, and even supplied the samples and promo kit images seen above. Thanks Paul!

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Allan,

Do you have any info. on an attempted Skippy revival in the early 70's?
 
What little I know is in my book.
 
Allan -
Thanks for the beautiful write up! -I can sleep well tonight knowing Our efforts have not been in vain and we have 'made our mark' in the anals (my co-author corrected me as he did when we were creating together- spelling not my forte) - uh-hum - "annals" of classified history!! Cheers and many Mahalos!
Paul
 
My favorite is the panel Dick Briefer did in the mid fifties: Want ad Whoppers: http://allthingsger.blogspot.nl/search?q=want+ad+whoppers
 
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

 

Obscurity of the Day: And His Name Was Bunk





The venerable Tad (Thomas Aloysius Dorgan) had a recurring cast of characters who moved merrily from one cartoon series to another, into his sports cartoons, and most anywhere else they pleased. Bunk the dog was one of that ilk, but he did get a Sunday series mostly to himself for a time.

Usually titled And His Name Was Bunk, the plot closely matched Harry Hershfeld's Homeless Hector, from which Tad most likely appropriated the idea. Bunk was a stray looking for a new home. Every time he thinks he's found a wonderful new master or mistress, fate intervenes. Sometimes his rough manners get into the way of the match, other times the potential owner turns out to be a dud.

The series ran in Hearst Sunday comic sections from April 28 to September 1 1907. Notice above two special episodes -- the third guest starring Opper's Maud the Mule, the fourth featuring a collaboration with H.B. Eddy, a cartoonist/illustrator who specialized in pretty gals. The one with Eddy was also the swan song of the series.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!

Comments:
Hi Allan,

Unreleated to the stip above but, what was the first Katzenjammer Kids knockoff?
 
Well, the Katzies were themselves knockoffs, so the question is circular, eh?
 
But when does Bunk make his final appearance in the daily cartoons as well?
 
Since Tad was so free-wheeling about the contents of his weekday cartoons, I've never attempted to track the comings and goings of individual characters. I don't doubt that if the spirit moved him on any given day, Bunk may have popped up in a cartoon a decade or more later than this short-lived series.

--Allan
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Love it! If you'd like to see an original Tad "Bunk" drawing from 1908, you can see it here on my blog.

This one ran in December, 1908, so I think that's the last stand-alone Bunk entry, but he popped up from time to time in the "Judge Rummy" strips well into the 20s.
 
Hi Peteykins --
Nice original! I wouldn't place any large bets on it being the last daily featuring Bunk, but rather than buying a plane ticket to NYC, staying weeks in a $200 per night roach-infested hotel, and spending my days poring over a mountain of NY Journal and American microfilm at the NYPL, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief.

Also, a note to those with a well-developed sense of humor, you'll love Peteykins blog:

http://sparklepony.blogspot.com

--Allan
 
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Monday, April 21, 2014

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Fred Weatherly


Frederick Neville “Fred” Weatherly was born in Ozark, Alabama in 1898. His birthplace was mentioned in the New York Times, January 5, 1958 and a 1929 passenger list which also had his birth year. Census records for 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Censuses recorded his middle initial as “N”. In the 1920 census he resided with his maternal grandmother, Anna Neville, and aunt, Viola Neville, so Weatherly’s mother’s maiden name was his middle name. The website, Baseball Fever, profiled a number of baseball people including Weatherly. I disagree with the site’s census findings for 1900 and 1910, which have an October 1898 birth date and parents named Andrew and Laura. I found this particular “Fred Weatherly”, in subsequent censuses, to have been a farmer and life-long Alabama resident. I am inclined to believe the cartoonist was “Neville Weatherly” in the 1900 census which recorded his birth date as April 1898 and parents as Fred and “Maurie,” both Alabama natives. They resided in Geneva, Alabama.

Weatherly has not been found in the 1910 census. The 1915 New York State Census listed Weatherly, his two sisters and maternal grandmother in his Aunt Viola’s household. He was an office errand boy. They resided in Upper Manhattan, New York City at 44-46 Pinehurst Avenue. The Times said Weatherly served as a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War I.

Information regarding Weatherly’s education and art training has not been found.

In the 1920 census, Weatherly’s grandmother was the head of the household. They remained in Manhattan at a different address, 115 West 180th Street. Weatherly was a cartoonist. 


At some point, Weatherly moved to Albany, New York. The Schenectady Gazette (New York), January 22, 1923, reported his new business and partners.
Albany, Jan. 21.—(Special).—William B. Osborne, 28 Brandywine avenue, Schenectady, is one of the stockholders of the Fort Orange Recording Bureau which was granted a charter by Secretary of State James A. Hamilton Saturday. The enterprise is capitalize«d at $1,000 and has been formed to engage in a general advertising and publishing business. Others associated with Mr. Osborne in the project are Leo Lo Berthon, Fred N. Weatherly and James T. Healey, all of Albany.

The Chatham Courier (New York), February 22, 1923, covered the local bowling league and said:

…Fred Weatherly, The Times Union cartoonist, got down to Chatham in time to catch all the boys there including the wrestlers and the basket ball team. These will be shown in separate cartoons and the stories will feature each individual team….
Weatherly contributed to Collier’s and The Judge

Weatherly married Betty around 1928, according to the 1930 census which said he was 30 at the time. On January 28, 1929, the couple returned from a trip to Bermuda. Their address was 640 West 170th Street, New York City.

According to the 1930 census, 1270 Gerard Avenue in the Bronx was the artist and housewife’s address. The Syracuse Journal (New York), September 16, 1935, printed Walter Winchell’s column “On Broadway,” which said: “Fred Weatherly (‘Policy Pete’) uses a special moustache wax which he gets direct from Paris.”

Weatherly has not been found the 1940 census. The Daily Sentinel (Rome, New York), February 14, 1945, published a photograph of Weatherly with the following caption:



It Could Happen Here
New York—One of the biggest laughs in the baseball writers’ show came when Larry MacPhail, the new president of the Yankees (played by Arthur Paterson), foisted himself upon Joe McCarthy (Fred Weatherly) in the bullpen. Some of the scribes said it could be the forewarning of what may happen this year in Yankee Stadium. “MacPhail” is threatening “McCarthy” with toy gun.
Weatherly appeared in a whiskey advertisement that appeared in numerous newspapers including the Springfield Union, November 13, 1948.



The Writer’s Monthly had this announcement in a 1949 issue:
Another large New York newspaper, The New York Mirror, 235 East 45th St., New York 17, N. Y., will pay you $1 for each short, question and answer type of two line joke used by “Pete”, a cartoon character created daily for the paper by Fred Weatherly on the sport page.
Baseball Fever has a photograph of Weatherly (far right) and four others. In Strawberries in the Wintertime (1974), Red Smith said the cartoonist was known as “Senator Weatherly.” Bob Considine’s It’s All News to Me (1967) had this line about Weatherly: “We even carried tips on numbers concealed, more or less, in a delightful little single-column cartoon drawn by dapper Fred Weatherly, who kept his mustache waxed as if momentarily awaiting inspection by the colonel of the Coldstream Guards.” Weatherly was mentioned in The Mark Hellinger Story (1952): “…cartoons by blond mustachioed Fred Weatherly…”

Weatherly passed away January 4, 1958, in East Rockaway, New York. His death was reported the next day in the Times.
Fred Weatherly, a sports cartoonist on The New York Mirror, died yesterday of cancer in his home at 10 Third Avenue, East Rockaway, L.I. His age was 59. 
Mr. Weatherly created the comic feature “Pete.” Although he had been ill since last February, he had continued to send cartoons to The Mirror from his home.
A member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, he was a friend of many notables in that sport.
Mr. Weatherly, who was born in Ozark, Ala., began his newspaper career thirty-five years age on the old New York Journal. He joined The Mirror soon after it was established in 1924. Before that he had worked also on The Boston Record and The Knickerbocker News in Albany. During World War I Mr. Weatherly was a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
His first wife, Betty, died in 1942. He is survived by his widow, the former Estelle Bryant Duffy.
—Alex Jay

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

 

Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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Days late-dollars short:
Happy Birthday Jim!

D.D.Degg
 
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