Thursday, January 08, 2015
Obscurity of the Day: Don, Dot and Duckie
When Frank W. "Hop" Hopkins gave up on his imitation of Rube Goldberg's strip (Hop's Skips and Jumps, yesterday's obscurity), he wasn't about to throw in the towel. He got right back up on the horse with a new strip, titled Don, Dot and Duckie (some papers didn't even bother changing the masthead, so this strip is sometimes seen running under the previous title). But if Hop's Skips and Jumps was unoriginal and not all that funny, it looked like a classic next to this rather strange strip.
The adventures of three bickering siblings have such limp gags that I'm not sure they're really meant to be funny. To add extra merriment, Hop sometimes seems to be trying to get comedic mileage out of the characters' foreign (?) accents, but I'll be doggoned if I can figure out what they're supposed to be. Dutch, maybe? I have to admit, this strip just generally has me scratching my head. Either I'm missing something, or Hopkins was trying to see just how bad a feature he could get International Syndicate to send out to clients.
Well, at least Don, Dot and Duckie wasn't inflicted on the American public for long. The longest run I can find of the strip is from April 13 to May 29 1914 in the Edwardsville Intelligencer, which may be the only paper who hated their readers enough to run the entire series.
Thanks to Mark Johnson for the samples!