Wednesday, January 07, 2015
Obscurity of the Day: Hop's Skips and Jumps
Even though Frank W. "Hop" Hopkins was already churning out one successful daily comic strip (Scoop the Cub Reporter) for Baltimore-based International Syndicate in 1914, his energy was not being sufficiently dispersed. With some trade publication fanfare, Hop added a second daily feature called Hop's Skips and Jumps to his workload.
Hop decided that in this feature he would imitate the highly successful Rube Goldberg. Goldberg's brilliantly inventive daily untitled strip was a huge success, and it's hard to argue with Hop's logic in hitching his wagon to that particular star. Hop's copycat strip manages to do an incredibly faithful job of duplicating Goldberg's art style (it's downright eerie in some strips), but the gags fall flat so often that anyone who was fooled by the art would quickly realize their mistake.
Hop's experiment in forgery was short-lived. Whether Hop called it quits because of his conscience, or the syndicate pulled the plug I dunno, but the feature was quite short-lived. The longest run I can find of it is from March 2 to April 11 1914 (Edwardsville Intelligencer).Tomorrow we'll see the strip he created to replace it.
Thanks to Mark Johnson for the samples!