Saturday, April 11, 2015


Herriman Saturday

Sunday, September 20 1908 -- Mr. Proones the Plunger makes a curtain call almost a year after the publication of his short-lived weekday strip ended. Why Herriman feels it necessary to remind fans of the upcoming horse-racing season almost two months early I cannot guess.


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Friday, April 10, 2015


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, September 11 1938, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.

This is the final sci-fi Connie story we have available from Cole Johnson. If anyone out there can contribute scans of another complete Connie story (later than 3/26/1939), or can offer another sci-fi strip to take its place on Sci-Fridays, I'd be delighted and grateful to hear from you! Note that we elitists at Stripper's Guide do not generally use digital microfilm material here on Stripper's Guide, so we would need sharp 300-600 dpi scans from newspaper tearsheets or syndicate proofs. 


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Thursday, April 09, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Val Heinz

Valentine Matthew “Val” Heinz was born in Streator, Illinois, on April 20, 1927. The birth date is from the Social Security Death Index. The 1927 Streator city directory listed Heinz’s parents, Val and Ann, at 107 West Elm Street. Matthew was the name of Heinz’s paternal grandfather.

The Heinz family resided at the same address in the 1930 and 1940 U.S. Federal Censuses. Heinz was the oldest of three children and his father was a self-employed baker.

In the mid-1940s, Heinz attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts where he was discovered by Frank King of Gasoline Alley fame. The World Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), April 25, 1948, published a profile of King and said:

…Frank’s assistants are Bill Perry, who has worked with him 22 years and who also draws Ned Handy, and Val Heinz, a young man he picked out of the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago two years ago.
The three work a regular schedule in King’s studio in his home. They start their day at 9 a.m. and work until 4 p.m. with time out for lunch. They do this five days a week, keeping six weeks ahead on the daily strip and 10 weeks ahead on the Sunday page.
In 1949, Heinz produced Dawn O’Day in Hollywood for the Chicago Tribune. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said the strip debuted as a Sunday feature on October 2, 1949. The following entry was in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 3, Part 1B, Number 2, Pamphlets, Serials and Contributions to Periodicals, July–December 1949. 
Heinz, Val. Dawn O’Day in Hollywood. [Cartoon strip] (In Chicago Sunday tribune, Oct. 2, 1949, p. 10, pt. 9) ©Tribune Co. (in notice: The Chicago tribune); 2Oct49; B5-11780 .
Editor & Publisher, August 12, 1950, announced the Dawn O’Day daily:
“Dawn O’Day in Hollywood,” a Chicago Tribune-New York News comic strip initiated a year ago as a Sunday color feature, will go on a daily basis Sept. 18. Now syndicated in 15 newspapers, the strip is drawn by Val Heinz, 23, the youngest of the CT-NYN’s cartoonists. Mr. Heinz, a native of Streator, Ill., worked in Florida as an assistant to Frank King for four years before becoming a student at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
The strip ended in 1954.

At some point Heinz moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan. The 1956 city directory listing had his wife’s name, Harriet; home address at 1412 Eagleston Avenue; and occupation as commercial artist at Allied Art and Photo Service. In the 1959 directory, Heinz lived at 1009 Coolidge Avenue and was an artist at Bahlman Studio.

The 1972 Kalamazoo Suburban City Directories had a business listing for Heinz: 

Heinz Val M 7525 Sandyridge St (Portg)
The Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2008, said Heinz had three sons, Mark, Michael, and Val. The Boston Herald American, July 11, 1975, published a photograph of Val, a student at MIT, posing with a model of the Starship Enterprise composed of 75 empty beer cans. Val was in the Class of 1975 which donated the model to the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Heinz passed away March 1, 1983, according to Michigan Deaths at He was a resident of Portage and died in Kalamazoo. His wife, Harriet, passed away April 8, 2003, in Livermore, California.

—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, April 08, 2015


Obscurity of the Day: Dawn O'Day in Hollywood

Dawn O'Day in Hollywood was a semi-precious gem of a strip that, unfortunately, was rarely seen by anyone except the readers of the Chicago Tribune. After the end of World War II, the Tribune tried out quite a few rather interesting series in their Sunday sections, some of which they ran for years. However, they seemed to have no luck in selling them to other client papers. Why? I dunno. They certainly had no trouble selling the old guard (Gasoline Alley, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy et al).

Dawn O'Day debuted in the Sunday Tribune on October 2 1949. It was a light-hearted strip, tap dancing around the genres of soap opera and adventure, but always with lots of levity. Starlet Dawn O'Day and her manager Wally Crackle romp through tinseltown hijinks, getting into hot water with crazy old faded stars, murderous directors ... you know the drill. Dawn sometimes exhibits dumb blonde tendencies, but generally she's a gamer with a good head on her shoulders and witty repartee always at the ready.

If you took the art styles of George Wunder and Frank Robbins and mashed them together, you'd end up with the style of creator Val Heinz. His art is quite stylized, yet more attractive and inviting than either of his influences, both of whom can take a little bit of getting used to, if you don't mind me saying. There are probably art swipes involved, but I definitely think Heinz creates something that is quite a bit greater than the sum of its parts. With only a third page at his disposal (EDIT -- it appears that Heinz was drawing these to a full tabloid format according to the E&P yearbooks. The Trib apparently just cut them down to thirds after a brief period as halves in the first months of the run. Did anyone ever run the full tab strips? Unknown at this time.), he makes every square inch work for effect. Great character design, ever-changing camera angles, interesting backgrounds, you name it, he does it well. According to a Tribune article, Heinz learned cartooning as an assistant to Frank King; that may be so, but the influence of King is nowhere to be seen here.

The strip must have appealed to someone at the Tribune, because in spite of the scarcity of client papers (did it have any other than perhaps a few in the Tribune chain?), the strip was granted the addition of a daily strip on September 18 1950. Evidently it was on a one-year contract, as it disappeared from the Tribune on Saturday September 15 1951.

The Sunday, though, ambled along, seemingly getting the approval of Tribune folks if no one else. Finally, though, in 1954 several of these no-client strips were led to the chopping block. On May 30 1954, the strip came to the end of a storyline, promised a new one, but did not appear next week. Oddly, though, it reappeared one last time on June 27, already well into the middle of the next story. Maybe there was at least one other paper still running the strip, because Ohio State's Bill Blackbeard Collection lists Sundays for August 29 and September 22 in their collection. Only problem is that September 22 is a Wednesday, so I don't know how well we can trust their records. Anyone know of a client paper that ran it to the bitter end?


I've seen samples of this strip over at Ger Apeldoorn's blog, and I am puzzled by Val Heinz. His artwork, though admittedly derivative, is polished and professional. I've never seen anything else by him, though. You'd think he'd have had a more visible career. I even speculated Heinz was a pseudonym for someone else, but I think not. Do you know any more about him?
I am seeing more than a bit of Mel Graff as well. My next stop in the ether is the Fab Fiddies for more. I'm lovin heinz.

And The older I get the closer Frank Robbins and Johnny Hazard get to the top of my favorites (I didnt say 'best')
Wunder was terrific except for the faces. Latter day Terry reads well and was pretty damn fun.

But those faces..ugh
I have an almost complete run (especially of the first years) in the process of being scanned and prepared. Some in three tiers even, which makes my think that althugh the strip was almost always shown in two tiers it may in fact have been produced in three for a long time. I will have a look what I have of those last few months/weeks. In the first year you can see Hein
z' style move from what I would call 'the Chicago style' to that of the Caniff school.
Sounds great, Ger! What paper do you have that printed the strip in three tiers?

Thats's the funny thing. I thought I only had the Chicago tribune. But apparetnly not. I bought the whole lot as a set of cuttings from a seller. And now I am wondering (and not at home to check) if I wasn't mistaken and was it only thrtee tiers with some in half page format to preserve the three tier strip on the back?

Well, at least the first four I have on this computer from October 1949 are three tiers. After that it's all two tiers. A format change or a different paper? I will have to look when I am home.

You mention the same starting date as my first one. So you are saying that your October 2, 1949 copy is two tiers? In that case mine should be from a different paper and the paper name may be on the tear sheet.
Hi Ger --
I don't have any samples from the first couple months; my start date was based on microfilm indexing.

As to format, though, your half-pagers prompted me to check the source I should have checked before opening my big mouth. According to the E&P yearbooks in which the available formats are listed, poor Val was drawing these up as FULL TABS, only to have the Trib chop them down to thirds! What a shame.

Wonder if anyone has seen a Dawn O'Day original so we can verify that.

Difficult to understand now, but some papers back then financed and carried certain strips exclusively - by choice.

Lee Elias once explained how the NY Daily News did not want any other paper carrying his BEYOND MARS. They considered being the sole source to be a selling point. So he was paid well enough but there was no hope for growth.

They did sell the material for reprint in other countries.

Mike Feldman
I did not yet have the NOvember 13, 1949 Sunday, but on the Chictrib website they have this one and it was a three tier as well: see" width="300" height="600" scrolling="no" frameborder="0". After that this paper onoy carried thirds. I can't imagina Hienz doing half tabs all those yers so I am curious.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dorothe Carey

Dorothe Louise Carey was born in Springfield, Ohio, on June 23, 1911. Her birthplace was determined from the census records, and her birthdate is from the Social Security Death Index.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Dorothe was the youngest of two daughters born to William and Muriel. They resided in Springfield at 14 East College Avenue. Her father was a salesman.

The 1930 census recorded Dorothe, her sister and divorced mother in Dayton, Ohio, at 40 Locust Street. Dorothe was a stenographer at a stationary supplier.

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Dorothe created Alice in Beautyland, for King Features Syndicate, which ran from January 8, 1938 to November 5, 1939. No information has been found about any art training Dorothe may have had.

Information about Dorothe’s employment was found in the Lima News (Ohio), April 21, 1938.
News Writers Will Nominate Queen Jubilee
Van Wert, April 21—Judges for the selection of Queen Jubilee VII to reign over Van Vert’s 1938 Peony Festival June 8 and 9 were announced today by J.F. Beam, queen committee chairman.
The judges are C. R. Corbin, managing editor of The Toledo Blade; Miss Dorothe Carey, women’s editor of The Dayton Daily News; and Dudley T. Fisher, Jr., Columbus Dispatch staff cartoonist.
The queen’s selection will be made the night of May 11, at Lincoln school auditorium.
A posting at RootsWeb said Dorothe married Robert Edward Doty in Baltimore, Maryland on September 4, 1938.

They were listed in the 1940 census in Washington Township, Ohio, on Mad River Road. Her husband was a newspaper photographer. She was the advertising manager at a retail furniture store. During World War II, her husband served from March 3, 1944 to May 15, 1946. A son was born to them in 1947.

At some point Dorothe returned to newspapers through advertising. A single sample of “Belinda Goes Shopping”, with the byline Dorothe Doty, was found in the weekly Oswego Valley News (New York), April 15, 1954. It’s not known when this campaign started. The copy refers to “a Dayton store”.

The Ohio Divorce Index, at, said Dorothe’s divorce was granted on July 8, 1970. She was an out of state resident at the time.

Dorothe’s husband passed away November 22, 1981 in California. Dorothe passed away August 26, 1999, in California. According to the Social Security Death Index she was a resident of Berkeley. RootsWeb said her death was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, September 13, 1999. Her son passed away in California, December 2, 1985.

—Alex Jay


Just a couple small points of clarification. The Doty's would have lived in Washington Township, Ohio, on Mad River Road -- both just a few miles south of where we live. Oddly enough, when I worked at Dayton Newspapers, I would run across photos in the newspaper's morgue stamped "Doty" on the back. If I would have only known, but by then they were both gone anyway.
Love all the profiles, Alex.

Frank Pauer.
Thanks, Frank. Corrections made.
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Monday, April 06, 2015


Obscurity of the Day: Alice in Beautyland

It's surprising how many times the form of the comic strip was applied to the subject of fashion and beauty. Starting in the 1920s, several syndicates introduced features that looked like comic strips, but were actually illustrated essays on the latest style in fur collars, a new diet fad, or how to apply mascara. Surprisingly some of these strips met with some modest success.

A latecomer to the small party was Alice in Beautyland, a delightfully drawn feature by Dorothe Carey. The weekly feature debuted on January 8 1938 as part of a Sunday page of beauty advice syndicated by King Features Syndicate. The initial installment, though, was not so much a strip as a collection of individual illustrations on various beauty-related subjects. On the second week, though, Carey changed gears a little bit and began tying the illustrations together into a little story. Some of the strips are more strip-like than others. The top example here is more 'strippy', as we follow Alice's toilette routine when she is preparing for a day at the beach. Less like a strip is the bottom episode, which has little sense of a narrative, but more of a list of tips for taking care of short hair.

If Carey's feature was available for use outside of the Hearst Sunday magazine page, it certainly didn't find a lot of takers, because I've only seen it in that venue. The strip occasionally changed names, to Alice's Adventures in Beautyland and Alice's Exploits in Beautyland, but the content was consistently beauty advice. The weekly strip lasted almost two years, ending on November 5 1939.


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Sunday, April 05, 2015


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Love it!

Craig Zablo
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