Monday, April 11, 2016
Obscurity of the Day: The Wonderful Adventures of Baron Munchausen Jr.
When the Philadelphia Inquirer hired the great Clare Victor "Dwig" Dwiggins to anchor their Sunday comics section in 1900, he really pulled out all the stops and gave them more than their money's worth. He only stayed a few years, but those were some heady times to be reading the Inky's funnies.
Today we have one of Dwig's most delightful series from that period, The Wonderful Adventures of Baron Munchausen Jr. Unfortunately he only did a very few episodes, from September 16 to October 28 1900, but they were some really choice morsels. The concept is that the great teller of tall tales, Baron Munchausen, had a son, and the young tyke (who claims to be about a hundred years old) follows in his pa's foosteps as an adventurer. The first episode, seen above, starts out by sending our star on a trip to the Moon, which affords Dwig a chance to draw up a whole parade of bizarre moon-creatures. I uploaded this image at an extra large size to ensure that you'd be able to read the delightful text story. It's worth your time, I promise.
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan.
Oh, how glorious it could have been if this was really a double-page spread feature. Actually Munchausen Jr. was just a mere half-pager. The line down the middle is the darkening from a piece of tape that was holding together one of the incredibly fragile sheets in Cole's early Inkys.