Monday, April 18, 2016


Topper Strips: The Lovebyrds

Paul Robinson's long-running teenage gal strip Etta Kett, which began in 1925, added a Sunday version in 1932. From the first installment of the new color strip on January 10, The Lovebyrds topper strip was riding astride it. I tend to think of young married couple Horace and Peggy of The Lovebyrds as a glimpse into the likely future of Etta Kett and her beau Wingey. Their hijinks betray the same stunted emotional status as teens, despite their more advanced years.

Paul Robinson's lovely fine-line drawing style makes it easy to forgive the silly goings-on, and just enjoy the ride. Unfortunately that ride for The Lovebyrds ended in 1942 (June 28 as best I can determine), when Etta Kett was, formally or informally, demoted to King Features 'b-list'. From then on the Sunday Etta is seldom seen running anywhere, though it continued to be produced until 1974.


Always wondered about what it must have been like to work on a legacy b-list strip at the end of its days.. putting in the effort, cashing the checks, and all the while knowing full well that your readership is nil. Reminds me of Barton Fink, getting paid to produce screenplays for films that will never be made.
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