Monday, August 15, 2016


Obscurity of the Day: Human Interest Stories

We've talked about pioneer woman cartoonist Edwina Dumm working like a whirling dervish at the weekly Columbus Monitor before, and here's another of her series for that ill-fated newspaper.

When Spot-Light Sketches, Edwina's full page potpourri of cartooning, went through its diaspora in February 1916, Human Interest Stories (at first titled Side-Lights on Human Nature) was soon added to give more bulk to her already impressive weekly contributions. These large panel cartoons featured a fairly typical extended family of the day, complete with black mush-mouthed maid. Although panoramic cartoons featuring a large cast of characters was a popular genre of the 1890s, and then would again become a recognizeable genre of newspaper comics in the 1920s and on, Edwina was a bit of a pioneer in that second wave. Along with Dwig, who favored this sort of tableau, she obviously enjoyed the challenge of arranging a big cast in interesting and innovative ways, resulting in a graphic delight that readers need time to take in and decode.

Human Interest Stories ran in the Monitor from April 15 to July 1 1916.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples.


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