Monday, February 13, 2017


Toppers: Zipper

Although Gaar Williams is for the most part forgotten today, in the 1920s and 30s he was very well-known for his cartoons in the mode of Clare Briggs and H.T. Webster. One of his continued series from that weekday panel was A Strain on the Family Tie, and eventually the Chicago Tribune, his syndicate, asked him to add a Sunday page of the feature.

Originally titled Mort Green and Wife when it debuted October 4 1931 (it was later retitled to agree with the daily panel), it had a topper titled Zipper, about a dog. This topper strip was another of Williams' continuing weekday series. It was a pretty low-key effort, but consistently worth perusing. It was wordless, or nearly so, which was a pleasant change from the main strip, which tended toward excessive verbiage.

Zipper was discontinued on October 8 1933, two weeks after the strip's name was changed to A Strain On The Family Tie. I have no idea what the two events might have had to do with each other. From then on the Sunday did not include a topper strip.


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