Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Obscurity of the Day: Toddy
After a several year stint assisting Percy Crosby with his hugely popular Skippy comic strip, George Marcoux got the bright idea to create a somewhat similar 'kid' feature of his own. Marcoux's strip would straddle the thoughtful world of Skippy and the more rambunctious kid strips like Reg'lar Fellers, settling in somewhere pretty close to Edwina's Cap Stubbs and Tippie, gentle yet not cloying.
McNaught Syndicate, which had no kid strips on offer at the time, accepted Marcoux's strip. Why they didn't suggest a different name than Toddy is beyond me -- do you really want to name a kid strip after an alcoholic drink? I doubt that the name is what kept Toddy from being a bigger success, but it seldom helps to make features editors conflicted over your offering like that.
The earliest date I can find for Toddy's debut is on October 29 1934 (in the Scranton Republican), but the official start date could be a little earlier, since the strip made it into the 1934 E&P Syndicate Directory, issued in August. The strip evidently had enough clients to satisfy Marcoux and his syndicate, because it stuck around, and even gained a Sunday strip on August 1 1937.
Toddy's demise came on February 25 1939, and some subscribing papers ran the explanation that it was discontinued due to illness of the artist. Perhaps that's true, or maybe Marcoux had found the grass greener in the new comic book industry. Marcoux is known to have started producing original material for comic books as least as early as 1940. In 1942 he created the fan-favorite character Supersnipe, which would cement his place in the comic book history hall of fame.