Tuesday, May 08, 2018


Obscurity of the Day: Here's To Your Health

In an effort to provide health information in an entertaining format for newspaper readers, the United Feature Syndicate came up with the first (at least to my knowledge) comic strip devoted to the subject. The daily strip offered basic information: what to do about a cold, how to treat a bruise, and so on. I was impressed to read very little if any bunkum in these strips. Even the bottom strip, about habitual finger-sucking and pacifier use causing facial abnormalities, to my surprise turned out to be factual. The proposed treatments, on the other hand, seem to be perfectly designed to later send the kid into intensive psychoanalysis.

Here's To Your Health was written by J.G. Cowan, of whom I know nothing. I presume he was a medical practitioner of some sort. The art was provided by Tom H. Foley. I know Foley best for his Sunday back-page comics for the Minneapolis Journal, which ran there from 1909-1913. In the 1920s, he pops back up with this series and on the strip When The Great Were Young. He's a fine cartoonist, and its too bad he flew well under the radar.

Here's To Your Health had a very short run, from November 8 1926 to January 15 1927. I suspect that it was intended as an evergreen sort of limited series that could be sold and resold. It did not prove to be of much interest to newspaper editors, however, and the only place I've ever encountered what I assume to be the full series is in the Washington Star.


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