Thursday, October 27, 2005
Obscurity of the Day : Make-A-Comic
Here's a short-lived reader participation strip from 1925. Each strip first ran in the paper with empty balloons and readers were solicited to send in their captions, $5 to the winning entry. The strip would then run a second time with the winning captions added. As you can see from our sample, which is about par for the course, the competition was not particularly fierce. The strip's creator obviously recognized that the entries weren't too hot, so he added a text piece below each installment -- it displayed more humor than anything that appeared above.
The creator of this strip is Ray Hoppmann, a journeyman cartoonist who bounced around most of the lesser syndicates. Although he has many and varied credits, there's not one series in his resume that wouldn't easily qualify for our obscurity of the day.
Interesting tidbit - this is the only strip ever distributed by Readers Syndicate (at least that I've found). They had a few panel cartoons, but, as their name implies, they specialized more in text material.