Saturday, February 18, 2006
Mystery Strips of E&P - "A" Listings
Most of the E&P listings are for standard mainstream features, but they have also listed many additional more obscure stuff over the years. Some are from tiny syndicates (including self-syndicators), others are strips that came from mainstream syndicates but ran only for a short time in few papers. Others are true phantom features - strips that the syndicates tried to sell but failed, amateur cartoonists who deluded themselves into thinking their feature was publishable, and so on. Many listings these days are for strips that run only on the web.
The E&P syndicate directories, then, are a valuable source of information, but full of pitfalls if we just assume that all the features listed actually ran in newspapers. And as most of you know, I'm working on a project called the Stripper's Guide Index that seeks to document every recurring comic strip and panel cartoon feature that ran in US newspapers. The most important rule that I have for including a feature in Stripper's Guide is that I have to have seen it for myself actually running in a newspaper. One reason for that rule is the E&P phantom strip listings - some other researchers have fallen into the trap of documenting features based only on that resource with absolutely no additional evidence to support the existence of the feature. I won't let that happen in Stripper's Guide.
A reader recently suggested that I should publish more on the blog about features that are a mystery to me, in hopes that you guys will be able to provide information. Of course I'm only too happy to oblige. So today I'm starting a series of posts listing the E&P information on features that I've not been able to find running in any newspaper.
Here's the deal. What I need from you is documentary proof of the feature's existence. Photocopies or scans of a few sample tearsheets work great (especially if you can provide dates and the name of the paper), but I can also when necessary check out leads, like "sure, I read that one every day in the Splutburg Chronicle back in 1970-71." On the other hand, please cool it on leads like "that sounds vaguely like something I half-remember from somewhere".
So what do I offer in return? Undying gratitude of your peers, of course, goes without saying. Credit in Stripper's Guide for your contribution as well. But let me sweeten the pot. For documentary proof of any feature listed here I will reimburse you with a goodie package of collectible old newspaper tearsheets from my collection. Your goodie package may also include original art, old comic books, reprint books or magazines. Believe me, I'll make it worth your while. Sound fair? Great. (SORRY - as of 2018 goodie boxes are sadly no longer available - I now live in Canada and our postal rates are so outrageous that I cannot afford to send out goodie boxes - SORRY!)
Here we go with the list of mystery strips for the letter "A". Each listing shows the title, creator(s) credited, the syndicate, the format and the years listed in E&P.
AC In DC - Edwards De Lon - Future Features - daily strip - 1996
AD-LIBerties - Ney Talbot - N.E.W.S. - daily strip - 1949-50
Abe Martin Junior - E.B. Sullivan - Dille - daily panel - 1938-39 (apparently replaced Abe Martin these two years?)
Academy Of Fame - A.S. Curtis - Curtis Features - Sunday strip - 1946-50 (suspect this might just be “Medal Of Honor” under a different title)
Ace Of The Staff - Leon P. Snowe II - Trans World News - daily strip - 1978
Acme Woods - Dyke Williams - Dickson Features - weekly strip - 1980
Ad-A-Line - Henri Arnold - Editors Syndicate - daily panel - 1955 (FOUND! in Great Bend Daily Tribune)
Ad-Ribs - Bob Poet - Richmond Syndicate - daily strip - 1979
Adam Apple’s Adventures - Don Herold - Dille - daily panel - 1932
Adam’s World - Wayne Phillips - Consolidated - thrice-weekly panel - 1974 (Found! in Camden Courier-Post)
Addled Ads - Harry Lutke - Chicago Sun-Times - daily panel - 1950-51 (FOUND! in Lowell Sun)
Addles - Shar Durksen - American International - daily panel - 1993-97
Adventure In Nature - Robert Peterson - American International - daily strip - 1988-98
Adventure, Culture And Humor In Proper English - uncredited - Cartoonics - daily and Sunday strip - 1942
Adventures In Death Valley - Stanley Miller - Matz Features - daily strip - 1940 (probably advertising comics?)
Adventures In Wonderland - Bob Pilgrim - Independent Syndicate - daily strip - 1930 (FOUND! by Bill Mullins in the LaCrosse Tribune and Leader Press - thanks Bill!)
Adventures Of Arsene Lupin - Maurice LeBlanc and Georges Bourdin - Service Cooperative de Diffusion d’Articles - daily strip - 1948 (French - did it run in US?)
Adventures Of Melisse - Melisse - Melisse Syndicate - daily panel - 1950
Adventures Of Mister A. Worm - Charles Sarka - F-Bean Syndicate - weekly panel - 1926
Adventures Of Skuddabud - Columba Krebs - Skuddabud Creations - daily strip - 1936-38
Adventures Of Ted And Jed - Raymon Naylor - Feature Sales Syndicate - daily/weekly strip/panel - 1936
Adventures Of Tiny Turtle - Brint Schorer Jr. - Tiny Features - daily strip - 1968-71 (FOUND - turned out to be a coloring and game page - not qualified for SG listing)
Afterworld - Todd Schowalter - Plain Label Press - daily/weekly strip - 1992-94
Agile Man - Rex Walthall - Dickson-Bennett International Features - daily strip - 1981-82
Agony - uncredited - Interpress of London & New York - weekly panel - 1976-81
Ahead Of Time - Ken Muse - Dickson Features - weekly strip - 1980-81
Air Fair - Dick Locher - Winford Company - daily strip - 1971-73
Air-Sub DX - Carl Burgos - Watkins (Brooklyn Eagle) - Sunday strip - 1939
Aladdin McFadden - Jim Lavery - Arthur J. Lafave - daily and Sunday strip - 1937 (Found! in Newark News)
Aladdin And Company - Jaime Diaz - Ed Marzola & Associates - daily and Sunday strip - 1976
Alan O’Dare - Carl Pfeufer - Smith-Mann - Sunday strip - 1951-54 (probably topper to “Chisholm Kid”)
Albert - Robert Nunn - American International - daily strip - 1992-95
Alexander Gate - Gene Mora and Frank Bolle - McNaught Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1970-71 (Existence verified by Jeffrey Lindenblatt!)
Alfonso - Romano Garofalo, Regnal Adams, Charles Russo - Dickson Bennett/American International - daily strip - 1982-91 (Alberto Becattini says this is an Italian strip there titled "Mostalfonso")
Algy - Gene Rowls - Bryl Syndicate - daily strip - 1936
Ali Baba - Ostrup - Select Features - daily panel - 1948
Ali Katt - Walt Trag - unknown syndicate - daily strip - 1958
Alias The Skull - Kevin Miller and David Watkins - Suzerain - Sunday strip - 1993-95
All In America - Tom Ward - Winford Company - daily and Sunday strip - 1972
All In The Family - Bill Murray - Minority Features - weekly strip - 1980-2003
All-American Family - Lesnier - Popular Press Features - weekly panel - 1951 (FOUND! in Hearne Democrat)
Almighty Dollar - Lo Linkert - Feature Associates - weekly panel - 1980
Along The Rail - John Williams - Community Features - weekly panel - 1980-81
Alpha Ant - Leonard Bruce and the Humane Society - Leoleen-Durck - weekly panel - 1983-88 (presumably a giveaway?)
Amanda y Rocinante - Resurrecion Espinosa and Dorthy Torres - self-syndicated - weekly strip - 1996-present
Amateur Etiquette - Dick Calkins - Dille - daily panel - 1925-30 (FOUND! in Edwardsville Intelligencer - more of an illustrated column, not qualified for SG listing)
Amazing But True - Albert Edward Wiggam - Dille - daily panel - 1931-32 (early name of “Let’s Explore Your Mind”?)
Ambitious Ambrose - Oscar Hitt - Wheeler-Nicholson - daily strip - 1926 (found! in Lowell Sun)
Amby - Dwight Parks - Dille - daily and Sunday strip - 1958 (never ran -- see comment by Ger Appeldoorn below - thanks Ger!)
American Scoreboard - Henry Riddick and Antoinette Leeds - Family Features - weekly panel - 1948
Amos The Analyst - Mick Stevens - Lew Little Syndicate - daily panel - 1966-67
Anabel And Rupert - Reub Allen and M.O.Doyle - Columbia Inc. - daily strip - 1935
And Bob Created Woman - David Watkins and Kevin Miller - Suzerain - daily strip - 1993
Andy Lane - Eustace Adams and Dick Brown - United Feature - unknown format/frequency - 1933
Anggie - Dawn Munson - American International - daily strip - 1992-94
Animal Chatter For A Clean Environment - Emil Abrahamian - self-syndicated - 1995-96 (ran in Arab News - ever in US?)
Animals On Parade - John Meissner - self-syndicated - daily panel - 1939
Another Day Another Doll - Henry Gaines Goodman - Beroth Features - daily panel - 1958-61
Anthracite And Bituminous - Ferd Himme - Lowry Cartoons - weekly panel - 1932 (ad panel for coal??)
Antics Of The Allens - Leonard Merrill - Thompson Service - weekly panel - 1932
Antoinette And Cleopatra - Joanne McGuire - Copley News - daily strip - 1979
Aphrodite - uncredited - Interpress of London And New York - weekly panel - 1985-97
Apple A Day - Richard Gerchak - Community Features - weekly panel - 1980-81
Applesauce - Dick Calkins - Dille - daily panel - 1924
Aram - Piet Wijn - Douglas Whiting Ltd - daily strip - 1959-60 (Dutch - ran in US?)
Ardith - Ken Muse - Dickson-Bennett - daily strip - 1982
Are You A Kopy Kat? - Robert Gill - National Features - Sunday strip - 1980-82
The Aristocrats - Bob Kane - Ledger Syndicate - daily panel - 1967-70
Armadillosaurus - R. Shirley - Famous Features - weekly strip - 1995
Arnaki - Aspro Coolidge - Mid-Continent - thrice weekly panel - 1978-79
Arnie - Arne Stockholm - Singer Features - weekly strip - 1973-99
Around Town - Rube Weiss - Blakely Features - weekly panel - 1970-76
Around The Dial - uncredited - Audio Service - daily panel - 1927
Arty Facts - Ray Fisher - Singer Features - weekly panel - 1983-99
As You Were - Jim Baker - Pioneer Press - daily panel - 1972-99 (FOUND! in Elyria Chronicle-Telegram)
Assignment Top Secret - Bill Barry - Adventure Features - daily strip - 1981-93
The Astronits - Pat Anderson - self-syndicated - daily strip - 1970-79 (found printed a single time in the Cedar Rapids Press - still looking for more evidence)
Astronuts - Dave Berg - Singer Media - weekly strip - 1994-99
At Andre’s - Sandy Brier - McClure Syndicate - daily panel - 1961
Atila - William Grosso - Colombian Comics - daily strip - 1990-96
Aunt Effie - Edgon Margo - Queen Features - weekly panel - 1939 (found! in Goltry Leader)
Auntie’s Antics - uncredited - Keystone Features - daily strip - 1938
Auto Comics - Kenny Hall - Avanti Features - weekly panel - 1996-97
Auto Sense - Jack Williamson - Associated Editors - weekly panel - 1925-26 (FOUND! in Oshkosh Daily Northwestern)
Labels: Mystery Strips
Didnt "Assignement: Top Secret" ran their samples in the MFG (Memonee Falls Gazette weekly strip paper)? Or was than one of Barry's other strips? anyway, he has an interview there too, if you hadnt already been through all of those.
If Bob Kane did a newspaper strip - but didnt tell anyone about it, that would be news! very unlikely.....
i recall publicity for ALEXANDER GATE, but dont think it actually saw print either....
Regarding Assignment..., I've seen the samples. It has always seemed to me that the material published in MFG, plus the advertising the guy did in E&P was more than enough to have gotten the strip in print somewhere in a real paper. Besides, the guy did several of these adventure strips, and the art was pretty darn decent.
On Alexander Gate, I'd swear I saw a tearsheet of that once ages and ages ago, figured that would be the most likely title that someone could document. But we shall see...
I'm in the process of annotating the fiction of Dorothy L. Sayers, and I get about 20 e-mails a year from people suggesting corrections and additions to the work. I was surprised and gratified at the response.
Sorry, I was unclear in my post. I didn't mean I was going to give up after 2 letters, but just take some time off the project before plowing on ahead with this very time-consuming list. I'll definitely go further.
On the other hand, if I really do get no leads at all I will eventually cut my losses and pull the plug rather than plowing on to the end.
I'll be especially interested to see, though, if people Googling on the web for their relatives will stumble across this material and recognize their kin. I've been amazed through the years how many children, grandchildren, and such will track me down looking for information about their relations.
That's one mystery strip that we can tick off the books! Thanks, Jeffrey, and I'll send you a goodie pack when I get back home.
Thanks for the info! As a puzzle feature Double Bill doesn't qualify for the Stripper's Guide index, but it's good to know we can stop searching for that one. Anything more you can tell me about "Two's A Crowd"?
Ad-ribs appeared in only 1 newspaper, Oakridge Oregon's Dead Mountain Echo in summer 1980. Never inked a deal with Richmond Syndicate, although we did negotiate. Thanks for bringing back the memory.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Thanks so much for the info on Ad-ribs! Any chance that we might get to see a sample of the strip, or could you tell us the specific start and end dates?
Sorry, I have no info about Rock Sudson. Lutke would have had trouble getting that syndicated as US syndicates frown on liquor being used in strips. Andy Capp, being a foreign feature, for some odd reason gets a pass (and not just on the liquor, but on wife beating too!).
Went on to drop "der" from name for length reasons. I'm still freelancing full-time with many clients, including directly for the Disney company, as well as my own projects and characters. Returned to the newspaper field three months ago with editorial cartoons that are in two newspapers and hoping to grow client list from there. Busy all the time which is always a good thing!
Thanks for the info on CB Gordon. Are you saying, then, that the feature never appeared in 'mainstream' newspapers? If it did, do you recall any names?
That's right, it appeared in small weekly newspapers and trade publications, especially those devoted to the fad, not "mainstream" newspapers like I'm working with now.
Small weekly newspapers would qualify for a listing in the Stripper's Guide index, as long as they were general readership news titles. Trade papers and such don't qualify. Can you give me an example or two of the weekly papers that ran the feature so that I can determine one way of the other?
Sorry about this, especially after having opened my mouth: It was thirty years ago and I sadly have no copies of its appearance or remember the names of the publications. That's why it was neat for me to see the name again. Except for a small tear sheet that I sent around to potential clients (that is buried in some file somewhere in the house) I have no other records.
Again, I'm sorry after all this that I don't have more exact historical info.
i viewed the comic once, very surreal and obviously from the 1970's, but sadly it has since evaporated. i was wondering if you knew anything about this obscure comic?
thanks for any efforts into this!
I don't plan to live long enough to see HA #317, but I'm going to guess Tom will move it up to the next issue if you ask nicely ;-)
Thanks for the info on Amby -- another one off the list!
Here I am again, amidst the moldy oldies, but I have a mystery, or merely an unrecorded strip that might not get an "A" rating, but is alphabetically an "A" strip nonetheless.
"THE ARK AGE" by McBride, for
"© PEN-ART SERVICE Inc. NY"
It ran in the Meriden (Conn.)) Morning Record from 6 July to 3 September, 1921. It was about life on Noah's Ark, much like "Boner's Ark", or moreso, like "Dooley's World",because the cast was made up of a TOY Noah and wiseacre animals,all owned by a little boy. These are obviously boiler plate, structured so they can be stacked two on two panels if desired, and they are sometimes numbered, but as one is number 19, and a few strips later one is number 33-5, I can't figure it out. I don't know who "McBride" is, it's not Clifford McBride.
Happy Indepenence Day!
in a page one introduction to The Ark Age
identifies the cartoonist as Hubbell Reed McBride.
Might as well find out all the details as possible. Did the strip last much longer in Modesto than it did in Meriden? Know anything about Pen-Art Service or Mr. McBride's career? Thanx.
Thanks for pointing out this obscurity.
Of course, one always leads to another. Check out the Meriden paper of 7/6 page 10. There's an untitled panel feature there I don't recognize, and it only seems to have appeared in the paper just once. What the heck is it???
YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH by Herc Ficklin, a panel for Register & Tribune, from 28 October 1940-25 September 1941. There seems to be another panel he did, probably a continuation, called YOU'RE IN THE ARMY NOW. About drafties going through training, and I guess on to the battlefields.
WADDLES by "Bert and Bob", another R & T offering, This one being a tiny three panel vertical throwaway to fill odd spaces. It ran from 10 March 40 to 16 June 1942.
Not to be confused with the better known, or, otherly known strip, a continuity about a bird, this Waddles is a wierdly drawn fat, moustached, top hatted lovable gaddabout. It seems to have replace "bert and Bob"s earlier, similar-format opus, "BLACKOUT". On 2 June 1941, the credit changes to "Bert Henderson", though the usually unsigned art is obviously several different hands. Hope this means something.
Re "You'll Never Get Rich", it seems certain this is an alternative title for "You're In The Army Now"; they are both lines from the same song. I can only find the Pittsburgh Press using this title, have you seen it elsewhere?
Re "Waddles"/"Blackout" -- the Waddles character starts in "Blackout", eventually takes over, the blackout panel gimmick is dropped and the title changes to "Waddles". Your dates are different than the best I can do -- I have 10/14/1940 to May 16 1942, in the Pittsburgh Press again. Can you tell me the paper where you found the longer run?
Guess you've fine-toothed the Pittsburgh Press, as that is the paper I was examining via online archive. Seems there's a fair number of issues incomplete, which is frustrating. Nevertheless, Why would it be the PP pulled a switch on the Ficklin series' title, and no others? And fortified with this knowledge, can one help but bring to mind the line in that song that bridges these two verses?
It would seem I threw a key in my posting, the date I intended to use per "Waddles" was Monday, 10 March 1941, the debut of the Waddster in his his own series. I guess he might have graduated from "Blackout", but I hadn't spotted any episodes with him in it. The first episode still bears the Blackout designation, but I think this is only because the PP forgot to reset the header; there is no more blackout frame, and to establish who this character is, or indeed that it is a character, he's addressed as "Mr. Waddles" in all three panels. From 11 March on, the proper name of the feature is in place.
As for the final date, Looks like I meant to say May instead of June there. No mean culpas. Don't pay attention to anything I ever submit again.
I guess I might as well use this spot as any, I have some obscure strips that you and Cole came across some samples of,once upon a time, but here's a little more expansion on it:
The syndicate is the "C.V.Newspaper service", standing for Cornielius Vanderbilt. The newspaper was THE ILLUSTRATED DAILY NEWS of Los Angeles. It lasted about thirty years, as the forever last place LA paper, when there was an assortment of them there. It was a tabloid when it started, unremarkable outside of it's steady, devoted coverage of it's publisher. His opinions, pictures of him, what famous men think of him,etc. It reminds me of Il Popolo D'Italia.
The comics in it's first couple of years, I guess the length of Corny's try at a syndicate, were as follows.
(The IDN began 3 September 1923. A Sunday lasted from 6 January 1924 to 25 April 1926)
DUDLEY DUDD by Walt Lee dly 3 Sept 23-8 May 25 Sun 6 Jan 24 to 8 Mar 25
LUKE OUTT by Billy Hon dly 28 Jan -7 Feb 24.Short run!
MA by Ray Hoppman 3 Sep 23 to 13 Jun 24 Sun 20 Jan to 15 Jun 24
PEOPLE WE KNOW by Cecil Jenson Sun 7 Dec 24 to 25 Apr 26
(Jenson did one shot Sundays from 15 June to 26 October 24)
PHIL M. OVERHEDD (Name changes to "Phil" 10 Dec 23)by Charles Gordon Saxton dly 3 Sep 23 to 7 Feb 24 Sun 6 Jan 24 to 3 Feb 24.
ROBIN'S SON KRUSOE by Ralph Wolfe dly 22 Oct 23 to 15 Dec 24 Sun 13 Jan 24 to 21 Dec 24
WISHBONE MAN by Cornell Greening dly 3 Sep 23 to 26 Jan 24 Sun 6 to 27 Jan 24
Holy cats, how did you get those running dates? Did some website actually post the LSDN online???? I've been chomping at the bit for that to happen for years. In fact, I'd given up even finding any of Corny's papers on microfilm -- nobody has 'em. I have one bound volume of the LADN which I treasure.
Yes, found a site. I guess it was done recently, but it may have been out there as far back as 2008. Looks like they're from a pristine run, too. Every library must have considered them the crud of the newspaper world, as most Tabs were, so they were never worthy of microfilming. But with this run, I guess the state library just buried them somewhere in dead storage. Now, digitally recording them, they look better than the TIMES file.
The CV syndicate was a real misfire, I can't say I've seen their material in any other papers. Looks like Vanderbilt was a bored and arrogant boy millionaire, who wanted to play newspaper. He launched at least one other rag, in Frisco, (It was banner headline news when it was launched, in the IDN), so you could legitimately call the "CV" stuff syndicated, but there's the air of something erratic and unstable about it, obviously reflecting Vanderbilt's personality. The Sunday ish, for instance- he tries a comic section, which only a few times had color, and the comics in them from his own organization have no certainty of being there from week to week, some, like "Phil", I think appeared three times. The magazine section is merged into the comic pages, but sometimes not. He must've really liked roto sections, because they seem twice the page count of normal papers, and after a bit, the section is christened "Vanderbilt's Weekly."
If he had any clients, maybe these titles were being printed weeks when they weren't in the IDN, but it's such a flakey project, I'd guess not.