Monday, September 11, 2006


Mystery Strips of E&P: Letter J

After a loooong layoff I'm finally getting back to compiling the list of Editor & Publisher mystery strips. For those of you who are new here, a capsule explanation. E&P has printed an annual directory of syndicated features, including comic strips and cartoon panels, ever since 1924. Some of the features documented there are very obscure, possibly to the point that they never actually ran in any US newspaper. What I'm looking for from you, fellow researchers and comics fans, is documentary proof that any of these listed features did indeed run in US newspapers. If you have a newspaper tearsheet of any of these features or other equivalently concrete documentary proof, get it to me and you will in return get a goodie box of cool comic strip related goodies for your trouble.

Today we cover the mystery strips of the letter J:

Jack And Tyler - Mark Tonra - King Features - daily and Sunday strip - 1995 (Found! in Deseret News)
Jack Knife & T. Spoon - Sarge O'Neill - Southern Cartoon Syndicate - 1970-78
Jackie - Al Smith - Al Smith Service - weekly strip - 1951-52 (turns out this is the original title of Smith's "Rural Delivery", which is not a mystery strip)
Jackson's Law - Pedro Moreno - United Cartoonist Syndicate - 1981-84
Jason - Foster Moore - Al Smith Service - weekly strip - 1993-99
Jasper of the Jungle - Eric Erickson - George Matthew Adams Service - daily strip - 1948-50
Jellybean - Bennett and Burkhardt - Press Alliance - weekly panel - 1982
Jennifer - Art Gates - Gates Features - weekly panel - 1968-69
Jericho Jones - Stephen Graham and Kirk Luehrs - Telefriends - daily strip - 1974-76 (found - apparently an alternate title of "Pilgrims")
Jerry Junior Air Warden - Al Zere - Bell Syndicate - daily strip - 1942
Jerry Dare - Clark de Ball - United Features - daily - 1933
Jerry The Giraffe - Ralph Matz - Matz Features - daily panel - 1945
Jes' Smith - Johnny Pierotti - Columbia Features - daily strip - 1953-73 (Hans Kiesl found Greensburg Tribune ran two weeks of syndicate samples -- still looking for a more substantial run on this one)
Jest A Moment - Hugh Kennedy and Bert Nelson - Buffalo Courier-Express Syndicate - daily panel - 1962-64
Jest For Fun - Christine Decker - Lloyd James Williams - daily panel - 1937
Jest For Laffs - Audie Bransford - Centurion Press - daily and Sunday panel - 1972-79
Jest For Laughs - Paul Fung Jr. - Al Smith Service - weekly strip - 1978-83
Jest For You - Robert Orben - Comedy Center - weekly panel - 1977
Jewish Panorama - Sauberman - Seven Arts Features - weekly strip - 1935
Jill And Judy - Gene McNerney - Watkins Syndicate - daily strip - 1938-40
Jimmy Rivers' Adventures - Joe Buresch - Matz Features - daily strip - 1937
Joe Blow - William J. Miller - Miller News Services - daily panel - 1939
Joe Briggs - Dennis Austin - Bell Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1948
Joe Fann - C.T. Jones - American International Syndicate - daily panel - 1980-81
Joe Gish - Terry Gilkison - Publishers Autocaster Service - weekly panel - 1930-34 Found! by D.D. Degg in the Cass City (MI) Chronicle - thanks DD!
Joe And Judy - Walsh - National Catholic Welfare Conference - weekly strip - 1940-57
John Dough - Susan Wyatt - Mid-Continent Features - thrice weekly - 1976-77
The John Smiths - Harold Magin - Federated Press - weekly strip - 1937-40 (Found! by Hans Kiesl in Kenosha Labor and other labor newspapers)
Johnnie Jones - Bill Savage - Federated Press - weekly strip - 1946
Johnny Scribe - Schaub - Thompson Service - daily strip - 1933-34
The Jones Sisters Ed Gillum - The Comic Factory - weekly - 1991-93
Joshua Trust - Cash Orcutt - Crown Syndicate - Sunday strip - 1960 (ran in Shopping Bag/Family Funnies, a weekly magazine distributed in southern California supermarkets and was done by Russ Manning under this pseudonym)
Judge Pudge - David Watkins - Suzerain Syndicate - daily strip - 1992-93
Julian of the Jungle - Frederick Toran - Editorial Board Syndicate - weekly strip - 1967-68
Julius - Harry, Joan and Nelson - Oceanic Press Service - weekly strip - 1982-94
Junior - Bob Moore - Nationwide Features - daily panel - 1949-50 [Charles Thompson supplies proof that Nationwide was a producer of advertising strips; not eligible for SG listing]
Junior Hall of Fame - Kenneth Cromwell - Junior Features - daily strip - 1935-37
Juniors Viewpoint - C. Mozier - Associated Press - daily strip - 1935
Just Add Walter - Tim Faherty - King Features - daily and Sunday strip - 1992 [found! in Lakeland Ledger]
Just Imagine - Fola - Transworld Features - daily and Sunday strip - 1952-58
Just Like Junior - Stan Asch - McClure Syndicate - daily panel - 1937-38
Just Once - Bob Orso - Feature Associates - weekly - 1979-80
Just So Happened - Kern Pederson - Al Smith Service - weekly panel - 1980 [found! as "It Just So Happened" in Marengo Beacon-News]
Just For Fun - Ram Onas - Sun News Features - daily panel - 1960-63

Mark Tonra talks about "Jack and Tyler" in some of his interviews. Here's Mark on this strip

"Mark: "Jack and Tyler" was my first syndicated strip, distributed by King Features Syndicate (1995-96). It got my foot in the door and left me there!"

You can read the interview at
Hi Charles - thanks for the link; Mark Tonra is one of my favorite of the current crop of syndicated cartoonists. In fact I'll go so far as to say that I think "Top Of The World" ranks up there with any of the great classics. It is truly a masterpiece ... so naturally it died an early death. If anyone reading this hasn't checked out "Top Of The World", go RIGHT NOW and seek it out. I know it's archived on one of the syndicate websites listed here on the left side of the page. I promise you, it's jaw-droppingly, sweat-inducingly, palm-itchingly fantabulous work. And I am not one prone to gushing.

Regarding his comments on "Jack And Tyler", on the surface it sounds like a slam dunk, but there is a possibility that the strip only sold to a few foreign markets, or the few US papers that bought did it only to make it unavailable in their market (yes, a truly nutty concept, but papers in the few big cities left with multiple newspapers actually do it). That's why I'm really inflexible on the tearsheet rule. If I don' see it on newsprint it doesn't qualify for Stripper's Guide.

Thanks -- Allan
Ah. Very careful about which strip counts, huh?

Well, since not many newspapers picked the strip up, you'll have to ask Tonra. It could've ran in his hometown newspaper.

He has a website
Thanks for the link to Tonra's website. I've sent an email asking for info. I'll keep you posted!

Just to bring y'all up to date, as of two weeks later Tonra has not responded to my email asking about "Jack and Tyler".

I just got an email from Tonra today (I asked if he would put some strips up on his site). He was apparently busy in September.

Did you get his email yet, Allan?
Just a matter of hours ago, Charles. Here's what Mark had to say:

"You asked about Jack and Tyler. I remember the Kansas City paper (KC
Star?) called King to complain that I was late one week, so you might want
to start looking there. I don't think J&T ever had more than 20 papers and
I have no memory of what they were. It definitely didn't run in Manhattan
where I lived. I do remember that the LA times was the first paper to pick
it up, but I'm almost sure they never added it to their page. As for the
launch date, I'm guessing it launched in September of 1995 and ended the
following summer -- June maybe. It ran just shy of a year. All of my J&T
files are packed away somewhere, so I don't have this info at my
fingertips, unfortunately."

Sounds like our only lead is Kansas City. Unfortunately Missouri is one of the states that doesn't have any friendly microfilm lending libraries. Anyone in Missouri that can check the film?

Well, we got a lead, at least.

LA Times didn't actually run "Jack and Tyler" in their comics page, since I couldn't find the strip in a website that lists every comic-strip LA Times ran at one point or another (it's a very detailed site, complete with the dates when these strips ran in the paper).
Even though I'm mostly just involved in the Japanese cartoon arts these days, I'm glad my old interviews are still useful. ^_^
I am doing research for a history class at the University of Nebraska and the Plattsmouth Journal ran a comic called "Jackie" in the early 1950's. Its ridiculously racist, and follows a black soldier through the Korean War as well as when he returns home.

p.s. nice site
jericho jones was the lead
in my cartoon strip
it was sydicated by catholic news
services and then by telefriend
i have some tears from the
capital jurnal in salem or

kirk luehrs
Hi Kirk -
Thanks for the info! If you could send me some photocopies from the Salem paper we can 'de-mysterify' your strip and I'll send you a goodie box of neat stuff.

Please contact me privately at

Here's another one to add to the mystery "J" list.

In the book "Indiana's Laughmakers", editorial cartoonist William B. Robinson is credited with creating the panel cartoon, Josephine.

Haven't seen many references to this around...
Might you be referring to Robbie Robinson? He did the panel Josephine from 1949-62.

Can't find Clark de Ball's 1933 Jerry Dare,
but I did stumble upon a magazine comic strip
of his from almost 20 years earlier:

Looks like Stan Asch's comic strip, Just Like Junior (which may not have been published as a comic strip), did get published in early DC Comics' titles, form 1938 to 1941. Since McClure had a relationship with DC later through Superman, I guess this makes sense.

Here is the listing of the feature from the GCD:
["No M'am, I'm not playing hooky. Teacher says I've got the measles!"]
Just Like Junior / cartoon / 2 pages US New Adventure Comics (1937 series) #24
February 1938 DC
["If this medicine is just like candy..."]
Just Like Junior / cartoon / 1 page US Detective Comics (1937 series) #13
March 1938 DC
["Won't this be a joke on his stenographer"]
Just Like Junior / cartoon / 1 page US New Adventure Comics (1937 series) #25
March-April 1938 DC
["I shoot at his nose, but I always hit the apple!"]
Just Like Junior / cartoon / 1 page US More Fun Comics (1936 series) #31
May 1938 DC
["What does the lion make him do now?"]
Just Like Junior / cartoon / 1 page US More Fun Comics (1936 series) #33
July 1938 DC
["Oh Pop, I just got through washin' th' dishes fer Mom-"]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 2 pages US More Fun Comics (1936 series) #34
August 1938 DC
["There's a bottle of castor oil on the top shelf"]
Just Like Junior / cartoon / 1 page US More Fun Comics (1936 series) #35
September 1938 DC
["Hurry, Junior - or you'll be late for school..."]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 2 pages US More Fun Comics (1936 series) #37
November 1938 DC
["Say Uncle Ed, Missus Jones nex' door just gimme a job to give you paintin' her garage..."]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 2 pages US Adventure Comics (1938 series) #34
January 1939 DC
["Gee, Mom, I'm fed up with piano lessons..."]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 1 page US More Fun Comics (1936 series) #41
March 1939 DC
["Young man, I want a good caddy..."]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 2 pages US Adventure Comics (1938 series) #55
October 1940 DC
["Bal-loons five-a cents..."]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 2 pages US Batman (1940 series) #3
Fall 1940 DC
["Oh, hello, Oswald..."]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 2 pages US Adventure Comics (1938 series) #56
November 1940 DC
["Can you handle th' circus alone..."]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 2 pages US Action Comics (1938 series) #33
February 1941 DC
["Gee, I wish I could go to th' circus..."]
Just Like Junior / comic story / 2 pages US World's Best Comics (1941 series) #1
[Spring] 1941 DC

I wonder if many of these were reprints of the strip offered for syndication...

my best
Ray Bottorff Jr
Hi Ray --
Interesting that McClure seemed to have had that ongoing relationship with DC that early. Thanx for the info! --Allan
Hello Allan-
Here's a "J" one...maybe. I'm sure you've seen it, but "it's JOAN by Reichhold, 5 December 1927-17 March 1928. This is a local only strip in the Pittsburgh Press. Reichhold was their staff cartoonist, who did three panels, "Rambling With Reichhold" "Mrs. Babble Broadcasting" and "Oh,Lady,Lady!", but this was the only strip. It's about a working girl, who might interact with the Press, the city of Pittsburgh and Reichhold himself, but very soon is centered on another character, a young, weird looking ne'er d well boyfriend named Spider.
I found Joan awhile ago, and oddly enough I have in the queue for later this month a post about a unique Reichhold 'cartoon' that I recently found. I haven't seen the panels so I'll go searching for those in the Press. Thanx!
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