Saturday, April 08, 2006


Mystery Strips of E&P - "D" Listings

After a long layoff I'm finally back to listing mystery strips. Today's post is brought to you by the letter D. If you don't recall what I'm doing here, read this post. Any and all information is greatly appreciated and rewarded as well.

Dad Allen - Leonard Merrill - Thompson Service - daily panel - 1932-33
Dad Burns - Al Ware - self-syndicated - twice weekly panel - 1966
Daffy Demonstrations - Ray Rohn - Ledger Syndicate - daily panel - 1926
Dairy Boy - Ferd Himme - Lowery Cartoon Corp - weekly panel - 1932
Daisy Daily and Dotty Dawn - Larry Whittington - General Features - weekly strip - 1937-42 [found! by Art Lortie in Hastings News]
Dan Dennis - Sam Gilman - Watkins Syndicate - weekly strip - 1939
Dan Hastings - Jack Binder, Fred Guardineer, Ken Fitch - Harry Chesler Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1937-38
Dan Savage - Bob Goodbread - Dickson-Bennett - daily strip - 1981-82
Dash Sanders - Frank Cunningham, Hal Sharpe - Thompson Service - daily strip - 1938
Dash Of Humor - Art Bouthiller - Creative Comic Syndicate - weekly panel - 1991-92
Davey Dollar - Steve Byrne - R-GAB Features - daily/weekly panel - 1980
David Copperfield - David Volkmelker - Jolyon Features - daily - 1939
The DeBrees - Barsotti, Kipp - LA Times Syndicate - unknown - 1975 (found! by Cole Johnson in the Philadelphia Inquirer - thanks Cole!)
Deadwood Gulch - Gordon (Boody) Rogers - Eastern Color - weekly strip - 1930-34
Dean Denton - Harry Francis Campbell - Walkins Syndicate - weekly strip - 1939
Dear Gods - Leonard Bruce, Ross Osterman - Leoleen-Durck Creations - daily strip - 1991-92
Deb's Diary - Earl Reeder - National Newspaper Service - daily panel - 1928 (found! by Ray Bottorff Jr in Harrisburg Telegraph)
Deep River Dan - Joe Buresch - Newspaper Art Features - daily strip - 1939
Demetrakis - Manos Pavlidis - Mid-Continent Features - daily - 1975
Dennis Dull - Phil Young - Chronicle Features - daily panel - 1993
Derby Dan - Bozz - Press Alliance - daily strip - 1940
Desprit Danny & Tess Turrible - A.C. Sells Jr. - Thompson Service - daily strip - 1935
Detective Dolt - Walt Clay, Don Easton - United Feature Syndicate - unknown - 1933
Detectives Nehi & Skyhi - Joe Buresch - Thompson Service - daily strip - 1934-36
Diamond Challenge - Jim Evans, Jim Johnson - United Fetaures - daily and Sunday strip - 1991-97 (found! by Ray Bottorff Jr in Oakland Tribune)
Diary Of Dr. Hayward - Curt Davis - Eisner-Iger Associates/Pan American Press - weekly strip - 1939-50
Diary Of A Good Girl - Melisse - King Features - daily panel - 1937 (found! in Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph)
Did You Know? - John Jarvis - Community & Suburban Press Service - weekly panel - 1978
Didja' Hear? - Herman - Western Newspaper Union - weekly panel - 1948 (found! in Titonka Times)
Different Blokes - Kevin Miller, David Watkins - Suzerain Group - daily strip - 1993-94
Dilly - Dell Healy - Trans World News Service - daily strip - 1979
Dim Wits - David Rogers - American International Syndicate - daily panel - 1979
Ding Bats - Nonnee Coan - Chicago Daily News - daily panel - 1973
Dinky Doyle - Frank Thomas - Consolidated News Features - daily strip - 1946 (Thomas says it never reached syndication in Alter Ego #151)
The Dinosaur Circus - Elena Steier - DBR Media - weekly - 2001-03 (found! by Charles Brubaker in the Drumright (OK) Gusher - thanks Charles!)
A Dip In The Future - A.A. Goodrum - Thompson Service - daily panel - 1932
Diplomatic Pooch - Jim Asher, Phil Evans - Evans & Cooke - daily strip - 1970-71
Dizzy Heights - G. Melikov - Nu-Way Features - daily panel - 1936
Do You Believe - Steve Feeley, Ed Kuekes - Lafave Syndicate - daily panel - 1955-62 (found by Alex Jay in Aberdeen American-News-- cartoon turns out to be a minor element, more of an illustration, not eligible for SG listing)
Do You Know That - George Gunderson - Star Syndicate - daily panel - 1930-31 (turned out to be a Canadian feature)
The Dobbs Family - Chris Decker - Lloyd James Williams - daily and Sunday strip - 1938-41
Doc - Hy Gage - Ledger Syndicate - daily panel - 1925 (Found! in Detroit Free Press)
Doc Doodle - Ross E. Bunch - Wilson Features - daily and Sunday strip - 1979
Doc Perkins' Tickletones - T.C. Buxton - Thompson Service - daily panel - 1937-38
Doc Savage - uncredited - Ledger Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1966-73
Doctor Proctor - Eddie Germano - Trans World News Service - daily strip - 1976-79
Dodie - Peter Garvey - Trans World News Service - daily panel - 1976
Doggone - John Broudhecker - Allied Features - daily panel - 1958-60
The Doghouse - Dave Allen - Worldwide Media - daily and Sunday strip - 2000-03
Dogs Of War - Buzz Williams - Miller Features - daily strip - 1938-39
Dolf's Fortune - Kenyon Brooks - McClure Syndicate - daily strip - 1928
Domestique - uncredited - Spadea Syndicate - weekly strip - 1975
Don't Do That - Sylvia Robbins - Associated Press - weekly panel - 1950-56
Don't Laugh - Tony Weier, John Whelan - At Large Features - daily strip - 2001-02
Doors - Woodie Hall - Mike LeFan Features - thrice weekly - 1976
Doozies - Edmund Gross, Joe Roy Santoro - Features Unlimited - Sunday panel - 1974
Dork Tower - John Kovalic - Sheffield Productions - weekly strip - 1998-present (I am told that this strip was never really aimed at a mainstream newspaper audience and likely has never appeared in one)
Dorothea - Glenn - Miller Services - daily strip - 1937
Dot And Dash - Tony Basso - Associated Midwest Newspapers - daily strip - 1937-38
Dottie Date - Ray Doherty - self-syndicated - daily panel, Sunday strip - 1948
Double Bill - Bill Buttle - Miller Features - weekly - 1999 (according to the creator this was a puzzle feature)
Double Duty - Al Liederman - American International Syndicate - daily strip - 1987-92
Doctor Aha - Bob Adam - Winford Company - daily panel - 1975
Doctor Crystal's Cosmic Kid's Stuff - Jean & Jim Anton - self-syndicated - weekly strip - 1985-86
Doctor Justice - E. Letkeman - Star Newspaper Service - daily strip - 1945
Doctor Remedy - Adolph Schus - George Matthew Adams Service - daily panel - 1939
Doctor Sam And The Space Monsters - Jim Westermann - Editorial Board Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1967-69
Doctor Tombs - Tom Lowell - Independent Features - daily - 1965
Doctor X - M.R. Mont - Editors Press Service - daily strip - 1946-47
Drawn Out - Bill and Eric Teitelbaum - LA Times Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1980
The Drimbles - Agoo - Ledger Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1971-72
Driver Ed And Edna - Ross Bunch and the Dintimans - Trans World News Service - daily panel - 1976-78
Drug Chuckles - Everett Lowry - self-syndicated - weekly panel - 1932 (Found! by Charlie Thompson in Winnona Republican Herald)
Drugs & Guns - Edward Bryant - self-syndicated - weekly - 1991-92
Duckie - J. Carver Pusey - United Features - daily strip - 1928
Ducking Out - Tom Mikionis - Universal Press Syndicate - daily and Sunday strip - 1994 (found! by Jeffrey Lindenblatt in Berkshire Eagle)
Duckville Doings - Bill Bly - Wheeler-Nicholson - daily strip - 1926
Duffer - Art A. McCourt - Feature Syndicate - weekly - 1979-80
The Duke Of Manhattan - Edwin Homer, Delos Lovelace - McClure Syndicate - daily strip - 1946 (found by cartoonist's son Nick Homer -- see Obscurity of the Day post)
Dumb Blonde - George Davies - Transatlantic News Features - daily panel - 1948
The Dwigginses - Russ Bender, Guy Nonnan - Century Features - unknown - 1937


I could swear I've seen "The DeBrees"
strip, but I'll be hanged if I can find
a sample now; maybe it was just a promo.
Oh, and while you have Kipp as Charles'
partner, I have it as Schuessler.
Kipp Schuessler?

Doc Savage comic strip in the sixties
and seventies? I'm sure one of the
many Savage Sites would be all over
that. The only Doc Savage comic strip
I've heard of is the Dent and Orban
tryout circa 1936 as run in an issue
of Comics Buyers Guide.

That and The Drimbles from The Ledger
Syndicate? THE Ledger Syndicate? In
the 1970s?
Well, there were two Ledger Syndicates. The one run by the Philadelphia Public Ledger in the 1920s-40s, then the one that syndicated Batman in the 1960s-70s. As far as I'm aware there is no connection. I'd love to know more about the second Ledger Syndicate. They syndicated (or at least tried to syndicate) a lot of interesting licensed properties in the late 60s, like Doc Savage.

-- Allan
Dan Hastings was a sci-fi strip that appeared in the first dozen or so issues of Star Comics, a 1937 Chesler comic. I know that Chesler marketed the strip to newspapers as well; you can see a solicitation for the Dan Hastings strip here (near the bottom of the page). You can also read a few panels of Dan Hastings as published in Star Comics #7 here.

Not sure if Hastings was ever published substantially in the newspapers; as you can see the art (by Fred Guardineer) was terrific and the villain was quite evil indeed.
"The DeBrees" strip was indeed done jointly by Kipp Schuessler as the artist and Charles Barsotti as the writer. It was very short lived if I remember correctly that there was some kind of newspaper strike at the time and the strip sort of went with it. I probably still have some of the original artwork in storage. Kipp's two sons and I are working toward putting a lot of his work up on a website that will be, but it is just in the "under construction" stage right now.
Hi A -
Be sure to let us know when your website is up and running!

The two Ledger syndicates were headed by a man named Kearney. He started his own namesake syndicate that only lasted a few years in the 1940's.
The "new" Ledger syndicate never officially launched it's propsed other strips.
Hi Anon -
So are you saying that Kearney was running the Philadelphia Ledger's syndicate as well, or that there was yet another Ledger Syndicate in the 40s? I know the 'original' Ledger Syndicate outlived the paper -- is this what you're referring to?

You are correct with your information on "Dot and Dash" by Tony Basso. I am his granddaughter, and was fortunate enough to enjoy his wonderful cartoons. We are in the process of locating hard copies for you. I'll keep you updated. Thank you for your hard work!
Thanks anon! Looking forward to moving your granddad out of the mystery listings, and sharing some samples with everyone.

i have a copy of "Do you know that?" from Calgary Daily Herald 3 13 31
Hi Anon -
Ah, so I guess the credited Star Syndicate is the Toronto Star. If it was only distributed in Canada then it's disqualified for Stripper's Guide listing and so gets dropped from the mystery list. Thanks!!
Hello, do you have any information on the dark shadows comic strip from 1971. I'm trying to find out how long it ran and if there was a daily strip as well. I just posted the first Sunday story arc and I am seeking a time line and any information you might know about it. -Ilovecomix
Hi ilove -
You'll find the complete run of the strip (daily and Sunday) in the Pomegranate Press reprint book.

Hello again, I have tried faxing and looked all over the web for a phone number for Pomegranate Press. Do you know or have any idea how to get in contact with them. All their web site offers is a way to order by fax. I tried faxing for the phone number but the fax does no go through. Any more info would be awesome -Ilovecomix
While it is not quite an example of his comic strip, you'll find a John Broudhecker comic drawing- of sorts- for sale at a very reasonable price, right here:

Hope this helps in some small way!

Linda T.
Concerning Derby Dan by Bozz: this is probably one of the many comics by Robert Velter, French artist who created Spirou and who was for a few years the assistant of Martin Branner on Winnie Winkle. He used the pseudonym Bozz throughout most of his career, and 1940 is in his most productive period.
In the recent issue of Alter Ego (#151 - March, 2018)
Michael T. Gilbert and Nancy Bardeen (Frank Tomas' daughter)
document the life of comic writer/artist Frank Thomas.
Among the reveals is that Dinky Doyle never did get syndicated.
Also add that around 1950 Frank Thomas one one of the
ghost writers for Harry Shorten';s There Oughta Be a Law.
Thanks DD, listing updated. --Allan
I found "Don't do that !" by Sylvia Robbins in the following papers :
THE SALEM NEWS, Salem, Ohio,
1950 01 16
1950 01 19
1950 04 03
1950 07 12
1950 09 18
1951 05 31
1951 06 12
1951 10 30
1952 08 26
1953 10 20
1954 06 04, 21
1954 10 19
1950 02 03
1954 06 30
1954 10 19
1955 07 05
1956 04 23
1956 07 06
1954 12 06
1955 12 31
1956 07 19
1955 03 31
1955 10 31
I can spare some pictures.
Found examples of:
Deb's Diary - Earl Reeder - National Newspaper Service - daily panel - 1928 only has it in one newspaper, Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), here is the earliest example a quick search found, Wednesday, January 18, 1928 (nothing showing up in searches after February of that year):

Copyright is listed as John F. Dille Co. I cannot make out the signature, but it's not Earl Reeder. Cartoon illustration above an advice column.

The "last one" on February 29, 1928:

my best
-Ray Bottorff Jr
As I scroll through the Harrisburg Telegram, looks like Deb's Diary continued into March at least...
I found some information on this strip:
Diamond Challenge - Jim Evans, Jim Johnson - United Features - daily and Sunday strip - 1991-97

From The Kilgore News Herald (Kilgore, Texas), "KC Homecoming Honorees Reported" "Jim Evans named Ex-Student of the Year", Sunday, September 25, 1994, pp. 8A:
"Creator of "Jim Evans' Diamond Challenge" a compilation of over 400 cartoon strips which illustrate the rules of baseball. The cartoon is syndicated by United Features and distributed in the United States and 10 foreign countries."

And a 1992 example found in the Oakland Tribune:
Looks like it was a regular feature there. Also one of the reasons it is hard to search by title is that the logo is within the strip and not on top of the strip, so OCR at wasn't picking it up.

my best
-Ray Bottorff Jr
Hi Ray --
The art on Deb's Diary is by Raymond Flanagan, I take it the writer is Mr. Reeder/Reader. I was actually impressed at the fake advice column, which was pretty darn funny. From what I can tell, it was later marketed without the cartoon aspect.

I now have Diamond Challenge also running in 1991-92 in the Austin American Statesman during the baseball season. From the sounds of it, Evans might have produced those "400+ strips" in 1990 and UFS just offered them year after year. But I can find none running past 1992 so far.

Thanks for the info!

--Allan Holtz
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Friday, April 07, 2006


Obscurity of the Day: Red Builder Tales

Not many people know it, but the socialist paper The Daily Worker went through quite a long period where they ran their own comic strips. The earnest folks at the paper were seriously humor impaired, but they gave it the ol' college try. Here's one of their earlier efforts, Red Builder Tales. The main purpose of this very short run strip is to recruit people to sell the paper.

The strip ran every two to three days from June 19 to July 20 1934. The cartoonist, who was with the paper for many years and was their most consistent comic strip producer, signed himself only as 'del'. I believe his real name was Fred Ellis.

EDIT: Thanks to Steven Rowe, 'del' has been correctly reidentified as Maurice del Bourgo, a prolific comic book artist of the 40s. Here's a great sample of his editorial work showing that the signatures are identical. Thanks Steven!


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Thursday, April 06, 2006


Jim Ivey's Press Barons

I was moving a bunch of files around this morning, when what pops to the top of the stack but a series of caricatures Jim Ivey drew a few years ago of some of the press barons. Neat caricatures, so I thought I'd share. I especially like the Brisbane one. He really was an old sourpuss, just as depicted. Many cartoonists who worked for him commented that he was one of the only people they'd ever met that had not even a trace of a sense of humor. It is rumored that when he had to evaluate cartoons for publication that he handed them off to his secretary who would tell him which ones were funny.
Jim Ivey, famed editorial cartoonist, cartooning historian, raconteur and bon vivant, is now an octogenarian, but still as sharp as a tack, and still producing great cartoons. He's also a prolific, entertaining and erudite correspondent. I welcome and suggest that anyone interested in corresponding with a cartooning great, a guy who knew practically every cartoonist of note for the past sixty years, drop him a line. You'll be glad you did. You can write to him at:

Jim Ivey
5840 Dahlia Dr #7
Orlando FL 32807


I've always wondered why no one ever tried to contact some of the surviving syndicate editors for an interview. I am particulary interested in newspaper try-outs by comic book artists in the late fifties. It was such an unsecure time and many artists felt it was their last chance at succes in the big league. Many tried out and many failed. I'd love to know the editors input about that, for instance.
Spent a day and evening with Jim and a bottle of scotch 20 years ago in the Museum. Hell of a nice guy. Everyone needs to get his book on Roy Crane!
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Hi Allen----although pretty much strictly into caricature, i've throughly been enjoying your blog this evening, particularly on the occasions when it bumps into my interests, such as this post on Ivy. I've collected him for many years---from his S.F. Examiner editorial cartoons, caricatures of the 60's ( i learned about him while as a staffer there myself, albeit during the mid-'90's & as an illustrator...) to back issues of his magazine 'Cartoonews'.

Thanks for posting his address (i wasn't even sure he was still with us these days ;-) ) as I've long been wanting to run a name by him, a celebrity caricaturist who primarily did TV magazine/ schedule covers during the late 50's- 70's who signed himself 'J.Ryan'. Never been able to conjure up anything on the fellow, including a first name. Hopefully Jim might know something....

All the best & again thanks for providing such an important resource on the history of cartooning & comic strips....

Yers in countenances, Zach
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Obscurity of the Day: Mister Makepeace

Walt McDougall is on of the greatest creators of comic strips in the early decades of their existence in American newspapers. He was also a free spirit, a curmudgeon, and, from his own admission, a major pain in the behind to his employers.

In April 1905 McDougall had a tiff with the management of the Philadelphia North American. He left the paper to start what he called a "trolley park" in his biography This Is The Life. He's a bit hazy on what a trolley park is, presumably it would have been obvious to someone reading his book in the 1920s. Best I can make out from searching about the web is that it would have been an amusement park operated at the terminus of a trolley line.

Anyway, McDougall seems to have worked his trolley park for about a year before the management at the North American asked to retain his services once more. In the meantime, though, McDougall's cartooning hand was not completely idle. I am aware of two series by him in this timeframe. Today we look at one of them, Mr. Makepeace. This strip I have only found in the Washington Star (the other appeared in the New York World). Both features prominently display McDougall's own copyright, as you can see in the lower left of the samples for today.

How these features were distributed I don't know for sure, but given McDougall's nature, I'm guessing that he sold the features directly to the papers.

Mister Makepeace ran in the Washington Star from June 11 until November 30, 1906, generally three times per week. By this time he was actually back with the North American, but I assume he sold the feature before that occurred.

The strip is not one of his best efforts. Although McDougall was notable for having a keen wit in addition to his considerable prowess with the pen, this strip has a pretty basic premise. Makepeace, as the name implies, is a pacifist, and he goes around trying to broker disagreements and prevent fights. The kicker is that he's also hard of hearing, so he spends all his time trying to act as a referee in circumstances that he misunderstands due to his handicap. Hilarity, in theory, ensues.

One further observation on Mister Makepeace - the lettering on the strips is so tiny that I have to guess that McDougall was trying to sell this as a Sunday page feature, not in the smaller daily format in which it was presented in the Star. Another clue is that there is very little crosshatching or shading, which also bespeaks his intention to get color reproduction for the feature.

NOTE: Once again this post was uploaded only with superhuman effort. Blogger is a free service, and one of my favorite sayings is "you get what you pay for". Obviously Blogger is no exception. Looking for alternatives right now.


Hello, Allan---A "Trolley Park" is an amusement park specifically built outside a town or city by a trolley company. It was designed to create more business for the company on slow summertime weekends by contriving a destination. McDougall may be referring to Willow Grove Park, outside of Philly.---Cole J.
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Obscurity of the Day: Carolina Hall Of History

Note: Now Blogger is allowing me to upload images, but when I try to upload my text posts its locking up my browser. Sigh. Couldn't post yesterday, we'll see what tomorrow brings...

Seems like I never stop finding these Believe It Or Not-style features. This one, by Henry McCarn, uses the form to tell tidbits from the history of North and South Carolina. Only place I've found this series is in the Lenoir (NC) News-Topic, a weekly paper, and they only ran this feature for two weeks. Presumably it ran longer elsewhere, since the panels they printed were copyrighted in different years. The copyrights on the two installments are from 1938 and 1939, and both appeared in the News-Topic in late January 1939. I'd be willing to bet that the paper ran the pair of samples sent to them by the cartoonist, who was probably attempting to self-syndicate his brainchild. Given the frankly amateurish drawing, I can't imagine it ran all that long in any venue, but then again, look at Girls & Sports.


One of my personal favorites of this type was the "Ohio Adventure" by Jim Baker. You can see some of them in The Chronicle Telegram from Elyria, OH from 1966 to 1970. Also the Coshocton Tribune from Coshocton, OH from 1960. Early on, the strip was heavy with Davy Crockett and the Indian Wars content. Baker also did a single panel called "As it were" and a Full Sunday of his Ohio Indian War Pioneer "Ben Hardy".
Yup, Jim Baker was a very prolific guy in this genre. I got to speak to his son a year or so ago, got some good info that has been filed away somewhere. I'm sure Jim's various works will pop up here one of these days when I happen to have a few floating about the desk.

Best, Allan
I remember him mostly for his clever idea of using each of the 88 Ohio counties as a subject for his daily Ohio History panels. The were favorites of many Elementary School teachers who found themas a clever way to use comics to teach hisory.

In his later years, he self-published many collection booklets of his earlier work and turned to painting. There are some interesting acrylic of four compass views of the main intersection of small town Worthington, OH hanging in the local library.

The strip never ran outside of the state, but his illustrations have a charm of their own and his telling of obscure historical info was more peraonable than the colder believe-it-or-not weird facts of Ripley.

Then, there's that nifty Disney Wildlife Aventures panel strip. Don't get me started...

As someone who is as interested in regular comics as newspaper comics (anything from the fifties really), I am most curious about Jack Kirby's contribution to the genre. In the late thirties he did several of these type of panels for weekly papers for the Loncoln syndicate under various pseudonyms, such as Jack Curtiss. What surprises me about comic fandom is, that there has never been much research into this. I'd love to see more on the Lincoln syndicate here, for instance a list of the papers that used it. There's a website I subscribe to that has downpoadable microfiche material from thousands of papers. I did a search for some of Jack Kirby's titles and found a couple of them - all in such low resolution scans that they were pretty useless. But I saw enough to tell me, that the 'official' information in Twomorrows Jack Kirby Checklist is wrong about some of the dates. So anything you've got would be great. If you are a a loss for titles and dates, I have to give them to you tomorrow, as I am typing this on my portable computer - the one that hasn't got all the relevant files.
Lincoln Features material appeared in so few newspapers that research has been limited. I've been looking for a decent source for Lincoln material for years and have yet to find one. I too have been searching the online archives and they have so many small papers I have been looking forward to find some Lincoln stuff. No luck yet, though. Care to share with us the paper names where you've found it?


Sorry it took me w while, but here's what I have on Jack Kirby. Or in fact, not all I have, because I seem to have something missing. but I'll get to that.

According to the Kirby Checklist, he did several strips and features for Lincoln Newspaper Features. The features were:

- Curiosities and Oddities 1937 (signed Barton or Bob Dart)
- Facts You never New 1968-38 (signed Jack Curtiss or Bob Dart)
- Hollywood Tid-bits 1937
- Laughs From The Day's News (1937) signed Lawrence)
- Our Puzzle Corner 1937 (signed Brady)
Your Health Comes First 1936-37 (signed Jack Curtiss).

When I signed up with the Newspaper Archive website, I searched all of these titles and found copies of Our Puzzle Corner and Laughs From The Day's News. Unfortunately the combined effect of the low resulution and the bad microfilm is desastreous and I can't even make out the text. I did manage to track down at least two papers carrying them.

Unfortunately, misfiled the copies I pulled and for now I only have the information for one of the papers.

I have Our Puzzle Corner on friday April first in The Cullman Banner. I can't make out if it's by Jack Kirby, because I can't read the signature.

I haven't got the name of the other paper at this moment, but I could find it again.

I also pulled a lot of comic pages from other issues of The Cullman Banner. My wife's calling me to dinner now, but i'll list the strips that are in there. Plus some of the other stranger finds.
Hi Ger -
Keep in mind that those Lincoln house names were used by multiple cartoonists - just seeing the name on a strip most decidedly does not guarantee that it's Kirby.

I have a beautiful batch of original art to a quasi-Lincoln Features series, all signed with the same name, but representing the work of a minimum of three different artists. Kirby was one of them, I'm thrilled to say (earliest Kirby originals known to exist I wonder?).

Could you save us some searching and tell us what state is the Cullman Banner in?

Thanks, Allan
Oh, forgot to mention. Jeffrey Lindenblatt just told me that Greg Theakston is going to publish something that purports to reprint all of Kirby's comic strip work. Does anyone have the inside dope on this project? Is it going to cover all that rare Lincoln material?

Oops, yet another comment. Many moons ago Greg Theakston gave me a list of papers known to have carried the Lincoln Features material (probably a list he got from Kirby's files). About ten or so papers were in the list. Believe it or not, not one of them seemed to be available on microfilm. The list is filed away somewhere, if and when I find it I'll be glad to post it (for all the good it'll do anybody!).

- Allan

I believe Greg's book is going to reprint all of Socko the Sailor. Quite a run too. I'll have a look for the state of the Culman Banner. And I would love to see the list of Lincoln papers. Even if they are not on microfilm, they may turn up at actual libraries. I found a significant Kurtzman rarity in a bound volume at a junior college library in Texas - they somehow inherited a local libraries stuff. Same goes for the names of the local paper Kirby is supposed to have done some political cartoons for in the fifties. If it was local it must have been New Jersey, but other than that nothing is known.

I had another look and here's what I could find for now.

The Cullman Banner is from Cullman, Alabama. Every friday it featured Our Puzzle Corner and a couple of weekly strips that seem to be from Lincoln as well. Here's what I have:

- Little Julius sneezer by Baker from as early as 8-27-37 until as late as 12-31-37. It was replaced with Little Buddy by Bruce Stuart, the earliest I have is from 2-25-38, the latest 6-17-38.

- The Goofus Family by H.T. Elmo is there from 8-27-37 until 6-17-38.

- Detective Riley by Richard Lee from 8-27-37 until 6-17-38.

- Mr. I Knowitt by Thornton Fisher from 8-27-37 till 2-25-38. It was replaced with Squire Scapegoat by Louis Richard (or Rickard) in my 6-17-38 sample, which was also there before Dash Dixon on my earliest one on 8-27-37.

- Dash Dixon by Dean Larr from 11-19-37 until my latest on 8-27-38.

I have only nine sample between these dates. There will be more inbetween and probably before and after, but searching NewspaperArchives takes time.

I also found another paper which had Lincoln Features: The Chief advertiser in perry, Iowa. It appeared every thursday and has both Our Puzzle Corner and Your Health comes first in 1938 and 1939. On the same page is also another Ripley clone, called The Pocketbook of Knowledge by Topps. I have several of those. Your health is signed by Curtiss and clearly by Kirby.

Other oddities: The Ironwood Daily Globe as a very nice Ripley Clone by William Fergusson, called This Curious World. Sems familiar and you may know it.

I also have one page from another weekly paper, that seems to have lost it's date. I know none of the strips there. The paper is The Progress Review from Iowa. The strips are:

- Snoopie by Joe Day
- The Featherheads by Osborne
- Finney of The Force by Ted O'Loughlin.

Last oddity: In the same period I also found a Riply clone advertisement for teh alabama Power Company: it is called Would You Believe it and has the cartoon Kilowatt figure from General Electric in the main body of the ad. I'll send you a copy.
Ger, you give me a lot to comment on there! I haven't gone to look at that Cullum paper yet, but here are comments on some of the material you're discussing:

Little Julius Sneezer - this series was originally published in 1917 by World Color Printing. It was sold to various bargain-basement syndicates to resell for many years after.

Mr. I. Knowitt - also a reprint of much earlier material - on this series I've seen the reprints many times, but not the original series.

Squire Scapegoat - a reprint of Squire Edgegate, another WCP title from the teens.

Pocketbook Of Knowledge - seems to have been given away free to papers (unknown if it was issued by the governmewnt or perhaps an industry group). You'll find it in many small papers, who would usually run this free material. Such free series were common in the 30s-50s. Larger papers just chucked them in the wastebasket, small papers were hungry to eat up the space with freebies.

This Curious World - a standard NEA strip - ran in hundreds, maybe over a thousand papers. I could wallpaper my house with my files of this title.

Featherheads, Finney of the Force - these were strips from Western Newspaper Union, one of the more successful syndicates that catered mostly to weekly papers.

Reddy Kilowatt - adverising strips and panels using this character are pretty common in rural papers.

Phew - now I can go look at that Cullman paper!

Squire Scapegoat may have been my misreading my ownn notes. Edgegate sounds more like it. So does that mean that , The Goofus Family, Dash Dixon and Detective Riley are Lincoln features? H.T. Elmo is mentioned in the Kirby Checklist, because Kirby is supposed to have ghosted another strip for him.
Yup, those three are definitely Lincoln strips. And H.T. Elmo was the owner of the syndicate. I've looked over the 1937-38 material, and did you notice when the paper picks back up in 1942 that the Lincoln material is still running, and that the numbering and copyright of the strips would seem to indicate that the material is still new?

I'm still putting together my notes on this paper, will share when done.

I've spent the morning looking at The Chief Advertiser and spent another Kirby strip, a Ripley rip-off called Facts You Didn't Know in december 1939. This time it is obviously drawn by Kirby, so it may be a later example. But still december 1939 seems to be far to late in Kirby's career to have been drawn recently. This opens up the possibillity, that these strips were used far after they were drawn. I'll have a look at those later samples of Our Puzzle Corner and Your Health. It's still not clear of those 1939 Health panels are Kirby's. I've sent some to Greg Theakston, who was gald to see them. More as we find out.
Correction: It's Facts You Never Knew and it's drawn by Kirby till late 1940. After that someone else takes over.
Yes, Ger, Lincoln and practically all the bargain basement syndicates recycled material for years. Makes it practically impossible to get really reliable dates on any of their output unless you can find a paper that runs the material consistently from the beginning to the end.


The search goes on... dig, dig, dig... I have found another paper handling Lincoln Features... the Alabama Courier in Athens, Alabama has a long run of Facts You Never Knew from late 1939 until at least 1941. These scans are a bit better than the others in the Cullman Banner and the Chief Advertiser. From late 1939 until early 1940 the strips are by Kirby. But the feature continues into 1941.

When I expended the search till 1943, I found that The Cullman Banner picks up Facts again in 1942, with what seems to be the same Kirby strips... maybe with higher numbers (all strips were numbered). Both also have the continuation of Your Health under the title Healthy, wealthy and Wise (numbering continued) from around #110. These higher numbered ones are by Kirby again. Maybe reprints from the earlier numbers? Anyway, it shows the Lincoln Syndicate going on into 1943 and who knows when.

I also found two other interesting feautures in the later Cullman Banner... Harry Karry by Rensie (Eisner) and a strip by Jerry Iger. Both seem to be reprints from material from Wow magazine. The first Harry Karry story is cartoonish. The second one is more like Secret Agent X.
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Sunday, April 02, 2006


Obscurity of the Day: Joe And Judy

Here's a real obscure one. I don't know much about it, but I'll tell you what I can, and maybe someone who knows more will enlighten us. Joe And Judy was bylined to someone named Walsh, and was signed B. Derfla (that last name's Alfred backwards). The strips were numbered, and the highest one I've seen is #80. All my samples come from the Catholic Herald Citizen of Milwaukee. The strips I have all came from 1951 issues of the weekly newspaper and were not printed in numerical order.

Since the strips aren't at all religious in nature, I'm betting that they weren't done particularly for this paper. Perhaps a rejected syndicate submission? I also notice, and it may not mean anything, that in all my samples the two title characters never appear together in one strip. Just sorta odd.

The art, competent but nothing to write home about, doesn't ring any bells for me, but the style of the signature seems naggingly familiar. Try as I might, though, I just can't place it. Can anyone think of a cartoonist who might use the name Alfred B.?



That's quite a find! I hope you will be able to post all of this. maybe I can help identifying the unknown artists. How about finding more of these and doing an article for Hogan's Alley?
Hi Ger -
Sorry, I don't usually post more than a sample or two of each strip. The only exceptions are the occasional long runs that I post when I am on business trips and can't do the daily research necessary for 'normal' posts.

My articles on rare and obscure strips appear in most issues of Hogan's Alley. You won't find one of my articles in the upcoming issue (my latest article got squeezed out) but the next issue will have an article covering a whole bunch of really obscure strips from one newspaper. Which one? You'll have to wait and see!

Best, Allan
Can't help, but maybe Arnold Wagner will drop by; he might know.

Some strips are coming through on the front page full size, Allan, so it's loading more slowly than usual. May have something to do with the blogger-blip you mentioned.

Your blog is, as usual, brilliant.
Hi Rod -
Brilliant? Why, sir, you make me blush.

Yeah, those full size images are because of the blogger snafus last week. We'll just have to live with them until they scroll off into the archive. Since you noticed the slow load, I guess you're another poor troglodyte like me still using dial-up, eh?

No idea of the author or else about the strip. But for what concerns the signatura, it shows a "nagging familiarity" also for me. I deduced that it may (much) vaguely remind DeBeck's signature in the war period, when Barney Google was drawn by Musial or Lasswell.

O. Delfra
According to Comiclopedia, the artist is Alfred J. Buescher, art director at Central Press.
Hi Fram --
Hmm. It certainly does seem to fit, but Buescher's style was usually so noodly and illustrative I never would have made the connection. Thanks for the link!

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