Saturday, August 05, 2006
J.P. Arnot, Workhorse Cartoonist
J.P. Arnot's The General becomes even more impressive if we consider that it was only one of the two daily strips that he was producing at the time. How Do They Do It? was a much less interesting feature, a strip about a money-strapped wolf and the boss who is also his long-suffering pal. Good feature or not, producing two daily strips, neither of which were likely to be pulling in the dough needed to hire assistants, is an impressive feat.
Presenting this strip is a bit of an embarrassment - I only have examples starting in 1921, but my Stripper's Guide notes have it starting in 1917 with no explanation of how I came to that conclusion. Can anyone shed light on the actual start date of the strip?
I do know that the strip ended in 1926, but I don't have a specific end date. Again, anyone have more specific info?
Biography from AskART:
Born in Alpine County, CA on Sept. 16, 1887. Arnot joined the art department of the San Francisco Chronicle in 1913. In 1915 he continued in NYC for King Features Syndicate for 17 years as the creator of "Helpful Henry" and "The Little General." Returning to San Francisco, he was department head at Eastman Kodak for the rest of his career. He died at Agnews State Hospital on Dec. 2, 1951.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Placerville Mountain Democrat, 2-15-1913; SF Chronicle, 12-3-1951 (obituary).
Friday, August 04, 2006
The General, Part IV
Thursday, August 03, 2006
The General, Part III
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Have You Seen these New Strips?
Cow And Boy
Dog Eat Doug
The Humble Stumble
On A Claire Day
The Meaning of Lila
The first two can be found on the King Features site, the rest on Comics.com (links in the sidebar).
If you know, on the other hand, that any of these are definitely online only comics, I'd appreciate if you could drop me a line on that too. Thanks!
All of these are fairly new except THE HUMBLE STUMBLE, which has been around at least a year or two. Of them, I heartily recommend RETAIL, DOG EAT DOUG (cute pet & baby strip), and THE MEANING OF LILA.
Thanks for confirming Lila! I went to get a start date on it, but the archive on Comics Extra starts on a Friday (3/18/05). Anybody know when it started?
As to quality, yeah, the Lila strip looks good though the art is a little too 'computery' for my tastes. Dog Eat Doug, though, wow! Nice stuff.
And can anybody out Seattle way confirm Retail for us?
Also, On a Claire Day is filling in for Cathy in the Trib. Cathy can stay on vacation, if you ask me...
On A Claire Day is definitely incomplete on Comics Extra, have sent the creators an email asking for a start date.
And thanks for the Dog Eat Doug start date, anonymous.
and have tearsheets from the papers:
"Retail" - began January 1, 2006
Albuquerque Journal - March 23, 2006
"The Meaning of Lila" - Sept. 13, 2006
L.A.Times -began running on Sept. 13, '06 and ran until recently, have a few
"The Pajama Diaries" -began March 27, 2006
Sacramento Bee - March 28, 2008
"Lio" - began May 15, 2006
L.A.Times - July 22, 2006 (may have
replaced Lila which is not in that
edition of the L.A.Times.
"Little Dee" - web only
The following have appeared in various
papers according to contributors of
the racs usenet list.
"The Humble Stumble" - began August 15, 2006.
The Detroit Freep - pre April 10, 2006.
"Dog Eat Doug" - began Nov. 14, 2005
St. Petersburg Times, Buffalo News,
"On A Clair Day" - began April 3, 2006
"F Minus" - began April 17, 2006
Houston Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times
"Cow and Boy" - began January 2, 2006
No one has reported seeing this in a
The newest syndicated comic strip is
"Heaven's Love Thrift Shop" which began on July 30, 2006. It is a Sunday
only strip from KFS and according to an on-line article from The Deseret News began in that paper July 30th.
Between that 2004 "Lila" strip and now
there are a number of new strips you
don't mention. Perhaps the most popular is Harry Bliss' "Bliss" panel
which run in a number of papers.
Just got a few papers that are running some of the above strips, all papers
are dated July 25, 2006:
Minneaplois Star Tribune - F Minus.
St. Paul Pioneer Press - Dog Eat Doug and Lio.
Denver Post - The Meaning of Lila, Dog Eat Doug, F Minus, and A Lawyer a Doctor and a Cop.
Rocky Mountain News - The Pajama Diaries, Lio, Retail, and Cow & Boy.
Regarding the Shelburne Falls Independent , it is a biweekly newsletter sort of thing. Doesn't qualify as a newspaper for Stripper's Guide purposes. I bought a copy of the Little Dee book, though, cause the strip looks pretty good. Thanks for the link!
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
The General, Part II
Monday, July 31, 2006
The General, Part I
Here's a fine example of a strip that was doomed from the start. The General had a great concept - the misadventures of a statue come to life - but the life cycle of the idea was necessarily short. Just how much can you do with a concept where the characters can't leave their perches? Not only did the strip limit itself to being acted out on a block of marble, but the concept was further hamstrung by the mute title character. Most of the text of the strip was provided by a narrator.
J.P. Arnot, who is responsible for a whole slew of well-drawn strips in the 1910s and 20s, started The General on March 3, 1919. The first six months or so of the strip was fresh and delightful. That's about when Arnot hit the wall. The strip started getting repetitive, and Arnot even resorted to bending his own rules (note the general getting off his perch in the third example) .
Arnot started this strip just at the time when long-running daily strips were starting to become the norm, squeezing out the 'less than dailies' and the intentionally short run strips. My guess is that he never intended The General to be a long-running daily, but he got caught up in the new trend and had to soldier on with the strip well past its natural lifespan. Arnot and the syndicate finally let the strip, completely wrung out of ideas, end on July 15, 1922.
I'll be running The General samples here for the next few days. I think even in the latter part of the run that the excellent art and delightful concept are still eminently worthy of an extended look. Enjoy!
I'm glad to show you folks something that you really like. Maybe Tom Heintjes, if he's listening, should consider The General for a Hogan's Alley appearance...