Saturday, January 20, 2007
Obscurity of the Day: Little Man on Campus
Dick Bibler started drawing his Little Man On Campus panel around 1946, apparently about the time that he entered college at the University of Kansas. When he graduated around 1950 he appears to have already begun self-syndicating the panel to other college papers, and by the mid-50s the feature appeared in a pretty impressive number of college organs.
Bibler was an excellent gag writer, especially adept at slightly naughty material about oversexed college boys. Bibler wasn't much of an artist, but his girls were usually drawn well enough to keep the college boys happy. His sexy girls were drawn in a myriad of styles because most of them were swiped from the more adept work of other cartoonists.
Bibler's panels bore code letters and numbers rather than dates, a necessity since he supplied cartoons to publications ranging from daily (The Daily Collegian, for instance) to monthlies and even quarterlies.
The cartoonist, presuming that his readers on 1950s college campuses might want to continue seeing the cartoons after leaving their alma mater, made an attempt to self-syndicate the panel to mainstream newspapers in the 1960s. The panel is known to have appeared in papers like the Tampa Times from 1963 to 1965, but I've never seen any copyrighted later than 1964.
Many reprint books of the feature were published, starting in 1946 and appearing regularly through the 50s. Some of these command rather high prices on the collectible book market, indicating that Bibler apparently still has a loyal following.
How are comics that ran in college strips listed? Just those that's well-known (like "Eyebeam") or is it more complex?
That lawsuit link came up as a tiny little snippet. Any idea how to see the rest of it? That could be VERY informative stuff!
To make short links you can use TinyUrl (http://www.tinyurl.com).
Thanks very much for the links.