Friday, February 09, 2007


More Mysteries - Can You Help?

Here's one old mystery and a couple of new ones.

G. Whiskers
First we have a 1940 E&P advertisement for a strip called G. Whiskers. I've never seen this strip, credited to Geoffrey Foladeri, but it supposedly had a nearly two decade run from 1940 to 1958. Has anybody seen it?

Next up is a current strip called Tokyopop. This strip appears to me to be printing manga comic book pages. Brilliantly, the creators aren't coloring the pages. I hear there's there's a great new concept in Sunday comics - it's called COLOR!

Anyway, I've got a few samples, but from what little I can find on the net about the strip -- Tokyopop has a website but it is just about the most confusing mess I've ever seen -- there have been various stories by different creators. Does anyone have a list of titles, creators and running dates?

Continental Features
There is a syndicate called Continental Features that offers columns, news stories and a rather extensive array of comic strip and panel features. The comics, with the exception of Frank Hill's strip, are all pretty obviously amateur work. Frankly the columns and stories aren't exactly top of the line either.

I ordered a sample packet from the syndicate and got the samples below (and many more) from them. My question is whether anyone has seen any of these features actually running in a newspaper somewhere.

By the way, many of the comics, though included with the packet of current material, have old copyright dates on them. And they really are printed as badly as you see here in what I assume is supposed to be proof sheet form.

D.D. Degg listed the "TokyoPOP" artists from 2006 at RACS. I'll copy it here:

"Tokyopop Presents Peach Fuzz"
by Lindsay Cobos and Jared Hodges
January 8, 2006 - July 2, 2006 (Sunday only)
Universal Press Syndicate

"Tokyopop Presents Van Von Hunter"
by Mike Schwark and Ron Kaulfersch
July 9, 2006 - December 31, 2006 (Sunday only)
Universal Press Syndicate
And the currently running
"Tokyopop Presents Mail Order Ninja"
January 7, 2007 - (Sunday only)
by Joshua Elder and Erich Owen

(Naturally this Sunday only strip runs on Saturdays in the San Jose Mercury News.)
Foladeri is Foladori, from Uruguay (but born in the Uk), who published in Argentina under the name Fola (his style is very recognizable). Don't know anything about that specific strip.
Thanks Charles and DD for the lowdown on Tokopop stories. Any chance you can tell me which of the creators are artists and which are writers?

And Mario, thanks for the ID on Foladori. Makes sense as this Press Alliance syndicate did seem to represent quite a few foreign features. The only feature of theirs that I've ever found actually in a newspaper is Brassband Bixby, a US based feature (by Bob Dunn).

Cobos, Schwark, and Elder would be the writers;
while Hodges, Kaulfersch, and Owen are the artists.
Thanks again DD!

You may be already aware of this, but in case you aren't, I'll throw in my 2-cents. TokyoPop started as a company to import Japanese manga (comics) and publish them in book form (as they are done in Japan, once enough chapters have been compiled from the original weekly or monthly manga magazine they are published in).

Some time back, TP decided to on a new concept -- Original English Language manga (OEL). The thought behind this seems to result from the increasing costs of licensing Japanese manga. So if you get someone in the U.S. to produce a "manga" (which most manga fans object to, choosing to keep the word to strictly refer to Japanese comics), you don't have those huge licensing fees and thus you can have a higher profit percentage.

TokyoPop is VERY keen on making this work, and thus have pushed this marketing scheme into the comic pages of newspapers. Indeed, prepare yourself for a new comic strip from Courtney Love (yes, that Courtney Love), "DJ Milky" (aka: Stu Levy, founder of TokyoPop), and I believe popular manga-ka (manga author/artist) Ai Yazawa (who is the creator of the popular manga "Nana") and manga-ka Misaho Kujiradou are involved with art and story.

As to why the Sunday's aren't in color, well its cheaper not to have them in color. Plus, manga only rarely has color pages (when they happen, it is usually only a couple of pages for some special edition in the weekly/monthly publication). So naturally, the OEL that TP published was also black-and-white to help it fit with the manga titles.

If you guys are interested, I've kinda ranted about Courtney Love's title here:
Hi Astronerdboy -
Regarding this Courtney Love newspaper comic strip, do you have a cite for it running in US newspapers? Do you know if and which syndicate is involved? I'd search out this info myself but it seems when I look for manga-related info I find websites that put me on instant over-the-top bad design website overload.
Do you mean something like the syndicates have where you can see a few weeks of their strip for free? At present, there isn't one because the strip isn't slated to start until July 9. 2007. Here's the press release with that information:

I don't think they have any samples of their comic strips on the site. The closest thing I found was at Universal Press Syndicate's site:
Thanks for the links! I noticed on the UPS website that the Tokyopop Sunday sample is colored. I guess they have switched? We can only hope. As for Princess Ai here is the announcement from the link you sent:

The Daily Newspaper Comic Strip: Princess Ai of Ai-Land:
In a landmark move a year ago, TOKYOPOP became the first company to publish manga in Sunday newspapers across North America. The launch was so successful that Princess Ai of Ai-Land, the all-new East meets West co-production written by D.J. Milky and illustrated by Pauro Izaki, will be the first manga ever to appear in American newspapers seven days a week. Based on the bestselling manga series created by D.J. Milky and Courtney Love, currently published in 18 countries and 17 languages, Princess Ai of Ai-Land captures the early teen years of the lovely Ai and her comedic struggle to cope with the doubled pressure of being a teenager and a royal princess. Fifty U.S. and international newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, as well as papers in Australia and China, have acquired the series beginning July 9, 2007

No mention of the syndicate, but if they are getting big papers like that, I'll have to assume its UPS.

When I was a child I liked to see G. Whiskers strip. It was a mute strip. I have a long time searching for it. I would be very happy if somebody could send any images of this strip.
Please send graphics of aney G Whiskers strip to
Thank you.
G. Whiskers is the translation of "Tibi", which appeared in a Quebec newspaper ( As for the syndicate, Press Alliance was created by Paul Winkler. Despite apparently not being very successful in the states, Winkler was the most important man in French comics between 1934-1940, with the Opera Mundi syndicate which brought nearly all great American comics (sunday pages mostly) to new youth magazines, making 9% of the current French comics desperately old fashioned at once. According to this Time Magazine article (,9171,766075,00.html), Whiskers was the first attempt by Press Alliance to syndicate a comic in the States.
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