Saturday, March 17, 2007
Obscurity of the Day: Pop Culture
Among the oddities that regularly try to insinuate themselves onto the comic page are those that profile celebrities. This type of feature first arrived in the 1930s when a number of features stirred together the Believe It Or Not formula with that of the Hollywood gossip columns. The most successful of those features was Screen Oddities, but there were plenty of others.
The genre has been mined plenty of times since then, though thankfully it seems to have all but died out in recent years. Pop Culture was one of the latest of these features that I know of, and it introduced the minor wrinkle of including a quiz about the profiled celebrity.
Steve McGarry produced the feature from October 5 1992 through November 29 1995. The illustrations were all realistic depictions cribbed from photo images rather than caricatures as was previously the norm for these features, and thus calling Pop Culture a cartoon is a misnomer. Its only right to being covered here is the fact that it was marketed as a feature to be printed in amongst the daily comic strips.
McGarry's other comic strip title was "Mullets," which he worked along with NCS president Rick Stromoski and ran for only a year.
It began May 22, 2005 and is weekly/Sunday feature. About a year ago McGarry told me it was running in the N.Y.Daily News and the Tampa Tribune. These days it is running in my hometown paper (Stockton Record) in their Sunday entertainment tabloid section running top to bottom and four of the five columns wide and in color.