Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Obscurity of the Day: Do You Remember?
Erwin L. Hess made a cartooning career based on nostalgia. His long-running weekly panel cartoon titled The Good Old Days featured homespun images and reminders of the past. Though Hess could not be classed as a master cartoonist, he more than made up for any technical lack with the obvious amount of research and painstaking effort that went into getting every prop and costume absolutely correct in his intricately drawn panels. For Hess every detail in every panel had to be as accurate to the times as a vintage photo.
The Good Old Days was inaugurated in 1946 and ran until 1981, so it is certainly not an obscurity. However, I recently discovered these samples of an earlier version of the feature, titled Do You Remember?. It ran in the Milwaukee Journal in 1938. A little biographical sleuthing turns up that Milwaukee was Hess' hometown, so presumably this was produced as a local feature for them. Unfortunately in the scant material I have on Hess there is no mention of the feature, so I have no idea how long or how often it ran. With the few samples on hand it appears that the feature ran more often than once a week. Given the intricately drawn panels, I can't imagine it was a daily though. Does anyone know more about Hess or this panel series?