Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Obscurity of the Day: Mrs. Sourgrapes
Mrs. Sourgrapes (which on this example omits the S) had a short run in the Philadelphia North American Sunday section from June 25 to September 24 1911. It was often left unsigned, but a few strips are signed "Newton-Horn". I don't know who that is, and no one by that moniker shows up elsewhere in my files. I'm going to take a guess, though, and say that it was probably a female cartoonist. We've discussed before how the North American was a remarkably open newspaper to women cartoonists.
If it's not obvious from the context in this sample, the hobble skirt of the 1910s was a floor-length skirt that was so tight at the bottom that it made it impossible for women to take a full walking stride. It was considered the height of fashion for a time until women wised up that the garments were exceedingly uncomfortable and impractical. You'd think the corsets were enough of a cross to bear. Here's a link to a site that gives a short history of the hobble skirt.
This strip was among those that were reprinted by World Color Printing in their sections, and Mrs. Sourgrapes made a brief reappearance there in 1915.
I don't agree with the ID of Katherine Rice. Look elsewhere on the blog for a Flora Flirt sample; I see no real comparison between the two art styles (other than both being barely professional level!).
Re Frank Crane, I've always wondered if he was the same person as Dr. Frank Crane the famed essayist. Any idea?