Saturday, June 02, 2007
To Herriman or Not to Herriman? It's Up To YOU!
All the stars lined up just right for me today. The microfilm was in beautiful shape, the microfilm printer wasn't being balky, and best of all, someone at the library screwed up and set the copying price on the machine to a dime instead of the usual quarter. With the light of providence shining brightly upon me, I took on the task of making copies of all the Herriman cartoons I found, a task that took all day because ol' Garge was a very productive little worker bee at the Examiner.
So here I sit this evening with a cornucopia of 1906 Herriman cartoons. They run the gamut from editorial and sports cartoons to a previously undocumented comic strip series. It was initially my plan to start a Saturday blog posting series that would share with you folks all the treasures I had found. The series would run for months, posting cartoons at the rate of two or three each Saturday.
But then I got to wondering if you readers of this blog are fans enough of Herriman that you want to see all this material. For instance, today's cartoons (Herriman's first for the Examiner, printed on 8/18 and 8/21/06) are all but incomprehensible because they deal with local politics of a century ago. They're good cartoons, but it would take a degree in California history to fully understand them. Many of the cartoons will fit into this category -- delightful art but impenetrable subjects.
So here's the deal. I've asked you to vote before on things and I usually get just a few responses. But I know you're out there, doggone it, and I need to know where you want to go with this thing. Here's your options:
1. Post 'em all. I love Herriman and I can't get enough.
2. Post just the highlights. I like Herriman but this material is of minimal interest.
3. Go on to something else. I don't get Herriman at all, or don't care about his early work.
4. Hell, take Saturdays off from now on. I really couldn't care less if you post anything. I thought this site would have pictures of strippers on it.
If I don't get a reasonable number of responses in the next week (hey, I do know how many visits the blog gets every day, you know) I'm going to assume the vote is for #4. So post a comment or, if you prefer, email me at email@example.com to cast your vote. Voters, thank you for your interest and support!
"put them in a book!"
(but please please not Checker - unless you maintain quality control)
If we do the Herriman thing, it will be on Saturddays only. Regular posts would continue Monday thru Friday.
Post as many Garge drawings as you can! I went to the Glendale public library a couple of years ago and photocopied all of his L.A. Times early work that I could find, glad you could do the Examiner.
Then we can get him twice a day.
Joe Thompson ;0)
But still, a book would be nice. Over at the Timely/Atlas Yahoo group Tom Lammers selfpublished an extended article of his, which went very well for him. I know you are busy enough with teh blog, but if you could find a partner I wonder if your audience hasn't grown so much that you may venture into this sort of thing. I know I would have vought a disc with the Family Comics...! And talking about Herrman, I'd love a collection of his Emberrassing Moments in the same way Net Gertler did It's Only a Game.
(I tried the following explaination for the two cartoons you put online, and it took a couple hours).
(NOTE: “The San Francisco Examiner” was a Hearst paper, so strongly Anti-Republican)
From 1861 to 1881 Republicans and Southern Pacific Railroads (“The Octopus”, as journalist Frank Norris called it) interests controlled California politics until the Democratic Party won the 1882 elections. Then, in 1906, land agent and lobbyist Walter Parker (right), representative of “the Machine” ran the Republican party in Southern California; William Ellsworth Dunn (1861-1924, left) – another important lobbyst, a lawyer for the South Pacific Railways (note the reference to railroads in the balloons) member of the LA Bar and Assistant City Attorney – was instrumental to the victory of the Republicans, and put his men on the city council (see 2nd cartoon).
As for the dogs Tobasco, Pimiento and Appayava in Cartoon 1: “Tobasco” was the name later (1908) used by Bud Fisher in “Mutt and Jeff” in his caricature of Detective William Burns, who worked for “the Machine” with lawyer Francis J. Heney and the President of First National Bank Rudolph Spreckles in a very dubious anti-corription campaign after the San Francisco Earthquake.
I read my first "krazy Kat" last year and since then I can't get enough. I am so thoroughly fascinated by Herriman's work, and I enjoy looking at some of his earlier comic strips to see what the origins of Krazy were.
Plus, anything by Herriman could be great anyway.
There's probably the beginning of a book or a series here about The Lost Cartoons of (INSERT FAMOUS CARTOONIST'S NAME HERE)."
The Winsor McCay book series is awesome.
A LOT of the early cartoonists began by working for specific newspapers...so there's a treasure trove out there for some ambitious guy.
please show dates, and if it's a prime position like front or back page, that would be useful to know.
you are a magnificent fellow!
Bandwith protesters won't mind either.
Thank you for your time in this project.
And yeah, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your time and efforts.