Saturday, September 29, 2007


Herriman Saturday

In the run-up to the November election, Herriman was charged with keeping up the attack on the Southern Pacific and its minions to the exclusion of all else. These cartoons are from October 13, 15, 16, 17th, 1906.


Love your work! I'm adding you to my blogroll.
: )
When you consider the final results of the election, the cartoons are sort of odd.
Hi Sister Sunshine, happy to welcome a new visitor!

Eric, now don't go ruining the suspense for me. I don't read ahead on these cartoons.

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Friday, September 28, 2007


Obscurity of the Day: The Adventures of Bill

The prolific Jay Jackson was one of the finest cartoonists to work in the black press. Unfortunately the short-lived Adventures of Bill doesn't show him at anywhere near his best, probably because Jackson really loved drawing beautiful women and they were mostly absent from this storyline.

The weekly strip ran in the Chicago Defender from March 17 to September 29 1934. Bill's adventures, which swung widely between light-hearted material as in our sample, and earnest drama, usually revolved around boxing, and were pretty derivative of Joe Palooka.

Jackson's wife Mabel is believed to have done a lot of the writing on his features, but this strip was one of the few in which she was granted credit.


Check your sources; I believe Mabel was his sister. His first wife was Adeline Smith, the second Eleanor Poston.
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Thursday, September 27, 2007


News of Yore: Jailbird Turns Cartoonist

Sunday 'Herman' Strip For Nov. 2 Release
(E&P, 1952)

Clyde Lamb, who parlayed a 25-year sentence at the Indiana State Penitentiary into a success­ful career as a syndicated car­toonist, enters the Sunday field Nov. 2 with a one-third page full-color version of his "Herman" strip. The pantomime gag feature is distributed by the Register and Tribune Syndicate.

Mr. Lamb started the daily "Herman" strip three years ago, after his release from prison. He had begun drawing gag cartoons while serving time. The syndicate reports he is now "a highly re­spected citizen in his community, just as 'Herman' is a highly re­spected character on the pages of newspapers."


So is this new feature coming out or a commentary on an older cartoon--I'm slightly confused here! Especially since there is already a single panel daily called Herman.
Hi Mamafrog - All News of Yore items on the blog are news stories from the past. Please note the year listed under the headline.

The secret stories of cartoonists! I wonder what Lamb did to get a 25 year sentence....
Here is a listing of paperbacks that are known that reprinted his material (or new material by him)... I am just listing the dates of the earliest known printings for each series #, not later printings...

Title Imprint Series # 1st Release Date of Series#
Best Cartoons CREST BOOKS 114 1955
Best Cartoons CREST BOOKS 390 July 1960
Best Cartoons CREST BOOKS K714 May 1964
The Best Cartoons from Argosy ZENITH BOOKS ZB5 October 1958
Cartoon Fun GOLD MEDAL 383 March 1954
Cartoon Fun GOLD MEDAL 904 1959
Cartoon Fun GOLD MEDAL S1209 c January 1962
Cartoon Fun GOLD MEDAL S1498 1964
A Cartoon Guide To The Kinsey Report AVON BOOKS 559 1954
Cartoon Treasury BANTAM BOOKS F1558 January 1957
Forever Funny DELL FIRST EDITION 93 1956
Funny Side Up DELL BOOKS 607 1952
Jokes and More Jokes SCHOLASTIC BOOK SERVICES T-32 ?
Laughing on the Inside DELL BOOKS 754 1953
Nervous In The Service DELL FIRST EDITION 6298 December 1962
Office Laffs CREST BOOKS 159 February 1957
The Other Woman DELL FIRST EDITION A178 April 1959
Sex Rears Its Lovely Head BANTAM BOOKS 1523 October 1956
Still Too Funny For Words DELL BOOKS 8286 April 1964
Too Funny For Words A Book For People Who Can’t Read DELL FIRST EDITION 39 1954
Too Humorous to Mention POCKET BOOKS 1200 October 1958
Allan and Ray,

Lamb went to prison in Michigan City, Indiana, for armed robbery in 1942. He was released in 1947. Instead of the Birdman of Alcatraz, he was kind of the Cartoonist of Michigan City.

Thanks TH -- even Lamb's relatives have emailed me about this post claiming he didn't go to prison. Thanks for giving us the details!

Allan, I found more information over the last 2 years in my ancestry searches. I believe your note above was in response to our emails?

I am the grand-daugther of Gladys Lamb who was married to Clyde

I found some newspaper stories on Gladys lamb and clyde lamb

I've reconstructed the story from various newspaper articles below

according to newspaper articles in the hammond times hammond indiana (outside of chicago) gladys married clyde lamb aug 4 1934 he was 25 years old.

he was convicted on sep 4 1934 of 3robberies and sentenced to 25 years he was allowed to visit gladys in april 1935 who was "ill" and he didnt return, he escaped from the guard at train station and ran in front of a train and got away.

In July 1935 he was caught and put back in prison but not before he was shot by a police officer.

Gladys filed for divorce on sep 1 1937. the divorce was granted on Nov 1 1937

she gave birth to joan my mother on June 30 1938.

Gladys told me he was the love of her life. They were artists with a passion for life - she used to help him come up with ideas while he worked. I could tell you which strips are her ideas and which are his. I lived with her for 5 years as a teenager.

according to the birth
certificate of joan my mother her father (gladys 2nd husband?) was clyde barker but I am unable to locate any information on clyde barker anywhere in the US - I dont think he exsisted.

I am looking for that and more information on Clyde Lambs release date from prison. Gladys remarried him after his release - he died in 1966 according to what Gladys told me and she never remarried. Gladys died in 1983 in Arizona.

I do have some of his original work that was given to me from Glady's estate.

if you have questions you can email me at

Kathy N
Hi Kathy -
Thanks very much for the details on Clyde Lamb!

Best, Allan
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


A Carl Ed Treasure

Courtesy of Rob Stolzer today we have a Carl Ed presentation piece (at least I think it's a presentation piece). Ed, which is pronounced "eed" by the way, was the creator of the long-running Harold Teen strip. At some point he did this delightful piece, now in Stolzer's collection, showing the various strips he'd done.

At far left we have the strip Ben, which Ed calls here Big Ben for reasons unknown. It was a
strip for which I could not, until seeing this piece, determine the syndicate. Thanks to this art
I now know that it was another of those forays that World Color Printing made into the daily arena. It ran from 1911-1914, and Ed was only one of three cartoonists to sign it at various times. Ed was not the first to work on the strip; that minor distinction is held by a fellow who signed his work Herrmann. I've never been able to determine his first name.

Luke McGlook is another WCP daily, one that I have only seen in reprint runs in the 20s and 30s (WCP was always trying to resell old material). When not signed by Carl Ed, the sig on this one was "Budsee".

The Tener Alley Gang is a new one on me, not surprising considering that I have yet to be able to get my hands on microfilm for the Chicago Evening American. I wonder if these were characters from a strip or might they have been the icons from sports cartoons? Anybody know more about these kids?

Best of all in my eyes is the caricature of this R.S. Grable fellow. He was apparently the syndicate manager at World Color Printing. If anyone knows more about him, or if there are relatives lurking about, I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from them.

Many thanks to Rob Stolzer for allowing me to share this delightful and informative piece!

Robert S. Grable.
Haven't found what the S stands for.

From a friend's account comes these census records.
1880: Robert - 9 years old
1890: no Missouri records for this year; but there is a St. Louis Directory 1889-1890 which lists Robert S. Grable as a collector with the business name of The Sayings Co.
1900: Robert S. Grable - assistant manager/newspaper; wife is Leelah
1910: publisher/newspaper; wife is Lulah
1920: printer/syndicate; wife is Leelah R.
1930: ?publisher? (illegible)/newspaper publishing; wife is Leilah
Never any children listed.

It also shows a passenger list of a ship from Naples to New York. This 1929 list gives Robert S. Grable's birthday as August 8, 1871.

A google news search (archive) shows R. S. Grable giving himself a 50th Birthday party and inviting 75 kids. Maybe Ed and others were also there for that 1922 event?
You are a wonder, DD!

They may be reprintings, but "Ben" by Carl Ed still ran in the Berkeley Daily Gazette on May 22, 1915 (with the caption "Drawn for this paper by Carl Ed", for what it's worth).

"Luke McGlook" by Budsee can be found in the same newspaper from about May 24, 1915 until Aug. 14, 1915. They started on the 16th with McGill's "The second Mrs. Mac", which is according to another Stripper's blog post indeed the first date for that series.
Hi Fram --
I looked over the Berkeley material you referenced. At first I thought for sure that they were all reprints from the truly awful printing quality, but then I looked at MacGill's strip, which we know to be current, and they were in the same state of disrepair. So now I'm leaning toward the idea that Berkeley was printing current material.

As usual, the syndicate stamps have all been removed (I looked at dozens just hoping) but we're pretty sure that Ben and Luke McGlook are both World Color Printing. The really interesting part is that reading the tail end of Ben and the start of Luke McGlook you can sort of see how they dovetail together.

The earliest I'd found Luke McGlook before was starting 6/12/16 (Fort Wayne Sentinel). Your find obviously pushes the start date well back, and shuffles the creator list. In 1916 Carl Ed was doing the strip and I assumed he was the original creator (made sense with Budsee taking over Ben). But now we have Budsee starting the strip.

It tails together well, too, since Ben was on a baseball team in his strip when it ended. I had hoped that when Luke took over there would be some connection (team name or guest appearance) but I saw no evidence of that.

Budsee had obviously taken over Ben by the time it was ending despite the Carl Ed byline. By the way, I've always wondered if "Budsee" could be E.C. Segar. He did go by Bud sometimes early on in his career, but I don't recall any mentions of the possibility that he did anything before the awful Charlie Chaplin strip. Budsee's work, as basic as it is, still rates a bit higher than Segar's early stuff, too.

Great find Fram!
Part 1
Robert S. Grable was the fifth of eight children born to Joseph and Maria; all the children were born in Missouri. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census the Grables lived in St. Louis.

Robert found employment in the newspaper industry. In Gould's St. Louis City Directory 1891, he was employed as a clerk at the St. Louis Star-Sayings; he continued in that position in 1893. In 1895 he had moved up to superintendent of circulation. Robert was the manager of circulation at the St. Louis Star in the 1897 directory. Bold capital letters highlighted his rise to Assistant Business Manager in 1899.

The 1900 census revealed Robert's birth as September 1871; he and his wife Leelah lived with his parents and five siblings. His occupation was "assistant manager, newspaper." In 1902 and 1904 Robert was elected a director to the Newspaper Circulation Managers Association. A brief news item in the April 14, 1906 Anaconda Standard mentioned him as the "general manager of the World Color Printing company of St. Louis."

In the 1910 census Robert was publisher of the newspaper; he and his wife had their own home in St. Louis. The 1919 Where and How to Sell Manuscripts: A Directory for Writers had this listing:

The World Color Printing Co., 714 Lucas Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. Manager, R.S.
Grable. Publishes daily and Sunday mat features, including colored comic
supplements. Some of its printed comics are "Slim Jim" and "Dem Boys." Also
puts out the Bingville Bugle. Prints four pages of magazine features complete,
fiction page, clever stories, fashion page, crochet lesson, sketches from life,
and features for children, such as "Bedtime Pencil Pictures," "Three Little Pigs,"
"Uncle Joe," "Grandma's Yarns," etc. Payment by arrangement.
Part 2
Robert's profession was a printer in the syndicate industry in the 1920 census; he lived in Carondelet. His fiftieth birthday party was reported in the January 6, 1922 Boyden Reporter (Iowa). Artist Cobb Shinn* drew pictures on the large paper hats given to the 75 children at the party. 1922 was a pivotal year for Grable.

World Color Press was founded in 1903 when the owners of the St. Louis
Star formed a company to handle the color printing for the Louisiana Purchase
Exposition, the World's Fair to be held in their city the following year. They
named their wholly owned subsidiary World's Fair Color Printing, expecting to
disband operations at the conclusion of the event. After the fair closed, however,
they shortened the company name to World Color Printing and continued to do
business as a commercial printer, focusing on a new and unique product, the
color "funnies" section of the Sunday newspaper. Under the leadership of Robert
Grable and Roswell Messing Sr., two senior employees from the Star who
purchased the company in 1922, the fledgling organization grew steadily over the
next two decades as the popularity of the Sunday color comic section increased.
By the early 1930s, the company's profitable niche business had grown to
include printing contracts with papers from Florida to Hawaii.

In 1930 Robert was the proprietor of a newspaper publishing company; he lived in Central, Missouri. Gould's St. Louis City Directory 1937 listed him as president of World Color Printing. Subsequent directories sometimes listed him as president of Commercial Color Press. The paper shortage during World War II affected World Color Printing. An excerpt from Robert's letter to the Sioux County Capital newspaper in Iowa.

Due to manpower shortage and other conditions over which we have no control,
we are forced to discontinue 7-STAR COMIC as of July 15th. We regret the
necessity of discontinuing the service but it just can't be helped.

The latest available directory with Robert's name is from 1953. His name was not found in the Social Security Death Index; presumably he died in Missouri.

* Cobb Shinn,
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Obscurity of the Day: Friendly Fido

Here from the pen of Thomas O'Shaughnessy we have Friendly Fido. O'Shaughnessy, utterly forgotten today, was one of the brightest spots on the Chicago Daily News' daily comics page. His spidery pen line might make it tempting to pass him over as yet another William F. Marriner copycat, but his style was much more elegant and sophisticated. The Daily News printed their strips very small, which makes it all the more impressive that he could do such delicate work which nevertheless reproduced well when shrunk by his paper.

Friendy Fido, which was sometimes known as Faithful Fido, began on December 14 1903 and ran sporadically until June 7 1905. All of O'Shaughnessy's various Daily News features ended in 1905, and this impressive cartoonist was never heard from again, at least as far as I can tell.


He gave up a promising career in comics and got a job installing windows, or something.
Well I'll be double dog damned, DD. So my boy O'Shaughnessy made good! Guess I'll have to amend that 'forgotten' quip!

Yes he did very well indeed. His windows at Old St. Patrick's Church in Chicago are known to be some of the best in the World. He created these windows by making his own glass from sands and adding copper, gold and other various metals to make translucent and amazing colors. He designed, created, and installed all of these windows himself.
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Monday, September 24, 2007


An Obscurity & A Contest

George McManus had a brother named Charles, who, while not nearly as talented as his famed brother, apparently liked the comic strip limelight.

Charles, probably with a lot of corporate arm-twisting from his big bro, had a series of four different daily strips syndicated, more than a lot of certified masters ever did. The last of Charles' strips was this one called Tiny. Like all of Charles' strips, it gave the distinct impression of being a series of cutout model sheet images. I have always imagined that Charles would prepare for his next assignment by getting his brother to draw a stock company of characters in an exhaustive set of poses. Then, after a trip to the printer to make a big stack of copies, and a trip to the bookstore to pick up a cheap joke book, Charles was ready once again to take the national stage.

Tiny seems to have run from about March 1927 until August 1928.

The Contest
Charles was about as adept at gag-writing as he was with cartooning, that is to say nix on both. I've removed the punchlines, both straight out of Joe Miller's joke book, from two of the three strips above. First person to give me the correct punchlines on both gets their choice of one of the following three prizes:

1. The By George book offered as a prize in the last contest, which was won but not claimed.

2. A set of 3 Wallace & Gromit videotapes, the three shorts that made Aardman Studio famous.

3. A set of 9 Ren & Stimpy videotapes, those demented cartoons from the sick mind of John Krikfalusi.

I offer the two latter options since my VCR died and I can no longer enjoy these delightful items myself. All three prizes are postpaid if the winner is in the U.S., but if you're from elsewhere you'd have to pay the shipping.

UPDATE: Contest has been won, and the strips with hy-larious gaglines intact are now show.


I think I know, but where do I send them?

Oh, wait - I don't want to saddle you up with the postage. It's the honor that counts for me.
Answers can be sent as post comments or sent to me privately if you prefer (my email address is in the sidebar). If you don't want a prize, please refrain from answering publicly.

Hello---"TINY" was run in The Rochester Journal, a long-gone Hearst paper, as "TOTS".---Cole Johnson.
It really couldn't be as simple as "I'm talking about my temperature" and "I'm carrying it right now," could it?
I have no frickin' idea but here goes ...

1. I now count my age in fortnights, you fool! Now as your elder I am forced to cane your hide!

2. This package contains the hearts of 100 virgins. We shall be dining on them at six.
Kevin -
You got both of 'em! Congrats and let me know your address and which of the three prizes you prefer. You can email me privately with such details if you like, my email's in the sidebar.

Joecab, you get some serious points for ingenuity. If only Charles McManus had you as a gagwriter.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics

Be sure to tune in tomorrow! There's a new contest a-brewin' and this one's eminently winnable by anyone - just supply the punchlines to a couple of bad jokes!


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