Monday, February 23, 2009


Boston Bound -- Soliciting Your Suggestions

Travel plans have been firmed up and it's now definite that I'll be going to Boston in May. I hope to have at least four full days at the Boston Public Library, the only library in the country that has really good coverage of Boston and other Massachusetts papers. (Don't get me started on why that is -- what I have to say on the matter is not at all kind.)

I know that I definitely have work to do on the Boston Traveller, the Post, the Herald and the Evening Transcript. The Globe I'll work on if time permits, but it's available at the Library of Congress, so I'm giving it low priority.

Looking over the film available at the BPL I see they have a number of other papers with which I'm less familiar. So I'd like to solicit the brain trust for any information you may have about the comic strip contents of these papers:

Boston Daily Advertiser (thru 1929), Sunday Advertiser (thru 1972) -- these were Hearst papers I believe -- anyone know if they have interesting content, or did they just run the standard Hearst strips)

Boston American (1904-61) -- also a Hearst paper, right?

Boston Chronicle (to 1960), Boston Guardian (1939-57) -- black papers; any interesting content or did they just reuse Defender/Courier stuff?)

These ones I know nothing about:

Boston Courier (to 1914)
Boston Free Press (1960-67)
Boston Morning Journal (to 1917)
Boston Evening News (1903-04)
Boston Evening Record (to 1921)
Boston Daily Record (1929-61) -- combined with American 62 on
Boston Telegraph (1921-28)
Boston Sunday Times (to 1915)
Boston Daily Tribune (1907 only)

Boston also had a long list of weekly papers. Does anyone know of any with interesting content? What about the rest of Massachusetts -- anyone know of interesting papers I ought to check?

The Boston Herald had a much needed to be researched syndicate starting in 3/04, sometimes known as the HASKELL syndicate. It at one time was edited and contributed to by Frank Crane. It would appear to have lasted only a few years.
"HEARST'S BOSTON AMERICAN" was his first paper there, though the Herald and the Post carried Hearst sunday comics before then. The Herald started theirs in 11/00.
The Boston TRAVELER had a daily syndicate going as early as 1908, with such luminaries as "HARRI KARI THE JAP" by Greening.
The GLOBE is available on the free proquest site,at least up to 1924, so spend your time more valuably on the other titles.
Hello, Allan----Wow, I envy you in this library adventure---In 1917, Hearst bought the hardened-arteries Boston Advertiser, which they did'nt seem to know what to do with at first, and may have suspended publication for a few years. In 1923, the Advertiser is the daily tabloid, merged with the Boston Record,("Boston Daily Advertiser and Record") another superflous paper they had bought in 1921. By Jan. 1925, the Advertiser is the Sunday paper, [the new name for the Sunday American,] and the Record by itself is the daily tabloid. (The Evening American also turned into a tab, after the big 1937 crisis in the Hearst empire, making Boston the only city with Two Hearst Tabloids!) I have many copies of the Record, from the mid-20's to the 50's, and there really isn't a lot of odd material to be found. These papers are old familiar friends to me!----The cool stuff is going to be the early material, like the Haskell syndicate and the daily Traveller strips, of course.---Cole Johnson.
Hi Cole and Anon --
Actually the Herald had a Sunday-only syndicate going as early as 1900. They'd start up for awhile, then drop it, then bring it back. Went through that process at least three separate times. I've indexed the Herald in fits and starts up to about 1915, but Cole has mentioned to me that there was some daily stuff going on too occasionally which I seem to have missed.

I am pretty excited about doing the Traveller, which I've never gotten to see. That weird daily syndicate of theirs is completely unexplored turf for me.

And regarding the Hearst papers, geez Cole, you're going to have to draw me a flowchart of that craziness. Your explanation is making the gray matter leak out my ears.

For reasons that totally elude me -- I must have thought it neato at the time -- I have a hard-copy volume of the Boston American from February of 1925. Evening paper at the time, and there's no Sunday edition in the volume; it jumps from Saturday to Monday. Some acid in the paper, but overall, quite readable. Weighs a blessed ton, and I'd forgotten I had it. What on earth I can do with it, I can't possibly imagine.
Hey EOC -
So what dailies was the Boston American running that month?

If you think one bound volume is neato, perhaps you'd like to take about 500 or so off my hands?

Best, Allan
Looking at the editions for Monday, February 16, 1925 (the American was an evening newspaper):

The sports section has:

"Indoor Sports" by TAD
"Moe and Joe, They Get the Dough - Sometimes." "Done by Dunn"

The last-named is odd, in that in the first panel a horse-racing tip is inserted in the first speech balloon...but the strip (c) Star Co. is dated 1925

Comics Section:

Thimble Theatre
Krazy Kat
Bringing Up Father
Us Boys
Goldberg's Cartoons
Jerry on the Job
Polly and Her Pals
Fillum Fables (Chester Gould)
Abie the Agent
Well, I need start and end dates both on Moe and Joe and Fillum Fables, so this taste shows me that the Boston American's certainly worth looking at. Thanks EOC!

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