Saturday, August 01, 2009


The Stripper's Guide Super-Quiz: Week 1 Answers

Monday, Day 1:
1. Laredo Crockett and Jane Arden.
2. Crawford.
3. Bill Blackbeard. It was measured in semi-truckloads.
4. George Clark.
5. Little Pedro.

Tuesday, Day 2:
1.Thimble Theatre (or Popeye), the controvery was over some strips with an abortion theme.
2. Ethelbert and Giggs.
3. Frank Miller, all three of 'em.
4. Stanley Link did the strip as a topper to Tiny Tim.
5. Health Capsules and Ticker Toons.

Wednesday, Day 3:
1. Alley Oop, Hairbreadth Harry, Harold Teen and Tumbleweeds.
2. Newspaper Enterprise Association.
3. The Nebbs.
4. Says Who, a photo-comic or fumetti feature.
5. Stewart Carothers. Segar took over his Charlie Chaplin's Comic Capers strip. Frank Willard also filled in.

Thursday, Day 4:
1. The editor was Joseph Medill Patterson, the cartoonist Harold Gray and the strip Little Orphan Annie.
2. Thoughts of Man.
3. Hugo Hercules.
4. The Sporting News.
5. Rod Rian of the Sky Police.

Friday, Day 5:
1. The strip was smaller than normal -- they sold it as a space-saver.
2. Ripley's Believe It or Not.
3. Al Capp. The column was syndicated by the New York Herald-Tribune Syndicate.
4. They were 'lucky numbers', numbers that would supposedly be winners in the 'numbers games' that were popular in ethnic neighborhoods of many cities.
5. First School Days, then Nipper.


More then 70% (plus a bonus and some answer alf correct).
A good result, I'd say.
I'm going to have to object to Echo being Tumbleweeds' girlfriend, that honor should be placed on Hildegard Hamhocker's shoulders. After all those years she has earned it.
As for Echo, while she may have delusions about Tumbleweeds (as does Hildegard), she is but a child and naming her as Tumbleweeds girlfriend gets him into some mighty strange territory (and Grimy Gulch is strange enough already).
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Friday, July 31, 2009


The Stripper's Guide Super-Quiz Day 5

1. When Peanuts was first offered to newspapers in 1950, the marketing focus was not particularly on the quality of art or writing on the feature. What was the big selling point that the syndicate was trying to push with the strip?

2. Original creator names often stay on their features for a long time after they die. Can you name the feature that still carries the name of its originator even though he died wa-a-a-y back in 1949?

3. What famous and sometimes controversial cartoonist added 'columnist' to his resume in 1961? And for extra points, he didn't do the column for his regular syndicate, United Feature. So which syndicate distributed it?

4. Certain old-time comic strips, especially those in the ethnic press, once had the odd habit of populating the edges of each of their panels with seemingly random three-digit numbers. These numbers were of great interest to some readers. They weren't dates and they weren't strip numbers. What were they?

5. Most people think that Bil Keane's Family Circus originated the oft-repeated Sunday gag where a dotted line shows the circuitous path of one his characters, usually Billy, through the neighborhood. However, a much earlier feature called Footprints in the Sands of Time also used the same motif. It was a Sunday topper -- what two strips did it accompany?


1-Little format
3-Al Capp + Daily News Synd.
Man... I don't know the answers to any of these quiz questions. Guess I don't read Stripper's Guide enough... :)
#4: "The Numbers" as in an illegal lottery?
#4--I think it was probably 'the numbers,' which were usually generated by the last three whole numbers at the closing of the Dow.
1. Panels could be run vertically in a single column.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009


The Stripper's Guide Super-Quiz Day 4

1. A famous newspaper editor once told a young cartoonist who brought in a strip proposal, in part, "why don't you try putting a dress on that kid?". Mythology, perhaps, but who was the editor, who was the cartoonist, and what was the resulting blockbuster feature?

2. Jim Ivey, venerable editorial cartoonist and contributor to the Stripper's Guide blog, also did the lovely scratchboard illustrations for what feature of the 1970s?

3. Comic books don't have all the hyper-muscular fun; newspaper comics have had their fair share of superheroes. Name the character who was arguably the very first comic strip superhero from wa-a-a-y back in 1902.

4. World Color Printing, major preprint comic section producer of the 1900s and 10s, lost interest in that part of their business in the 20s when they won a lucrative printing contract. What national publication did they start printing that caused them to put their Sunday comics business on auto-pilot?

5. Speaking of preprint comic sections, the George Matthew Adams Service tried to do one in 1935. What oddball space opera strip headlined their line-up?


1 Otto was the male character; Joseph Medill Patterson of the Chicago Tribune was the editor, Little Orphan Annie the resulting character.
2 Editorial cartoons for the Orlando Sentinel
3 Hugo Hercules
4 As “World Color Press”, WCP invented and launched the modern comic books, with original stories.
5 If you mean a 1935 Space opera, I don’t know!
If you mean just a George Matthew Adams Space Opera, it should be Sky Masters. Still thinking.
1-Cpt. Joseph Medill Patterson + LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE

(stavolta mi hai preceduto)
Hugo Hercules is one of my all-time favorites, Allan, along with The Explorigator. Thanks for giving Hugo a little exposure in today's post (and no, that's not where my name came from!).
1]-Since the Chicago Tribune owned the once-famous poem,"Little Orphant Annie", I'm sure the "Orphan Otto" tale is a lot of asparagus. It must of been felt that there would be pre-fab appeal in making a character from the oft-printed poem. 2]-"Thoughts Of Man". 3]-"Hugo Hercules" 4]-The Sporting News. 5]-"Rod Rian". I'll take my prize in cash, please.
Sorry, forgot to put my name on that last post. I guess that disqualifies me.----Cole Johnson.
There's still an unanswered part of question 1 -- the cartoonist's name. I think I remember his first name but not his last name, so I'm not going to submit a response.
Cartoonist was Harold Gray (creator of LOA)
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The Stripper's Guide Super-Quiz Day 3

1. Can you pair up the strip stars with their girlfriends? Give me the fellas who pursued (or were pursued) by Ooola, the fair Belinda, Lillums, and Echo.

2. We all know about the ubiquitous NEA syndicate. But wht does N.E.A. stand for?

3. William Randolph Hearst didn't generally like to run material from other syndicates in his newspapers. But for what Bell Syndicate strip did he have such a soft spot that he not only allowed it to run in many of his papers, he demanded it?

4. Famed comic book man Stan Lee was involved with quite a few comic strips over the years. Not many of them set the newspaper world on fire, but one that ran only in 1976 was by far his least successful outing. What was the title of the feature, and what unusual (at least in this country) comics style did it employ?

5. Here's a real toughie. What Chicago cartoonist of the 1910s died when he slipped off a high-rise window ledge? Here's a hint -- his death helped further the cartooning career of E.C. Segar, who took over his strip. For mega-bonus points, what other soon to be famous cartoonist filled in on the strip in between our victim and Segar.


Well, I know at least a few of these.

1) Ooola = Alley Oop, Belinda = Hairbreadth Harry, Lillums = Harold Teen, Echo = ???
2) NEA = Newspaper Enterprise Association
3) Blank
4)Stan Lee = The Virtue of Vera Valient.
5) A.C. Carothers? Blank
This is really hard, but lets try again:

1-Ooola / Alley Oop
Belinda Blinks / Hairbreath Harry Hollyngsworth
Lillums / Harold Teen
Echo / (non ne ho idea!)

2-Newspaper Enterprise Association


4-SAYS WHO (photo-comic strip)

5-Carothers (Frank Willard)
Echo - Tumbleweeds

Just about the only one I got!
One of the interesting things about NEA was that it also syndicated editorial cartoons, and in fact, NEA had a Pulitzer winner, none other than "Herblock," who writes about the troubles he had with (Scripps-Howard owned) NEA when he worked for them from the early 30s to the WWII era.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The Stripper's Guide Super-Quiz Day 2

1. In a bid to revive interest in a strip that was considered way over the hill, King Features hired underground cartoonist Bobby London to take over. What was the strip, and what happened to end the experiment?

2. Here's one to see whether you're reading the new NBM Bringing Up Father book. The Jiggs' son was seldom seen in the strip, and was usually referred to as simply "Sonny". But in 1913 he had a real name. What was it? And for extra points, how did McManus often misspell the family's name early on?

3. An adventure strip cartoonist, an influential Midwest editorial cartoonist and a comic book star cum moviemaker all share the same name. What is it?

4. Hank Ketcham might have thought he was coming up with a unique name for his panel Dennis the Menace but on the very same week another Dennis the Menace made his debut over in England. But that's not the question. I want to know who did the very short-lived first American newspaper comic strip called Dennis the Menace in 1943.

5. Jud Hurd, the much-missed publisher of Cartoonist Profiles, was also responsible for the art on two long-running syndicated panels. Name them.


OK, second try (sembra che non siamo in molti ad avere spirito competitivo...).

1- POPEYE (London was fired about an abortion gag)
2- Ethelbert
3- Frank Miller
4- Stanley Link
This is getting monotonous, Fortunato! Obviously, you’re in control of Internet just a little time before me, so have just half a tip of (H)alfred’s Hat.
Something more:
BOBBY LONDON’S POPEYE: The Bobby Landon aborton case (not just a gag, but a 18-strip long sequence) had a first beginning in 1991, when, in court for a trial, the Sea Hag comments the judge’s decision with the phrase “There Goes Roe vs. Wade” – a famous legal case concerning the legitimity of abortion held in 1975. No reader protested, so probably London felt legitimated to use the issue again; in 1992 two priests, Father Nosebest and Brother Sprayadime, casually hear Olive saying that she means to “send Baby Bluto back to his maker”; Baby Bluto is acyually a broken doll sold by Home Shopping Network (“His maker”) and sent by Fed Ex. but the priests deduct that “The shameless hussy” wants to abort. Later, when Father Nosebests asks her “Now that we have exorcised the devil from within you and you have witnessed the power of heaven, Ms Oyl, will you carry the child Bluto to the ful term?” she answers with an enourmous “NO!”. This strip was to be published at the end of July 1992, but, on Friday July 17 /two days before Saint Fortunato) KFS had the proofs for the next three weeks withdrawn and sobstituted with a set of strips that Landon had drawn years before. For what I know, the incriminated strips were published only by the Chicago Daily Soyhtown Economist and partly reprinted in The Official Popeye Fan Club Newsmagazine (and on Here We Are Again, of course, page 512).
BRINGING UP FATHER: Jiggs’s family name (just “Father” or “Puh-Pah” in the earliest strips) was O’Finneggan / O’ Finnigan (Mahoney in the theatrical shows). The name Jiggs comes probably from “Jig” (or “Port”), an Irish folk dance he liked. In the very first strip Maggie is Mary; Nora was nameless for a long while. Lastly, I’m not so sure that Ethelbert and Sonny are in fact the same person.
FRANK MILLER. When you see the answer, it doesnt’ seem a very difficult question; nevertheless you need a great analytic menory to make the connection: a big “Bravo” to you. The first Frank Miller is of course the artist of Barney Baxter.
PS - Italy (Latella) – Rest of the world : 2-0
I just discovered the following internet pages:
Mike Lynch Cartoons Blog (look for Bobby London's Final Weeks)
The June 1 Installment of Luca Boschi’s blog Cartoonist Globale.
where you can see the first three weeks (18 strips) of the notorious Popeye abortion story (in Luca’s site – ciao, Luca, - there’s also a very interesting discussion on Popeye’s rights).
In the July 6 – July 11 week Olive orders tons of things to the Home Shopping Network; in the July 13 -July 18 1992 (the “true” beginning of the story) Olive receives an unwanted Bluto doll and throws it away. Both the above sequences were published.
The unpublished July 20 to July 25 sequence is in the blogs; the second unpublished sequence (In my preceding post I wrote “KFS had the proofs for the next THREE weeks withdrawn”; I should have written “KFS had the proofs for the next TWO weeks withdrawn”), starting July 27, ending August 1, with Olive shouting a big “NO”, can't be found anywhere in Internet.
As it seems, the London strips got the KFS editors' OK (proofs were made from them), yet London was fired without the possibility to make corrections. The cartoonist had already been "pardoned" for the “Roe vs Wade” gag and for a 1986 strip heavily hinting to marijuana (“Look, Mr Popeye: pure Bolivia spinach” “We’re meetin’ me connection!”), and possibly KFS executives didn’t want to take more risks. According to a rumour of yore, a very important, very powerful and very catholic Popeye licensee asked for London’s head as he discovered the “A-Word” story was to be released.
For Bobby London’s fans: Some of his strips have been reprinted in the book "Mondo Popeye", which may be found on eBay; the whole London production is published by the "Official Popeye Fan Club Newsmagazine" .
Thanx for the POPEYE/London details, Unka Alfy!

And about early internet connection, in these days, I work only in the morning (parlo del mio reale lavoro), so, just after lunch, I'm ready for surfing, sitting before my ole faithful iBook G4 (che, naturalmente, per smentirmi avrà un crash letale tra 5 secondi).

But remember that there're more then 20 St. Fortunatos, so a lot of days can be 2 days before St. Fortunato...
According to Allan's annotations to the Bringing Up Father book the Family name was/is Jiggs, and McManus occasionally misspelled it as Giggs.
NBM has thoughtfully provided Allan's annotations to the book here:
Check out #10 and #12.
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Monday, July 27, 2009


The Stripper's Guide Super-Quiz Day 1

1. It's a pretty rare thing for two comic strips to get combined into one. Laredo and Jane is one of those weird cases though. What two strips were combined to make this 'Frankenstein strip'?

2. One of the most famous animators in the world, Chuck Jones, took a swing at doing a comic strip feature in 1978. It failed miserably. What was the title?

3. Ohio State University's Cartoon Research Library received the huge collection of which well-known comics researcher and writer? The collection was so huge they usually speak of the volume of it by what measurement?

4. Dick Turner turned out the panel feature Carnival for over 40 years. But he didn't originate it. Which cartoonist did?

5. One comic strip tried to get us all to learn a little Spanish while reading the funnies. The Sunday version of the feature included a panel called "Painless Spanish". What was the name of the main feature?


1-Laredo Crockett + Jane Arden
3-Bill Blackbeard
4-George Clark
5-Little Pedro

(and best wishes for the Guide)
Accidenti a te, Fortunato! Mi sono collegato tardi e mi hai battuto sul tempo, e comunque non avrei saputo "George Clark"! in ogni caso la palma spetta a un italiano!

Concerning the Blackbeard answer - I surely read somewhere that his collection filled I don't know how many ** trucks.**

Ciao - Best
According to Nicholson Baker, that was six tractor-trailer trucks when the Blackbeard Collection was delivered to the Cartoon Research Library, now known as the Cartoon Library & Museum. Baker's book Double Fold opens with some interesting pages about Blackbeard and his collection. Here's a Steven Heller interview with Baker.
Aspetterei sabato per i complimenti (magari ho sbagliato...)

If I'm not wrong, Clark started CARNIVAL, THE NEIGHBORS and SIDE GLANCES (3 near identical panels)
Little Pedr was a silent strip, wasn't it? You must hve been thinking about the Hofzinger strip, but what was it called?
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Sunday, July 26, 2009


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics

Jim Ivey's new book, Graphic Shorthand, is available from for $19.95 plus shipping, or you can order direct from Ivey for $25 postpaid. Jim Ivey teaches the fundamentals of cartooning in his own inimitable style. The book is 128 pages, coil-bound. Send your order to:

Jim Ivey
5840 Dahlia Dr. #7
Orlando FL 32807

Also still available, Jim Ivey's career retrospective Cartoons I Liked, available on or direct from Jim Ivey for $20 postpaid. When ordered from Ivey direct, either book will include an original Ivey sketch.


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