Thursday, October 21, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Deadshot Bill from Nurseryville

Here's a 1913 offering from NEA syndicate, the blanket service that was a popular supplier of features to smaller papers (and still is I guess, though this year it became an unnamed division of United Media).  Deadshot Bill from Nurseryville offers little rhyming stories of a kid who likes to dress up and play cowboy. The sometimes eye-twitchingly bad rhymes are almost overshadowed (only almost) by the delightful art.

Fred Shaefer, a fixture at NEA whose name was variously spelt Schaefer and Shaeffer at times, has to accept the blame for the poetry. The excellent expressive art is by W. Aird MacDonald who did quite a few series for the syndicate in the first half of the teens. MacDonald did the art from the strip's inception on February 18, then handed off the chores to A.D. Condo who took over as of June 24th. The series ended on December 8.


Love the artwork - nice post - went well with my coffee n biscuit.
This strip ran from 18 February to 8 December 1913 in the Scripps paper THE TACOMA TIMES.
Hi Mark --
Thanks for the Tacoma dates. Most of my NEA dates come from the syndicate archives, but the bound volumes for the mid-teens were a mess and I've had to make do with papers that carried the material for those years -- and they often run things late making for a real mess. Dates I gave were from Wisconsin State Journal.

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