Saturday, June 12, 2010


Herriman Saturday

Sunday, November 17, 1907


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Thursday, June 10, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Mung Ho!

How do you take a drawing of a triangle, add a few appendages, give it an odd name and turn it into overnight national sensation? I dunno, but you apparently DON'T call it a Mung and invite readers to submit ideas for objects and people in which the term "Mung" has been inserted -- Mungnetism (magnetism), Mungsignor (monsignor), Weathermung (weatherman), Three Mungateers (three Musketeers), etc.

This was the idea behind Mung Ho!, a daily and Sunday panel feature whose idea was supposedly based on a Kilroy imitator originated in the Navy. The newspaper feature originated at the Chicago Daily News and was syndicated to a few papers that probably should have known better. The feature was either credited to an imaginary Omar Mung, or the triangle character was named Omar Mung; I'm not entirely clear which. Maybe both? I notice on the Sundays there does appear to be a signature of some kind -- looks like "YEP" or something?

The feature began sometime in 1969 (earliest I've found are from October) and the Sunday seems to have been dropped in January 1970 while the daily panel continued as late as March 21.

A web search finds a cartoonist named Dustin based out of Chicago who uses the name Omar Mung for his cartooning, photography and general weirdness blog. Is there any relation? I don't know but given the very strange content of the blog I take a pass on finding out.


What's the name of the modern-day comic page feature that does something similar, but with "Egg"s instead of "Mung"s? I can't remember it.
I did a search for a cartoonist called Yep once, but I can't remember what strip or cartoon was the cause...
Hi Joshua -
That would be Eggers.
mungkini?!! oh, man, that sucks!!!
Thanks, Allan.

Anyone looking to Google the "Eggers" feature should note that the creator is Lori Lee Landi; a search for "eggers" alone is mostly going to find things about writer Dave Eggers.
Mung Ho! was in the Sunday comics in the Daily Oklahoman at least until the mid-80's. I have a (shaky) memory of it being sponsored by Mung bean farmers. It also may have been part of the Cap'n Dick Activity page. I'm glad someone else remembers this obscurity.
I too remember the "Mungs." I especially remember a character named Mung the Merciless. As to dates, I only remember them from my teens, so that is more than forty years ago.
Yes. I won 5 dollars in the Daily Oklahoman Mung Ho for my drawing/character, "Charlie ChapMung" Thanks for your article. J Foster Nashville, TN
Page 44 to 46 'Omar Mung's Dubious Dynasty'
I'd love to see the one i sent to u when i was a kid in '77-'78...i was in 3rd or 4th grade. it was dad who came up with the idea and i remember mom helping me draw the picture, lol...thanks...

"The Cow Jumped Over The Mung"

-Lance Coleman
I was a high school senior in South Florida (1969-70) when this comic somehow came to the attention of some of us, who proceeded to riff on it by creating caricatures of our fellow students. Just this morning I was trying to remember the name of the little triangle-people we were creating, and when “Mung” finally came to mind, I googled ”triangle mung cartoon 1960s” and found you. Thanks for the memories!
Seeing a photo today of the former baseball player Carlos May somehow reminded me of a drawing I did back then of a triangle figure holding a baseball bat and wearing a White Sox cap that I called "Carlos Mung." After a little googling, I found your blog and was glad to see I hadn't hallucinated the memory... I may have even won something for my drawing, can't remember.
I went to Navy Aviation Electronic School at NAS Memphis in 1957. There were chalkboard drawings of Omar Mung even then...
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Wednesday, June 09, 2010


News of Yore 1937: Tea Party Would Love Crosby

P.L. Crosby Reprints Essay in Sun
by Robert U. Brown (E&P 7/17/37)

Listed last week by the Joint Congressional Tax Evasion Committee as using legal devices to evade taxes, Percy Crosby, creator of "Skippy" for King Features Syndicate, on Tuesday, July 13, bought two full pages in the New York Sun and reprinted his "Essay on Roosevelt's Second Inaugural Address" which he had published Feb. 15. Ten thousand copies were distributed then. At the top of the essay he reprinted part of his letter to Senator Wheeler written March 11 praising him for his Supreme Court stand which read: "In writing this letter, please know that it is from a citizen proud of his vote, proud of his nation, and from a citizen who is a creator and shall never be anything but that. It is from a citizen who believes that freedom for the individual is the most sacred heritage. It is from a citizen who is willing to pay any amount of taxes under the Constitutional form of government, and that willingly, but it is from a citizen who shall never pay toll to a one-man rule government at any price."

Mr. Crosby paid $3,200 for the space in the Sun which was placed through J.P. Muller & Co., advertising agency, where he was described as "one of the few 100 per cent Americans left."

Used Paid Space Before
In answer to a query from Editor & Publisher, Mr. Crosby said the Sun was the only daily paper used, and: "I have consistently used such methods since 1930 to attack conditions and fought prohibition, gangdom and pacifism in like manner. I spent over $59,000 publishing books, pamphlets and page ads. The purpose of the essay is to awaken the people, as I was well acquainted with the subject after writing a 220,000 word book called "Three Cheers for the Red, Red and Red." Five months after publication my essay stands as truth and warning without change of a word."

In a recent promotion piece on Percy Crosby, distributed by King, the cartoonist was portrayed as a "literary and political storm center." One paragraph described his farm at MacLain, Va., and added, "Yet one who expected to find Percy Crosby in complete harmony with his surroundings would be foredoomed to disappointment. Skippy raises a little Cain wherever he goes; so does Crosby. He wouldn't be happy if he didn't."

Crosby worked formerly for McClure Newspaper Syndicate. He sold his first drawing to Life, when he was 17 for $6. Later he worked on the New York Call, Globe, World and Sunday World, Herald, Evening Telegram and the Philadelphia Ledger. He started Skippy in 1925.


A glimpse of things to come.
Ummm. From Wikipedia, but I believe it's essentially accurate:

"In December 1948, he was committed to the psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital after attempting suicide following the death of his mother.[16][36] In January 1949, he was transferred to the mental ward at Kings Park Veterans' Hospital, in Kings Park, New York, where he was declared a paranoid schizophrenic.[16][37] His confinement was authorized by Arthur Soper, an uncle of Crosby's wife.[16]

Though he would spend spent the last 16 years of his life institutionalized..."
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Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: He's Talking to a Stranger

One of Billy DeBeck's earliest features is this one, which used several different titles sort of in the Briggs-Webster mode. The series began on February 24 1916 in the Chicago Herald, and was distributed by the J. Keeley Syndicate (Keeley was editor of the Herald).

At first only two titles alternated -- He's Talking to a Stranger, an entertaining bit featuring blowhards who expound on subjects about which they may not have quite the grasp they think, and Victim Number ..., a series that was sort of a snarky adult version of Briggs' When a Feller Needs a Friend. Each episode gave the victim a more-or-less random number.

In June of 1917 DeBeck tired of the Victim title and began a series titled Feeding the Jinx, but this title in turn disappeared after July of that year and the Victim series was resurrected. In early 1918 two more series titles were added, Brother Bulls and Ain't Bothered.

DeBeck didn't get much time to explore the possibilities of his new series, because when Hearst bought the Herald in May the feature was dropped, on May 4 to be exact. DeBeck's other series, Married Life, did continue under the new Hearst regime.


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Monday, June 07, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Flivvers

Etymologically speaking, Flivvers by Jack Callahan is interesting. My understanding, and most dictionaries back me up on this, is that a flivver is a cheap and unreliable automobile. However, if I go to the Oxford English Dictionary they list a second definition, saying that it can also refer to "a person who has a damaging or deleterious influence." However, the examples they cite refer to "human flivvers", obviously an attempt to evoke the idea of a person who is like a rattletrap car. Not so much a secondary definition as a simile, methinks.

Seems to me that Jack Callahan in this series is making a concerted attempt at expanding the definition to include people who are basically well-rounded but have a blind spot. Jack's attempt at contributing to the English language didn't take hold but he gets points for trying.

Flivvers was one of Callahan's weekday strips for the New York Evening World. It ran from September 21 1916 to February 2 1917.


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Sunday, June 06, 2010


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics

Sorry about the tardy posting of this one - should have run way back in January. 


Actually, Super Bowl XLIV took place on Feb. 7.
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