Thursday, February 10, 2011


Obscurity of the Day: Will-yum

It seems amazing that a feature can last almost a decade and a half, but yet qualify as an obscurity (at least in my opinion), but it's surprising just how many features fly under the radar for years and years.

I'm sure there are some out there who remember Will-yum. As I often say, it's not an obscurity to you if it ran in your newspaper. But Will-yum didn't have a long client list when it debuted on June 1 1953, never really made any significant gains through the years, and ended quietly on January 30 1967.

The daily and Sunday kid strip by Dave Gerard grew out of a recurring feature he did for Woman's Home Companion starting in 1949. In 1953, with sales of his newspaper feature Viewpoint not setting the world on fire, he and the John F. Dille Syndicate changed gears. They dumped Viewpoint and replaced it with Will-Yum. The new feature certainly did incrementally better, enough anyway to keep Gerard from retiring it in favor of focusing more time on his magazine gag cartooning.

Will-Yum made a few comic book appearances, and a book collection was issued by Berkley in 1958.


Hi Allan,
Hunted out your blog cos I got an email from amazon saying they couldn't supply your book/encyclpaedia.
Is it available?
Is it published?
Here's hoping,
Thanks tim Scott
Hi Tim --
Sorry, the book is still in production, not yet published. Wish I could give you a publication date but the publisher has not committed to a firm revised date as yet.

Have you seen the even rare strip he did for s hort period during Will-Yum? City Hall is like an early sixties saticial sitcom, with the occasional dumb joke. It was created by Gerard and cartoonist Donoby, and although I have quite a few dailies and black and white Sundays on my blog, I have only come across two or three Sundays in color. I love the genre, I love Gerard's style, so it interests me a lot. After a couple of years Donby took over the rt as well in a more modern style, whoch makes me think he was the writer at first.
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