Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Comic Museum

One of the rare times a major syndicate has attempted to cash in on nostalgia for old strips was in 1954, when King Features stuck a toe in the water with Comic Museum.

On April 11 1954, the series was inaugurated with the Happy Hooligan episode seen above. In order to run in a third page format, King had to do some serious squeezing of the old art, so I suppose it makes some weird sense that they would pick this utterly static talking-head example of the classic strip from late in its run. Much easier to do a slice-and-dice on a strip where nothing actually happens to begin with. I imagine, though, that folks delighted to see the 'old favorites' were left wondering why in their memories they recalled much more boisterous, graphically interesting strips. Well, the aging mind does play tricks...

According to an article in E&P, Comic Museum was being test-marketed only in select Hearst papers, and it doesn't seem to have garnered much interest. The article states that this episode was followed by one featuring Buster Brown, And Her Name Was Maud and Krazy Kat. I haven't seen these subsequent episodes, nor any beyond those four, so chances are the series ended on May 2 1954. Has anyone seen the other episodes of this series?


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