Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Chubb and Chauncey

Vance Rodewalt's editorial cartoons are a long-time Calgary, Alberta fixture, and he's still going strong on the Calgary Herald. But like many of his editooning brethren, he tried his hand at a comic strip. In 1988, Chubb and Chauncey, a strip about a pair of dogs, debuted in U.S. syndication through Tribune Media Services. The idea of the strip was that one dog, Chubb, was a lower-class pooch, while the other, Chauncey, fancied himself some sort of royalty. However, I seldom see that angle being played up in the strips I have. It looks more like Chubb was Rodewalt's preferred character and ended up getting 90% of the spotlight, along with the dog's owners, a pleasant enough middle class family. 

The series apparently started as a daily only on September 12 1988, and the Sunday was added in 1989. In 1990, a dispute with the syndicate caused Rodewalt to pull it, and move syndication to the Toronto Star Syndicate, losing all his U.S. newspaper clients in the process, but making the strip available in Canada, where his name recognition helped with sales. The strip was also placed with Editors Press Service, which sells to foreign markets, and, according to Rodewalt, they were able to place the strip in a goodly number of papers worldwide.

Rodewalt seems to have retired the strip sometime in 1998.


In an odd coincidence, if you go to the King Features Archivist website, he also posted a similar strip today about two dogs from opposite ends of the class system.
I'm finally up to indexing 1988 in my New York Sunday News project. Chub and Chauncy debuted as a Sunday feature in the Daily News Sunday comics on October 2, 1988. I'll track it there as long as it lasts and report back here shortly.
Thank you Michael! When you're done indexing that trove, are you going to publish somewhere? There's a lot of data I'd love to see from the NY Sunday News run of yours!

Thanks, Allan
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