Monday, December 31, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Merrie Chase

Here's a delightful strip about a lady cop. In the late 1940s, when Merrie Chase was offered to newspapers, the idea of a female police officer was, if not outright laughable, then certainly at least noteworthy. Although women had successfully penetrated many other traditionally male professions due to wartime labor shortages, law enforcement by and large wasn't one of them. Although there were women on police forces, the vast majority were basically deskbound secretaries. Here's a short history of women in policing.

Merrie Chase was written by Renny McEvoy and drawn by Carl Hubbell. McEvoy gained entrance to the comic-stripping fraternity through his stepfather, J.P. McEvoy, creator of Dixie Dugan. By the time he created Merrie Chase, Renny was already writing that famed strip under his father's credit. He was also in the early stages of a career as an actor, though he never really advanced from playing minor TV and movie parts. Carl Hubbell I know little about, except that he drew pretty darn well, and he was not a Hall of Fame pitcher. About all I can find is that he worked in comic books in the 1950s and 60s.

I think what I like best about Merrie Chase (okay, second best after the cheesecake) is that although the strip is definitely having fun with the idea of a female cop, Merrie often comes out on top in situations, and not just because of dumb luck (as in our top sample). McEvoy evidently was willing to take the idea of a female cop seriously, despite the strip being an obvious and convenient showcase for all sorts of crass chauvinistic gags. He points out that women can have an advantage over guys in some police situations, especially in undercover work, which is a subject of some of the daily continuities.

However, Merrie Chase, which debuted on July 31 1949, never caught on. Maybe it was the sort of strip that needed time to find an audience, maybe it needed a hungrier writer who was driven to make it  succeed. After just six months, Carl Hubbell was either fired or quit from the strip, and was replaced by Paul Reinman, by coincidence or not, another comic book guy. Reinman was a good cartoonist, but couldn't really duplicate Hubbell's facility with the curvaceous and cute heroine.

Just a little over a year into the run, on November 26 1950, the plug was pulled. Merrie Chase was replaced on the McNaught Syndicate roster by The Jackson Twins, a much more traditional 'girl strip' starring teenage twins.


Renny McEvoy was the stepson of J. P., and by both his comments and the strip's style, he took over Dixie Dugan early on - c1932. I haven't updated my blog since August (health reasons), but the last blog there was on Renny and Dixie - including his showing up in the strip.
Ah, thanks for the correction about Renny being a stepson -- I wondered when I found a list of J.P.'s children and Renny wasn't listed.

As for Renny writing DD since 1932, do you recall where you read that? I don't doubt you're right, but I'd like a citation so I can update my records. Anxious to see any info on Renny, as there isn't much floating around the 'net about him.

Thanks, Allan
I love the work of HUbbell, a sort of gentle Bill Elder style. He worked for several of Kubert and Maurer's titles in the fifties, where his style really fit. I believe his wife wrote hs comics by then. I have found and shown a lot of copies on my blog, including a local newspaper piece on Hubbell, but none as pretty as your samples! So clean, so sharp! Where did you get those?!
A direct link to my chat on Dixie

I don't mention the source on my blog, but it's the St. Petersburg Times December 2, 1943 Page 9,2579871&dq=dixie+dugan+mcevoy+renny&hl=en Pardon these long links.
Renny McEvoy is my great grandfather, and I can attest to the fact that he did in fact write Dixie Dugan starting in 1932.

Another interesting factoid is that is grandson, Michael B. Anderson, is an Emmy award winning Writer, Director and Produce for the show The Simpsons. He won "Favorite Episode" for their 20 year anniversary as well.
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Sunday, December 30, 2012


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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Saturday, December 29, 2012


Herriman Saturday

Sunday, March 29 1908 -- The independently owned trolley systems of Los Angeles were under seige by the Southern Pacific railway at this time. The trolley system was so widespread in the area that the railroad worried that they would eventually be able to consolidate, add freight service, and thus make competition for SP. SP's answer to the problem was to try to buy up the trolley companies, a plan that worked rather well. By 1911, they had purchased the biggest fish in the pond, and that was the beginning of the very slow breakdown of the trolleys. SP kept them running, but they rarely invested any money except in lines that would have potential for freight carriage.

There's a lot to the story of the LA trolleys, way more than I can even hint at here. Try this short but informative history on for size, dust off your videotape of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and read about an attempt to bring the streetcars back to L.A.


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Friday, December 28, 2012


Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase -- an Introduction

Way back in 2008, I wrote an Obscurity of the Day post about a very unusual strip. It was called Adam Chase, and it was a weekly color science fiction strip that appeared in the Eugene (OR) Register-Guard. The combination of local, color and science fiction is pretty much a trifecta of 100-1 shots in the world of newspaper strips, so I was very interested in contacting the creator, Russ Morgan, to find out more about his unique creation.

Occasionally when I publish a post asking a creator to come forward I get lucky. But that wasn't the case with Russ Morgan. Although I had what I believed to be a correct email address, the creator of Adam Chase remained stubbornly private. That is, he did until just a month or so ago.

Much to my delight, Russ Morgan finally stumbled across that old blog post (he'd never gotten my email) and sent me a gracious and friendly message offering any information I might want about the strip. Never one not to take a mile when an inch is offered, I found out that Russ had archived a set of his strips (which actually ran two years, not the one year I thought), and with very little arm-twisting I convinced him to loan them to me for scanning.

It turned out that the strip I had termed 'a wacky sci-fi romp' based on a few isolated sample strips was actually not a campy fantasy at all, but relatively serious science fiction. In other words, think Star Trek, not Lost in Space. But you don't have to take my word for it. Because starting today, every Friday on the Stripper's Guide blog are now Sci-Fridays, in which we can all enjoy an episode of Russ Morgan's Adam Chase!

Asked to provide some background on himself, Russ provided this succinct bio:
I started teaching myself to draw in high school and developed an interest in comic strips and science fiction.  In 1966, as a staff artist at his local newspaper, I offered the idea of Adam Chase to the editors and they bought it.  It ran for two years in color as a feature page in the Sunday newspaper's magazine, Emerald Empire.  After completing the strip, I opened my own graphics and advertising company, which I operated for 25 years.  Most recently, I returned to being a staff artist at a daily newspaper, the Bend Bulletin in Oregon and retired in 2010.  I play lots of golf, travel and restore classic Ford cars.
About Adam Chase, he had this to say:
Adam Chase ran for two years in a medium-sized Oregon daily newspaper with a circulation of about 35,000 at the time. I was a staff artist at the R-G doing ad art, maps, story illustrations, cartoons etc., but I also had an interest in sci-fi, rockets, space, etc.  I came up with the idea of the strip and pitched it to the editor.  He wanted to see an outline and some examples of my "comic strip" work.  I told him I'd do four or five panels and give him a two year story line.  When I presented it to all the editors, they bought it immediately and I was off to the races. They commented at the time that the R-G would probably be the only newspaper in the US with a strip of this kind all their own.   I did the comic strip on my own time and was paid separately from my regular job. It was part of the Sunday magazine and ran in color. It was printed thru the old technology of zinc engravings, mats and lead plates, which explains some of the poor quality and registration.  Some weeks, the printing plant might omit the red or blue plate.  I illustrated mainly with brush but used pen and ink for some detail.  Color overlays were produced on acetate, using zip-a-tone and black ink for color tints in C-M-Y.  I both wrote and illustrated the strip. I quit the strip because I left the Register Guard to go into business for myself, besides, it paid virtually nothing.  It was a labor of love.  I guess you could say that I was influenced by my imagination and passion to create something that would capture peoples' interest.  
Hopefully, as Sci-Fridays unfold Russ will find time to comment further upon his experiences doing a local science fiction strip in Oregon. But for now, let's get Sci-Fridays started with Adam Chase strip #1, originally published June 5 1966!

Copyright renewed (c) 2012 Russ Morgan. All rights reserved.


This promises to be great fun.
Hi Alan! I just came across your Adam Chase strips and was very happy to do so. I live in Eugene Or, and actually met Russ about 20 years or so ago. Wonderful to finally see more than a small sampling of these strips. I do think you should attempt to print as many of year 2 of the strip as you can, or they'll likely be lost to posterity.
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Thursday, December 27, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Al Fagaly

Albert Jacob Fagaly was born in Kentucky on January 5, 1909, according to the California Death Index at There are three family trees at; one of them has his middle name, while the other two say he was born in 1908. His son, Robert, wrote about his father and it was posted at a family tree. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Falgaly was the youngest of three sons born to Robert and Laura [sic: Lura, according to Robert]. They lived in Waynesburg, Kentucky. His father was a farmer.

In the 1920 census, Fagaly was the third of five sons. They lived in Vancouver, Washington at 704 West 18th Street. His father was a carpenter at a shipyard. About his father's childhood, education and occupation, Robert said:

Lura’s father…owned a lumber mill on the Columbia River. Since there was some work there…the family moved to Washington state in 1912. In 1914, the family moved to Vancouver, Washington…

…From his telling, his schooling was average except in geometry, in this he was extremely good…in fact one of his teachers suggested that he go on to college...But, I think that geometry was the only technical subject that he excelled in. He was editor of his high school yearbook and graduated from Fort Vancouver High School. And while in high school, was a member of an amateur boxing team and played baseball….He also had a good art teacher.

After high school, the depression hit and he opened up a second hand store….People at that time were in need of money, so my Dad’s second hand shop was quite good. But he also wanted to get his cartoons in the papers. The local newspaper “The Vancouver Columbian,” could not afford to have photo-engraving plates made, so my father opened up a photo-engraving shop which eventually became “The Columbia Photo-Engraving” and he would supply them for free (in the late 1920's), if they would buy his cartoons, which they did. That is how he got started in newspapers as a cartoonist.

He also did sign painting, as one of those things for extra money. He did swap outs, where he painted signs, for someone for free and in return would take clothes and other services. He did not want to be a painter, but he did want to be a cartoonist. That was his goal….

The Fagaly family was recorded in the same city according to the 1930 census; the address is illegible. Fagaly's occupation was sign painter. The Miami Daily News (Florida) article “Al Fagaly Talks of Cartooning Career”, published April 1, 1949, said:

Although he never attended art school he took a correspondence course from the Landon School of Art. This, he said, helped him more than anything else in his art work.
Al Fagaly tried for 15 years to break into the field of syndicated cartooning but he never gave up when he was turned down. When he finally did have his drawings syndicated, he worked on such cartoons as “Super Duck” [a comic book character] and Jimmy Hatlo's “They’ll Do It Every Time.”

Robert wrote, “In the 1930's he moved to New York and began one of the many attempts to become a successful cartoonist. He did comics—seven or eight comic books, on his own and with others. He did many strips in the 30’s and 40’s….And one of his roommates in New York was Mickey Spillane, who was also trying to write a novel. He was either the best man at my father's second marriage, or was my Godfather….” Fagaly may have ghosted Calvin Fader’s Doggy Dramas Present in the late 1930s. His comic book credits are here.

Illustration from The Oregonian Magazine 11/12/1939

In the 1940 census, Fagaly was a member of his brother’s household in Vancouver, Washington at 508 West 9th Street. He was a commercial artist in a photography shop, and had four years of high school education. Robert said his father met Justine Lewis around 1941, and in 1942 they went to Washington and married. They returned to the east coast, where Robert was born in Massachusetts. He said the idea for There Oughta Be a Law (originally called The Bitter Laff) came in November 1944. It was sent to Harry Shorten, and, quickly picked up for syndication.

According to Robert, “When I was two weeks old, we moved from Nantucket Island to New York City, where the family lived till my sister Rusty was born. It was later that same year that my father and mother were divorced….”

Around this time, the strip Cringely was developed but it is not known if it was ever syndicated. With custody of his children, Fagaly moved to upstate New York. Robert said, “During that stay, he hired a baby sitter, who was the younger sister of the wife of…cartoonist, Eddy Coggin. This was Margaret Farrell, and then in 1947, [we] moved to Florida and on the way down, she and my father were married, I believe in Georgia.”
Robert said they moved for his health, in 1950, to North Miami, where his younger sister was born. They lived there until 1958, then moved to Pasadena, California before settling in Newport Beach, where Fagaly had a close friend. In 1962, they moved to the Irvine area.

Fagaly passed away April 25, 1963, in Orange, California, according to the California Death Index; Robert said the date was April 23. The Press-Courier, (Oxnard, California), published news of his death April 30.

Cartoonist Fagaly final rites today

Newport Beach (UPI) - Funeral services were to be held to day for Albert Fagaly, 54, creator of the syndicate cartoon “There Oughta Be a Law” that appeared in 300 daily newspapers.

Mr. Fagaly died Thursday [April 25] at Hogal [sic: Hoag] Presbyterian Hospital.

Survivors include his widow, Mrs. Margaret Fagaly, a son, Robert, and two daughters, Russelle and Maralyn.


Interesting! It was always obvious that Fagaly was heavily indebted to Jimmy Hatlo.

Do you know if he worked directly for Hatlo as an assistant, or if he worked on "It Happens Every Time" as a syndicate employee?
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Jack Kent

John Wellington “Jack” Kent was born in Burlington, Iowa, on March 10, 1920, according to Who’s Who in America, Volume 34, 1966–1967. Kent’s son said: “...Born John Zurawski to first-generation Polish and Austrian parents in Iowa, he became Jack Kent when his dad, a traveling linoleum salesman, relocated to Texas in 1926 and changed his name to something his customers could more easily remember.” His parents were Ralph and Marguerite, and he attended public and private schools in various states. The Fifth Book of Junior Authors & Illustrators, Volume 5 (1983) published his autobiographical sketch which began: “All children scribble. Most outgrow it. I never did. I scribbled in Burlington, Iowa, where I was born.”

The 1925 Iowa State Census recorded the Zurawski family of four (Mary, the new addition) in Davenport, Iowa, at 315 East 15 Street.

In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, the Kent family lived in Houston, Texas at 2011 Bartlett. His father was floor covering salesman. The Mobile Press and Register (Alabama), December 3, 1978, said he “spent his early years in Chicago, and ‘was raised and educated from here to there all over the United States.’ ” A fan of Tom McNamara, Kent sent numerous letters and cards to him: undated letter; 1934 letterChristmas card.

The 1940 census recorded him in San Antonio, Texas, at 323 Adams Street. He had three years of high school and was a staff cartoonist at an insurance company. The San Antonio Light (Texas), May 29, 1951, said: “…Jack received much of his schooling in San Antonio. He attended the Highland Park Elementary school and Thomas Nelson Page Junior High. Then he went to Tech High in Dallas.” According to Comic Strip Artists in American Newspapers, 1945-1980 (2003), he “…was without formal training in art, but at 15 he began to sell cartoons to magazines, including Collier’s. He wanted to emulate George Herriman…” During World War II, Kent served in the army field artillery from 1941 to 1945; at his discharge he was a first lieutenant. Who’s Who said he produced free-lance cartoons for various magazines from 1945 to 1950.

Herald Statesman 11/17/1950

His comic strip, King Aroo, debuted November 1950; it was distributed by the McClure Syndicate. 
Newsweek, July 14, 1952, explained how Kent’s war-time service figured in King Aroo

The King’s Tagalog
Comic-strip addicts, probably as a survival technique, quickly get used to the strange words of their favorite characters. So, when Wanda Witch, one of the weird figures who inhabit a batty land called Myopia in the McClure Syndicate’s strip King Aroo, began mouthing strange incantations, most readers just went on to the next balloon.

To the editors of The Philippine-American Advocate, a new monthly tabloid in San Francisco, however. Wanda’s incantation conjured up something quite meaningful. Last week, in its first issue, The Advocate explained that the chant, “halika, multo, madali, madly,” is purest Tagalog for “come here, ghost, quickly, quickly.” It was not the first time nor the last time that King Aroo characters would chatter in the native language. Jack Kent, the Texan who draws the strip, had studied the language while overseas in the Philippines with the Army. Moreover, for the witch talk, he had even checked the Tagalog with authorities at the National Language Institute of the Philippines.

In 1952 Doubleday published a collection of King Aroo strips with an introduction by Gilbert Seldes who wrote: “Jack Kent brings to the small company of fantasists the primary faculty of being able to create a compact universe that adheres strictly to a logic of its own.” 

In the Springfield Union (Massachusetts), June 25, 1951, columnist Walter Winchell noted Kent’s pursuit of Leigh Allen, who was in the Broadway production South Pacific: “…Sends her a red rose daily, neatly boxed, which arrives just before curtaintime backstage…” His marriage to Juliet Bridgman, on September 27, was reported in the Chicago Tribune, October 2, 1952. Who’s Who said he remarried to June Kilstrofte, June 9, 1954. In the Mobile Press and Register, Kent said, “…In 1954 a gal reporter from the San Antonio Express came to interview me and we got married and lived happily ever after….” Their son, John Jr., was born in July 1955. Kent’s father passed away February 4, 1959, according to the Texas Death Index at

Who’s Who said his address, in the mid-1960s, was 103 West Johnson Street, San Antonio. When King Aroo ended in June 1965, American National Biography, Volume 12 (1999) said: “…Kent returned to the uncertain career of a freelancer, selling greeting-card designs to Hallmark Cards and advertising art and cartoons to a wide variety of publications, from Humpty Dumpty, the Saturday Evening Post, and Collier’s to Playboy, and at times supplementing his meager earnings by driving trucks….”

His second published comics work was the one-time seasonal strip, Why Christmas Almost Wasn’t, in December 1968. That same year saw the publication of his first book, Just Only Jack, the first of over 60 books.

Fifth Book of Junior Authors & Illustrators said: “…Kent’s art was exhibited in the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, in 1975, and his work is part of the Kerlan Collection. He is a member of the National Cartoonists Society, the American Institute of Graphic Artists, the Authors Guild, and the Authors League of America.”

Kent passed away October 10, 1985, in San Antonio. A profile by his son is here. Another profile is here. In 2010, the Library of American Comics published King Aroo Volume 1: 1950–1952, and it has Bruce Canwell’s biography of Kent, from his birth to 1952; volume two is forthcoming. King Aroo original art can be viewed here.


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Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Merry Christmas from Stripper's Guide

Happy Holiday Wishes to You and Yours, from Allan Holtz ...

... and Jim Ivey

If you dig parodies, Allan, here's one of me wee ones.
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Monday, December 24, 2012


Why Christmas Almost Wasn't, Part V


Thank you. My son and I enjoyed reading these.
Thanks! Great stuff. Is that it for King Ling strips?
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Sunday, December 23, 2012


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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Saturday, December 22, 2012


Herriman Saturday

Saturday, March 28 1908 -- Baseball season starts in less than a week, and Herriman has suggestions for a deluxe parade to kick off the season. For those of you who were quick to pick up the gauntlet recently when I was left dumbfounded by a Herriman cartoon, howzabout tackling the many references in this one -- we have a mix of classical and contemporary, learned and silly, sacred and profane bits of business going on -- how many can you decode for us modern bumpkins?

In Hen Berry news, the thirteenth guest has again come just short of arriving, and the other guests are now slowly filtering away. Will Herriman drag this on forever? Starting to look that way.


Point #1: Cap Dillon is quoting the poem "The Yarn of the Nancy Bell" by W.S. Gilbert, he of Gilbert & Sullivan. The original reads, in part:

"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig."
Point #2: At least two advertising references here. The "Coal Dust Twins" is likely a play on the "Gold Dust Twins," two African-American children who were the logo for Fairbank's Gold Dust Washing Powder. You can also see in the lower right the dog, alluding to the famous Victor records "His Master's Voice" logo (by following a gramaphone-type record player)
Point #3: Saint Cecila is the patron saint of musicians (she sang to God as she was being martyred).
Point #4: I assume the Katzenjammer Kids reference needs no explication to this audience.
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Friday, December 21, 2012


Why Christmas Almost Wasn't, Part IV

Series Concludes on Monday


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Thursday, December 20, 2012


Why Christmas Almost Wasn't, Part III


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Why Christmas Almost Wasn't. Part II


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Why Christmas Almost Wasn't, Part I

This year's Stripper's Guide Christmas strip is a real classic of the genre, and was penned by one of the finest newspaper cartoonists of all time, Jack Kent. Kent is best known for King Aroo, to my mind one of the most entertaining strips of all time. The intellect brought to bear in constructing the deceptively simple, playful little tales in that strip leaves me in awe. Kent was a true giant, a master of the demanding daily comic strip form.

Of course, the greats seldom get their due, and Jack Kent's King Aroo never attracted a long list of newspaper clients. Although it managed to survive for fifteen years, Kent certainly wasn't getting rich in the process.  Decades later, Kent still hasn't really gotten his due -- he's rarely named in any top-ten list of comic strip greats -- but I think that is because relatively few of us have had a chance to read the strip. 

Luckily that recently changed, when IDW brought out the first volume of their King Aroo reprint series, which receives my very highest praise. If enough of you folks buy copies of the first volume, and I promise you a delightful reading experience as reward, surely we will convince IDW to publish additional volumes in the series.

Why Christmas Almost Wasn't was Jack Kent's swan song on the newspaper comics page. It was produced for the 1968 Christmas season, and issued by the NEA syndicate. The characters of King Ling and Topo are basically just stand-ins for King Aroo and Yupyop, making me wonder if this storyline wasn't originally intended for King Aroo, but never got used. The story, of course, is delightful, and there are plenty of delightful Kent-ian touches along the way. 

I hope you enjoy it.


I've heard one reason v.2 is delayed is problems assemblying strips. Evidently Kent was poorly organized and his off-spring are working through a messy archives.
And addenda--IDW now says March v.2 will come out...
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Monday, December 17, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Nibbles

Mal Hancock's first syndicated comic strip was Nibbles, produced for the George Matthew Adams Service. It ran from October 24 1960 to March 2 1963. The strip didn't use continuing characters per se, but as you can see the characters were mostly animals and precocious kids. The humor was sharp and fresh, a delight in the few newspapers that took the strip.

The problem with any feature that has no regular cast is that readers seldom get emotionally involved, so if the strip disappears there is rarely much of an outcry. That made Nibbles an easy target whenever a syndicate salesman would come to call at a subscribing paper. "Hey, I've got the greatest strip ever created here -- bigger than Li'l Abner, Peanuts and Blondie combined -- all ya gotta do is drop that Nibbles thing and ya can fit it on your comics page!"

Mal Hancock and his syndicate evidently saw the wisdom of my argument against Nibbles (yes, they had time travel in order to read this), and Nibbles was replaced by Humphrey Hush, a new Hancock strip with a continuing character. Why did that one last only four years, you say? Well, just time-travel ahead to my post of August 12, 2016, and I'll explain its shortcomings.

Oh ... you're wondering why I keep calling the strip Nibbles, aren't you? Those samples up there sure make it look like the strip is called Popcorn. Well, you aren't the only one who is confused. For some reason, the San Francisco Chronicle, from whence these samples were plucked, called the strip Popcorn. Why? I dunno. What I do know is that they had me sufficiently confused that in my book (you know about the book, right?) I listed Popcorn as a separate strip. It wasn't until preparing this post that I realized that this strip and Nibbles are the self-same feature. Jeez. Thanks a lot Chronicle


That kid in the first strip...Patrick, is that you??
Just a shot in the dark . . . Did the Chronicle place "Popcorn" anywhere near "Peanuts"?
In the words of Charlie Brown, "AUUUGGHH!". "Popcorn" was actually relegated to the classified ads pages, a Chronicle slum for strips they ran if and when they had space. However, your explanation nevertheless makes a lot of sense! Oooh, they were stinkers!

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Sunday, December 16, 2012


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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Saturday, December 15, 2012


Herriman Saturday

Friday, March 27 1908 -- Thirty-five amateur boxers crowded into the Los Angeles Athletic Club to show off their stuff in front of an appreciative crowd. The prize? A chance to fight for the amusement of the Great White Fleet if and when it arrives at L.A., and if and when the sailors therein are allowed liberty to see a boxing spectacle.

I gamely searched for every boxer's name in, but came up dry. Either none of these tyros ever went pro, or they used pseudonyms.

I'm still trying to figure out who got paired with that thirty-fifth boxer ...


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Friday, December 14, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Farmer Waybacker

Here's a very early series from one of my very favorite cartoonists, Walter R. Bradford. While not exactly a slick stylist, Brad had a screwball sense of humor that just wouldn't quit. 

In the comic strip above, Brad not only gives us a pretty good screwball gag, but also uses for a prop an invention that had hardly even been invented yet -- the electric fence. According to Wiki, though there had been some experiments with electric shock fencing in the late 1800s, it wasn't really until much later, the 1930s, that the electric fence was really perfected and became popular.

Farmer Waybacker ran in the Chicago Tribune (and in the few papers that took their features, like the Boston Post) from April 27 to May 25 1902.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Don Moore

Donald Gurnea “Don” Moore was born in Wheaton, Illinois, on October 2, 1918, according to Today’s Cartoon (1962). In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, he and his widow mother were residing with his maternal grandmother, Alice Gurnea, also a widow and head of the household, and June, his mother’s younger sister. The address was 124 Chase Street in Wheaton. His mother, Jesse, worked at a can factory. A family tree at said his father, “John J. Mohr”, died in 1919.

The 1930 census recorded him and his grandmother at the same address. The whereabouts of his mother is not known. The Courier-News, May 23, 2010, said he graduated from Wheaton High School in 1936.

In 1940, Moore’s grandmother and his Aunt June’s family, husband and four children, was part of the household at the same Wheaton address. The census said he had three years of high school. Today’s Cartoon said: “…When he started, in order to get his first cartoons printed in the Wheaton (Ill.) Daily Journal, he cut his own linoleum blocks. As a GI in the Army (before he was torpedoed) he sold cartoons to the Springfield (Mass.) Daily News, and the Boston Herald-Traveler….He admits of no formal art training….” Moore enlisted in the Army on April 30, 1941 according to a military record found at The Courier-News said he “…was one of the 12 survivors aboard the USS Cherokee returning from Iceland, when it was struck and sank by a German torpedo, from which he received the Purple Heart….” The Springfield Daily Republican (Massachusetts), July 10, 1943, reported on Moore a year after the sinking.

Blood Plasma Value Cited from Experience
Corp. Don Moore, cartoonist, addressed a meeting of the board of directors of the Springfield chapter, American Red Cross, yesterday, and demonstrated by a recital of his own case the infinite value of blood plasma in warfare.

Corp. Moore was aboard a transport torpedoed in the North Atlantic a year ago last May and after spending five hours in the water was picked up by another boat. Plasma was administered immediately. His injuries included a fractured skull, punctured lung and several broken bones. After five months in the hospital he returned to duty and is now in this city, where he is a plant guard instructor.

The army and navy have requested 4,000,000 pints of plasma from volunteers for this year. Speaking in behalf of this request Corp. Moore said:—

“The time and effort of those donating blood is well repaid by the lives of those saved in the army and navy. It’s hard to tell the amount of personal comfort men in the service feel when they know there is plasma on hand, as there always is.”

Today’s Cartoon said, after his discharge, Moore was an assistant to Wilson McCoy who was drawing The Phantom. “I did the background and lettering,” Moore said. The exact date of his time on the Phantom is not known. An August 1948 issue of Editor & Publisher noted the following: “New on Western Newspaper Union’s list are three features: Did’ja Hear? a gag panel illustrating news oddities: Looking at Religion, by Don Moore, depicting colorful religious facts, and Carl Starr’s Weather Vane, which pictures weather lore.”

“Since 1950 his editorial cartoons have appeared regularly…in the Waukegan (III.) News-Sun...”, according to Today’s Cartoon. The Courier-News said he married Carole Collingbourne on April 14, 1951. Moore operated his own syndicate which was listed in Editor & Publisher Syndicate Directory (1953) and The Working Press of the Nation (1954):

Midwest Syndicate
334 St. Charles Street, Elgin, Ill.
Don G. Moore…Business Manager and Editor

Editorial Cartoon…Don Moore
Religious Spotlight…Don Moore

In Today’s Cartoon, Moore said: “I call the Waukegan paper my home base…But actually I’m a free-lancer. I’ve done about 7,500 editorial cartoons for the News-Sun, all on a fee basis. Then, I also draw cartoons for others: The Kenosha (Wis.) Evening News, The Wisconsin Agriculturist, The Evanston (Ill.) Review, The Winnetka Talk and The National Humane Review have all used my stuff.” 

His mother passed away in 1963, according to the family tree.

The Quill (1973), a publication of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, noted the results of an election: “Don G. Moore, editorial cartoonist for WGN-TV, Chicago, has been elected president of the Northern Illinois Professional chapter, DeKalb….”

Moore passed away May 21, 2010, in Elgin, Illinois. The Courier-News reported his death. 


How did you differentiate THIS Don Moore from the Blue Book / Flash Gordon one?? I hope you're planning to look at the other one someday :) - Art Lortie
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Looking at Religion

Western Newspaper Union, the syndicate that supplied weekly papers with boilerplate pages of content, went big on panel cartoon series in the late 1940s. One of them was Looking at Religion, from cartoonist Don Moore. This is not the Moore who was writing King Features' Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim, although I thought it might be until Alex Jay set me straight. His Ink-Slinger Profile tomorrow will tell you about this 'other' Don Moore. 

I also thought that it might be 'the' Don Moore because maybe he was only writing the feature --  I noticed that each panel had the code 'M - 8 - R - E' in the art -- I figured that must be a clue to a ghost artist. I came up with possible names like Metairie, May Terry, M.A. Tarry, etc. from this code, until I finally realized that this is simply Moore with the two 'o's stacked atop each other. Duh. 

Looking at Religion began sometime in 1948, probably around September. Moore ran the show until March 30 1950, after which someone named B.W. Ames took over. Ames' version of the feature wasn't nearly as appealing -- art was perfunctory and the factoids were less Believe-It-Or-Not, more Stifle-A-Yawn. The feature ended sometime in the last quarter of 1951.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Louis E. Donahoe

Louis Edward Donahoe was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in July 1880, according to the 1880 and 1900 U.S. Federal Censuses. In the 1880 census he was recorded as Edward, the fourth child of Charles, a notary public, and Philomane. They lived in St. Louis at 3614 North 18 Street. Information about Donahoe’s education and art training has not been found.

The St. Louis Republic, April 14, 1896, reported the death of his father, who was a lawyer and lived at 1314 North 20th Street. On April 21, the Republic said the police held a suspect for homicide in the death of his father. The Kansas City Daily Journal (Missouri), October 23, 1896, noted that a pension had been granted to his mother.

Donahoe was listed in Gould’s St. Louis Directory 1899 as an artist residing at 1100 Madison.

In the 1900 census, he lived with his mother, and two sisters in St. Louis at 1519 Hogan Street. His occupation was artist. He produced Caseyville for the St. Louis Star in March 1901. The Republic, October 5, 1902, reported the upcoming exhibition of newspaper drawings.

Oils, Water Colors, Sketches and Cartoons Will Be Shown.
…The Newspaper Artists' Society was organized with the primary object of the general betterment of the art of newspaper illustration, for an increased fraternal and feeling of good fellowship among the cartoonists, and with the hope of ultimately effecting a permanent institution. To this end this first exhibition will be given. The following artists form the Committee of Arrangements:

H.B. Martin, Dick Wood, George McManus, Ed Eksergian, S. Carlisle Martin, Berthold Widmann, Paul Fred Berdanier, Edward Grinham, J. Gay Martin, Miss Lina Barclay, Henry Thode, George Walters, Louis E. Donahoe, A. Briscoe, A. Block, George Stick, Miss Anita Moore, F.F. Porter, Max Orthwein, treasurer.

His listing in Gould’s St. Louis Directory 1903 was St. Louis Star artist residing at 1519 Hogan Street. Donahoe passed away May 14, 1909, in St. Louis. His death was reported in Fair Play (Sainte Genevieve, Missouri), May 22, 1909, on page 3, column 3:

Louis E. Donahoe, aged 28 years and 10 months, died in St. Louis on Friday, May 14. He was a son of Philomena and the late Chas. E. Donahoe, and brother of Mrs. Louise Klie and Elmer, Hattie and Flora Donahoe.


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Monday, December 10, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Caseyville

I suppose that the short-lived series Caseyville, which ran in the St. Louis Star Sunday comics section from March 17 to April 14 1901, could be considered a valuable social history document. Frankly, though, between the amateur art, lack of imagination, absence of humor, and spiteful racism, I think this series may be better off forgotten.

As you probably know, the poisonous anti-Irish sentiment in the United States during the late Victorian period was not only socially acceptable, but more than occasionally engaged in by the Irish themselves. George McManus, for instance, was always happy to slam his own people, often going well beyond good-natured pokings and proddings into the realm of the most hateful slurs. Once you became a member of the 'lace curtain Irish', your less well-to-do brothers were evidently fair game.

This Donahoe fellow, presumably a son of Erin Eire himself, seems to have nothing but contempt for the 'shanty Irish', and just for good measure, throws in a shockingly aggressive racial slur against African-Americans too. It's no shame at all, then, that Caseyville is his only known series, and I know nothing at all about him.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!

Tomorrow: Alex Jay's genealogical digging reveals the identity of Donahoe!


You mean he was a "son of Erin", not Eire, the gaelic name of the Irish Free State, created in 1921.

Are you going to hazard a guess this might be World Color Printing, The Star's own syndicate, or should I just 'shup'?
I dinna noo tha' there was a substantive difference between Erin and Eire. But then, take note of my surname and understand it's not exactly native knowledge where my folk come from.

As to the likely/possible Star/WCP entanglement, I guess I'm willing to stay off the battlefield about that one for he moment, until I have some new artillery to bring to bear, one way or the other.

Danke schön, Allan

Would any of the other three strips in Caseyville's run communicate anything to the modern reader? These two are basically meaningless to me.
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Sunday, December 09, 2012


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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Saturday, December 08, 2012


Herriman Saturday

Thursday, March 26 1908 -- Herriman is assigned to visit the fencing class of Professor Uyttenhove, Belgian swordmaster, who is teaching students how to win an argument by making well-directed points.

In Hen Berry news, once again the elusive thirteenth guest almost but not quite makes it to the banquet.


Hi Allan, I just picked up the LOAC "Essentials" series #1; Baron Bean. I really like the layout, look forward to reading the comics tonight.

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Friday, December 07, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Carl Schultze

Carl Emil “Bunny” Schultze was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 25, 1866, the son of Charles and Jane, according to Who’s Who in America, 1903–1905. The Encyclopedia Americana (1919) said his surname was pronounced with two syllables. The 1870 U.S. Federal Census recorded his full name; he was an only child who lived in Lexington, where his father was a music teacher. Little Visits with Great Americans (1904) said he was educated in the public schools of Lexington, Kentucky (not New York) and Cassel, Germany. 

In the 1880 census he was the oldest of three children. His father continued teaching music in Lexington. The Lexington Herald, January 9, 1907, said Schultze’s father had lived in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1855, before moving to Lexington in 1860. After 25 years, he returned to Indianapolis some time after his wife’s death.

…Professor Schultze has a son, Carl E. Schultze, who has distinguished himself as a newspaper cartoonist, being the author of the “Foxy Grandpa” illustrations of the comic section of the New York American.

Mr. Schultze’s wonderful gift as a delineator of the comic side of life was discovered in a most peculiar way. Residing at Indianapolis with his father in the fall of 1889, the news was flashed over the wires of the fatal duel at Lexington, Ky., in which Col. W.C. Goodloe and Col. A.M. Swope both lost their lives. Young Mr. Schultze happened to be in the office of one of Indianapolis’ leading newspapers when the editor asked if it was possible to secure photographs of the two men, from which cuts could be made for publication the following day. Young Mr. Schultze immediately responded, and said that as he had lived in Lexington and knew both men personally, he believed he could draw a sketch from memory. He was told to do so, the cuts were made and the picture of each of the duelists appeared in the paper the next morning.

In a few days the Lexington and Cincinnati papers appeared with cuts of the two men from their latest photographs, and when compared to the production of Mr. Schultze, was found to be much inferior likenesses. Mr. Schultze was well paid for his work and at once began the development of his rare gift and is now one of the highest salaried artists of the country….

Other accounts of his early newspaper career make no mention of Indianapolis. Little Visits with Great Americans said:

…On his return to America he studied art under Walter Satterlee, of New York. For some time later he seems to have been undecided as to how to apply his gifts, but an accidental sketch submitted to a Chicago paper, resulted in his being forthwith engaged by that publication. After remaining in Chicago on several newspapers for some years, he took a trip to California, doing further artistic work in San Francisco….

...After a struggle, during which he did work on Judge and other New York publications, he became a member of the staff of the Herald

The New York Sun, January 18, 1939, said: “…When he was eighteen [1884] he was sent to New York to study art. He wished to become a portrait painter, but he returned to Louisville and obtained a job in a lithographer’s shop. He failed at this work and drifted to Chicago, where he went to work on the Daily News….” The New York Times, January 19, 1939, said Schultze “…got his start with The Chicago News at $16 a week. Among his colleagues were Peter Finley Dunne, John T. McCutcheon, George Ade and Richard F. Outcault.”

The date of his move to New York has not been determined. Who’s Who said he married Mary Greenlee Brown in November 1899, in New York. The marriage was his first and her second, according to the 1910 census.

On January 7, 1900, his Sunday features, Foxy Grandpa and The Herald Vaudeville Show, debuted on the same page in the New York Herald; the strips were signed “Bunny”. (Foxy Grandpa in other newspapers is hereSome original art can be viewed here.) The origin of the Grandpa’s name was explained in the New York Sun:

…Schultze often told the story of the naming of Foxy Grandpa. He said that he owed it to the late William J. Guard, press representative for the Metropolitan Opera, who was assistant to Edward Marshall, Sunday editor for the Herald in 1900. Schultze had explained to the Herald that he wanted to draw a comic strip which would create an old man who could turn the tables on the youngsters.

“I just called him Grandpa at the start,” he said. “Then Guard added Foxy to it and it stuck.”

The debut of both strips

The vaudeville feature underwent title changes and ended in 1901. Schultze has not been found in the 1900 census. Soon Foxy Grandpa was adapted for the stage as mentioned in the New York Tribune, August 4, 1901:

Asbury Park Thronged.
…Carl E. Schultze, the New York cartoonist, is a newcomer at the Hotel Columbia. Mr. Schultze came to the Park to witness the initial performance of “Foxy Grandpa” at the local theatre….

New York Herald 8/3/1901

Who’s Who said he resided at the Hotel Beresford, 1 West 81st Street, New York City. Foxy Grandpa’s popularity made Schultze a celebrity. Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, September 1903, published an amusing anecdote and photograph (top). 

…Mr. Schultze looks more like a banker than a comic artist. Many of his friends who have known him for years are unaware of his connection with the Sunday Comic Supplement. One day, as he stood talking with a prominent politician of his acquaintance, a young newspaper reporter slapped Mr. Schultze on the back and hailed him as “Foxy Grandpa.” “Why don’t you punch the impudent young scoundrel’s head?” inquired the politician after the reporter had gone. “What for?” asked Mr. Schultze. “Why, what business has he to call you Foxy Grandpa? You’re not old.” “No,” replied Mr. Schultze, “Still I’m old enough to be Foxy Grandpa’s father.”

Schultze and his wife suffered a terrible tragedy which was reported in the New York Press, November 24, 1906:

Wife’ Shots Kill Husband and Self
Mrs. J.F. Delaney, Known on Stage as “Bessie Mortimer,” Uses Revolver.
Chicago, Nov. 23.—Known on the stage as Bessie Mortimer, and formerly a member of Otis Skinner’s company, Mrs. James F. Delaney, wife of the vice president of the American Shipping Company, to-day shot her husband through the brain, and then killed herself, firing a bullet into her mouth. The bodies were found in the apartments occupied by the Delaneys in the home of Mrs. Cyrus Woods, No. 490 Lasalle avenue. The shots were heard by a watchman at 5 o’clock, and it was almost noon before the rooms were entered.

The Delaneys were well known in New York, and returned from there only ten days ago. The husband frequently went East on business. Delaney was 33 years old, and his wife 27. They were eight years married, and leave no children. The wife was Elizabeth Brown, and her mother now is married to Carl E. Schultze, an artist, at Ninety-fifth street and Broadway, New York….

...Carl E. Schultze, the stepfather of Mrs. Delaney, was seen in his home at Ninety-fifth street and Broadway. He said that he was too greatly shocked to discuss the tragedy, and that his wife was so unnerved by the news of her daughter’s terrible end that she had been ordered to bed by a physician.

In 1910, his address was Manhattan, New York City at 101 West 78 Street, where he was a newspaper artist. A notice in the New York Clipper, January 13, 1912, said Schultze may be headed to vaudeville.

Carl E. Schultze, whose “Foxy Grandpa” series is well known to newspaper readers, is a possible recruit to the stage. If negotiations now pending are successful, he is to be presented in a vaudeville sketch which is to be built around a piece of lightning sculpture. it is said that something entirely different from the average sort of “rapid sketch” act has been evolved by the author, a well known local newspaper man. 

Apparently he changed his mind, as reported in the Lyceumite and Talent, March 1912: 

The announcement that Carl E. Schultze, the creator of the “Foxy Grandpa” cartoons, is to go into the lyceum is erroneous in one particular. It seems to have been made without consulting “Bunny” himself. Mr. Schultze writes Lyceumite and Talent: “I’m really not thinking even of going into vaudeville. The idea came from an interested friend who gave it to Mr. Mindel.”

However he was interested in the stage as an investment. The New York Dramatic Mirror, November 12, 1913, reported the following:

Bunny Theater to Open Soon
The Bunny Theater, Broadway and 147th Street, is rapidly being put in shape for its grand opening. Carl E. Schultze, the creator of Foxy Grandpa and Bunny, is pulling some noteworthy publicity stunts that have the Heights residents raised to high pitch of expectancy. One was a rebus, drawn in the well-known Bunny style, for the solution of which free tickets to the opening were given. The date of the opening will probably be Nov. 25. J.W. Brandon is president of the Bunny Theater Company and Carl E. Schultze, vice-president.

A few details of his business holdings were revealed in The Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory, Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, City of New York (1914):

Bunny Amusement Corporation (N.Y.) (Julian W. Brandon, Pres.; Carl E. Schultze, Sec. Capital, $25,000. Directors: Julian W. Brandon, Abner B. Stupel, Carl E. Schultze) 3589 B’way

Bunny Theatre (R.T.N.) (Carl E. Schultze & Julian W. Brandon) 3589 B’way

In the 1915 New York State Census he lived in New York City at 160 Claremont Avenue. His occupation was writer. He has not been found in the 1920 census but the Commercial Register (1920) had a listing for him: “Schultze Carl E., 256 W. 57th. Cartoonist”. The Bourbon News (Paris, Kentucky), August 17, 1920, reported the death of his father. 

Apparently he moved to Florida for a while. The Herald (Miami, Florida), September 3, 1922, said he lived at St. John’s casino in Miami Beach, and “...Writing poetry is a recent accomplishment with him, he says, which he may take up seriously under the inspiration of Miami skies.” At some point he returned to New York. He helped a missing boy reunite with his Brooklyn family. The Fourth Estate, January 16, 1926, said in closing:

…Incidentally, Foxy Grandpa who writes for the New York Evening Journal, indirectly secured for his newspaper one of the biggest and cleanest missing-boy-found “scoops” ever achieved. The Journal published details of the finding when its rivals were headlining the report was still missing.

And this feat came about just because Foxy Grandpa, in real life life as in pictures, could not pass by when he saw a shivering, ragged urchin obviously hungry on the sidewalks of the richest city on earth.

Long live Foxy Grandpa!

His move to Richmond, Virginia, was trumpeted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 24, 1928, headline: “ ‘Bunny’ Comes to Richmond; Will Make His Home Here”. And another version of his newspaper debut was told:

…Mr. Schultze’s first drawing was cut with a pen knife on wood on the Lexington (Ky.) Transcript. He then began to use chalk plate, which was a newspaper process of the earlier days. He got his real start with Victor Lawson on the Chicago Morning News, which is now the Record, a start which proved auspicious even though he arrived in Chicago with only 5 cents in his pocket. When Mr. Schultze began his career on the News, John T. McCutcheon and George Ade were working there, and Eugene Field had just left….

Schultze did commercial art work and one of his projects was a coloring book for the Nolde Bros. Bakery, which was advertised in the Times-Dispatch, November 11, 1928. 

His time in Richmond was recounted in the January 19, 1939, Times-Dispatch:

...Many Richmonders will recall the tall, heavy-set Schultze, not unlike his famous creation, for he spent about a year in this city in 1928.

At that time, Schultze had hopes of creating a comic strip character which again would enshrine him in the hearts of youngsters. He did some special work for The Times-Dispatch and also was connected with E.C. Pollard in his advertising business here.

He later did a cartoon strip for the News Leader….

The 1930 census recorded him in New York at 407 West 57th Street. He was a widower; it is not known when his wife passed away. With Foxy Grandpa’s best days behind him, Schultze lived a low-rent existence. In his book, The Longest Street, Louis Sobol remembered him during his decline. 

States-Times (Baton Rogue LA), December 30, 1938, published Charles B. Driscoll’s “New York Day by Day” column who wrote:

Carl E. Schultze, creator of “Foxy Grandpa,” recently recovered from an illness that nearly carried him off, sent us a New Year card depicting him in a neck-and-neck race with the Grim Reaper. The old fellow with the scythe is falling behind at the finish. 

Schultze passed away January 18, 1939, in New York City. His obituary appeared the same day in the New York Sun:

‘Foxy Grandpa’ Creator Dies
Carl Schultze Passes Away in His Sleep Here.
Suffered a Heart Attack
His Comic Strip First Appeared in Herald 38 Years Ago.

Carl Schultze, who created the famous comic strip known to the last generation as Foxy Grandpa, was found dead today in his neat little room at 251 West Twentieth street. There the man who once made hundreds of thousands from his drawings eked out a living from occasional jobs with his faltering pencil.

Schultze had lived in the room for two years. He was always cheerful and always impressed the other boarders as being rather a prosperous man because he was so neatly dressed. On November 4 he was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital suffering from a heart attack. He seemed to recover and went back to his room. Today he was found lying in bed by a parlor maid. A surgeon from St. Vincent’s said that Schultze had died in his sleep.

Foxy Grandpa, who had side whiskers and a sharp sense of humor, was created in the comic section of the New York Herald, where it first appeared on January 7, 1900.

Its success was immediate and it lasted for twenty years. Then changing tastes and other conditions made it seem less valuable and it finally disappeared from the Sunday newspapers. Schultze tried to explain its disappearance once. He pointed out that it was a pretty, old-fashioned brand of humor, that there was no romantic angle to it and that Foxy Grandpa was “too smart to be a sugar daddy.”

He added: “I guess I must own up that perhaps I ran out of ideas for the dear old gent. But somehow he didn’t fit into today’s picture.” He signed the signature Bunny to his comic strip. Thousands of letters came to him during the palmy years. He once said that he had employed three secretaries to open them every day….

…Schultze’s wife died about twenty years ago. In 1935 he was aided by the Emergency Relief Bureau, and recently he had been on the WPA rolls. Last year Editor and Publisher printed an article in which it said that Schultze was planning to restore Foxy Grandpa to the syndicate field. He was going to be a modern grandfather.

(Some sources have Schultze’s name wrong. In Coulton Waugh’s The Comics he is “Charles E. Schultze.” The World Encyclopedia of Comics has it as “Carl Edward Schultze”. And “Charles Edward ‘Bunny’ Schultze” can be found at


Looking for info on a vintage handkerchief with Carl "Bunny" Schultze story & illustration about the story of An Old Woman Lived in a Shoe. Found hankie with Carl Schultze story on Mother Hubbard but can't find anything on the hankie I have. Hope you can help. Thanks
Hi - I was delighted to discover your piece about Foxy Grandpa the other day. I am the author of the novel Death and Mr Pickwick, which tells the story behind the creation of Charles Dickens's first novel, The Pickwick Papers, and I have featured Foxy Grandpa several times on my novel's facebook page - the first post in which I mentioned Foxy Grandpa was this one:
which explains my interest in the character, and I posted about him again today:
I thought you might be interested. All the best Stephen Jarvis

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