Saturday, July 06, 2013


Herriman Saturday

Sunday, April 19 1908 -- The fleet's in at San Pedro Bay, and to Herriman's judgment all of Los Angeles has traveled there to greet them.


April 19 "1908"

Eddie (nitpickin) Campbell ;-)

keep em comin'. You're doing the world a service.
ps. is that one a full-page width? Not enough underneath the cartoon to count the columns. might be seven.
Oops! Blame the flyin' fingers. Error corrected, thanks Eddie. And yes, this and most of Herriman's cartoons of this style were full 7-column page width.

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Friday, July 05, 2013


Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase

Adam Chase (c) renewed 2013 by Russ Morgan. All rights reserved.

Adam Chase strip #28, originally published December 11 1966. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.


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Thursday, July 04, 2013


Obscurity of the Day: Our Country -- Day By Day

Happy Independence Day! To commemorate the occasion, here's a strip about American history. There have been many strips that, to varying degrees of success, tried to bring the past to life. There aren't a lot of candidates that could claim to do a drier job of it than Our Country -- Day By Day, though the prize winner still has to be George Washington's Travels.

But on the other hand, who would really expect a good educational strip from the New York Graphic, anyway? The only reason I can think of that the Porno-Graphic would have even embarked on such a project is that they were probably in one of their skirmishes with various do-gooder leagues trying to shut them down. "Hey, I know we show practically naked girls on every second page, but look at this terrific educational feature we also run!"

The feature was all the more dry because there was no storyline continuity to the history-telling. Instead the strip used a "this date in history" motif that made every date have to tell a self-contained vignette. Zzzzzz.

My running dates for the feature are based on the Sandusky Register; unfortunately the running dates in the Graphic itself are unavailable due to lack of microfilm. The feature apparently began on April 22 1929, and ran until the end of August of that year uninterrupted. Starting at the beginning of September, though, the feature was changed to a text column on Tuesdays,  Thursdays and Saturdays, and a strip on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It was cancelled soon after, on September 21.

The writing on the strip was initially credited to Nicholas D. Mount, but the credit was dropped after June 29*. Whether that signaled a new hand on the strip or not is unknown. The artist was never credited. Is it my imagination, or does the art look a bit like that of Nick Afonsky -- who has several other history strips in his ouevre?

Thanks very much to Cole Johnson for supplying the samples!

* Update: Mark Johnson has sent me a sample from August that is signed in the art, "N. Mount". So it may be that Mount was not only writing throughout but was also the artist.


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Wednesday, July 03, 2013


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Earl "Jing" Johnston

Earl Schaum “Jing” Johnston was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 16, 1898, according to the census and his World War I draft card. Schaum was his mother’s maiden name. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, he was the only child of Fred, a cartoonist, and May. They lived in Pittsburgh at 5810 Holden Street. His father was profiled in yesterday's post.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said he produced, with writer Rupe Hainer, the cartoon panel Over Here which ran from 1917 to 1918 in the Pittsburg Leader.

Johnston signed his World War I draft card September 12, 1918. Like his father, he was a newspaper artist and cartoonist at the Leader Publishing Company. A family tree at said his father passed away February 28, 1919.

The 1920 census recorded Johnston and his mother at the same address. His occupation was newspaper cartoonist. He also contributed drawings to the American Photo-Engraver. An undated painting by him is here.

American Photo-Engraver 11/1923

In 1930 he continued his cartooning in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he resided with his mother at 1519 Front Street. He was at a different address, 234 Seneca Street, in the 1940 census. He was married and had a five-month-old daughter. His mother and sister-in-law were in the household. He was cartooning for a publishing company. Tragically, two months after the census, Johnston passed away July 4 1940. His death was noted in the New York Times, July 6:

Harrisburg, Pa., July 5 (AP)—Earl S. Johnston, artist for The Patriot and The Evening News since 1927, died here yesterday of a heart ailment at a hospital. Mr. Johnston studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and had worked on The Pittsburgh Leader, The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph and The New York American.

He was interred at Rock Chapel Cemetery.


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Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Ink-Slinger Profiles: F.E. Johnston

The Index 1/23/1909

Frederick Earl Johnston was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania on June 8, 1874. His birth place was determined by comparing the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Censuses, which showed the Johnston family in New Castle. His birthdate was on his World War I draft card. In the census, he was the youngest of two children born to Levi and Laura. His father’s occupation was “photograph artist”. (In the 1870 census it was painter.) They lived on South Mill Street. Information on his education and art training has not been found.

A family tree at has an 1896 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania newspaper clipping about his upcoming marriage, on September 24, to May Schaum of Middlesboro, Kentucky. He was referred to as “…the well-known newspaper artist of this city…” and identified as “…the son of L.W. Johnston, the well-known artist of New Castle….” After the honeymoon they would reside on Ophelia Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

He has not been found in the 1900 census, but was listed as an artist, in the 1904 Pittsburgh City Directory, at 431 5th Avenue and resided at 5810 Holden. The Pittsburgh Press, March 10, 1904, noted his participation in a benefit for a church: “…Frederick Earl Johnston, the cartoonist, will give his well-known chalk talk…” Two months later, The Book of the Royal Blue, May 1904, published his drawing. Johnston’s book, Pittsburghers Cartooned, was published in 1909.

The 1910 census recorded him, his wife and 11-year-old son, Earl, in Pittsburgh at 5810 Holden Street. His occupation was newspaper cartoonist. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), he produced the adventure comic strip, Bobby the Boy Scout, which ran in the Pittsburgh Leader from August 21, 1911 to November 21, 1917. Holtz considers this the first serious adventure comic strip (Hogan's Alley #10). Two of his drawings were included in T.R. in Cartoon (1910).

In 1915 he produced an animated film, “The Wizard-Blackson Fight…an animated production of the Jess Willard-Jack Johnson boxing match…”, according to the Library of Congress Information Bulletin, Volume 56, Issue 16, 1997. The Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 4, Works of Art; etc. 1915, New Series, Volume 10, Number 2, had this entry in the section, “List of Motion Pictures”:

Felber (J. B) & Johnston (Fred E.) Pittsburgh. [14089
Wizard-Blackson fight. 11 prints 5 by 7 inches. © title and description recd. May 13, 1915; 11 prints recd. May 22, 1915; M 343.

The cartoon was included in the filmography of Fight Pictures: A History of Boxing and Early Cinema (2008): “Wizard-Blackson Fight, A Cartoon Comedy by Fred E. Johnston,* May 1915, J.B. Felber, Fort Pitt Film Co.”

On September 12, 1918 he signed his World War I draft card. His address was the same. He was a cartoonist employed by Alex P. Moore, Leader Publishing Company, 431 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh.

According to the family tree Johnston passed away at work, February 28, 1919. An obituary has not been found. His son, Earl, followed in his footsteps and will be profiled in tomorrow's post.


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Monday, July 01, 2013


Obscurity of the Day: Over Here

The soul-stirring patriotic song "Over There" stirred doughboys and homefolks alike during World War I, and, inevitably, the title found its way into newspaper comics. There were no less than three wartime features that used some version of the title.

The one you see in the sample above (my apologies for the quality -- it is from photocopied microfilm) was titled Over Here, and concerned itself with the lighter side of being on the homefront. It was drawn by Earl Johnson, who sometimes signed himself "Jing" Johnson, presumably in tribute to the great comic strip Jingling Johnson. The rhymes were by a fellow by the name of Rupe Hainer.

The only place I've found this feature running is in the Pittsburgh Leader of 1917-18, and my very limited time with the microfilm of that paper made it impossible to get exact start and end dates. There were no syndicate stamps on these panels, and I assumed that they were produced locally for the Leader. This assumption becomes even more likely based on new research by Alex Jay, who not only uncovered biographical data on Earl Johnston, but also identified him as the son of F.E. Johnston, the creator of the important but little known strip Bobby the Boy Scout. Ink-Slinger Profiles of both cartoonists will follow this week.

Anyway, not much to be said about Over Here, except that if you are wondering about the knitting references, you can read this page which tells all about the big push that was put on during World War I to have women knit clothes for the troops.

PS: Happy Dominion Day, fellow Canucks!


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Sunday, June 30, 2013


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


I love the smell of e-coli in the morning....smells like---Dysentery

Jim sez ... normal people wash any salad greens thoroughly. By the way, I am fascinated by the thought that dandelion wine is mad from the flowers. Imagine what a chore that would be!
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