Saturday, July 20, 2013
Well, anyway, Herriman is covering the exhibition matches put on by boxing legend Jim Jeffries for the jack tars on leave.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, July 19, 2013
Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase
Adam Chase strip #30, originally published December 25 1966. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.
Labels: Adam Chase Sci-Friday
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: King Baloo
The weird thing is that the feature seems like it could have been a winner. King Baloo is a fun character -- his personality is half King of Id, half Little King. He's playful, but can also be cheerily despotic. The gags, though they can be pointedly political and contemporary, always have an element of whimsy to keep things light.
The creators also doubled their chances for success by making the daily version available in both panel and strip configurations. So how this feature managed to be such an utter failure is beyond my comprehension. The strip is so obscure that the Sunday version, which I'm assured did exist based on United Media records, I've never even seen.
King Baloo ran from May 23 1988 to April 16 1989, not even making it to the end of the first year contract. In a 1992 interview, Scott Stantis made a remark about the feature being relaunched, but as far as I know nothing ever came of it.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Magazine Covers: Kathleen and the Great Secret
If you are a Brinkley fan, or are intrigued to perhaps become one based on these amazing covers, I recommend you pick up Trina Robbins' The Brinkley Girls, which offers amazing restorations of a slew of Brinkley covers. In fact the two above are included in the book, lovingly restored, which is why I chose to leave these ones as raw scans to offer contrast.
Thanks, Cole Johnson!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: Betsy Bouncer and her Doll
Betsy Bouncer ran in the Sunday comics section of the New York Herald from August 14 1904 to May 14 1905, and is the only known credit for someone who signed themselves 'Tom Tucker'. Except I don't think there really is such a person.
As much as I distrust my own abilities as an art spotter, I have to climb out on a limb on this one and say that I think Tom Tucker is actually a pseudonymous E.W. Kemble. The style is right, though predictably not of the highest caliber since his considerable reputation is not at risk. The signature, too, is quite 'Kemble-ish'.
But why would Kemble, who freely signed his Hearst comic strip work until he parted company with them in 1902, take a pen name? I think I may have that answer. According to the Wikipedia bio of Kemble, he went to work for Collier's Weekly in 1903. My guess is that they didn't like the idea of him moonlighting, and so he did this series under an assumed name.
The evidence, of course, is slight. But I find the source (moi!) utterly convincing. What say you?
Monday, July 15, 2013
Newspaperarchive.com -- My Cautionary Tale
My conclusion? It's all because this company has chosen the unfortunate path of those who value only the quick buck. Why put a lot of money into creating a great website with superb content and treat your customers as valuable assets? Instead you can offer a shoddy product, add a little slick window-dressing and write a contract designed to forcibly extract money out of the customer when, inevitably, they wise up and decide to leave.
You'd think that the era of this sort of business model had passed. Today on the web every product gets reviewed by customers on innumerable highly public forums. If you treat your customers badly you have nowhere to hide; your secrets won't stay secrets for long. A web search on "Newspaperarchive.com complaints" reveals many, many disgruntled customers. If I was a prospective new subscriber who did my homework, I would never subscribe. Unfortunately, when I subscribed long ago, the bad buzz evidently wasn't nearly as loud.
Whole runs of papers become inexplicably unavailable for as long as you need them.
Many papers (especially the British ones) are seemingly misdated in the wrong CENTURIES on purpose. Lots of time is pointlessly wasted, like when doing a search, you can't go directly to "exact phrase", you must first go to a general search that takes in everything back to medieval broadsides that contain even part of your quest, and only then can you go to "revise your search" which will allow you to start a new, more precise one. Also, it only gives you ten listings on a page. Why must there be a choice to restart the page to get twenty or thirty on a page? Why would one choose twenty over ten or thirty anyway?
The time is important because after whatever it is, maybe fifteen minutes?,you are suddenly off line and must go back and restart with your password at page one again. It doesn't matter if you are right in the middle of an involved search, it must stop and restart. It's not like it matters if you're a paying customer and have been for a while, they have your money, and there's no reason to consider you or what you might be there for in the first place, and it shows. It's like a bunch of rapcious illiterates got ahold of a site they didn't understand past the ability to screw Americans out of cash.
I second Mr. Holtz's sentiments and recommend that if you have any desire to use Newspaperarchive.com, by all means go for the minimum possible.
The only issue I take with your essay is the suggestion that the day of this sort of business model has passed. On the contrary, its day is just beginning. The model that seems to have faded is the one they taught me in school umpteen years ago: by providing quality goods and services a business wins more customers and thus guarantees itself a long life, a decent profit, and a reasonable return for investors.
Its replacement seems to be to extract from customers as much money as possible as quickly as possible while using legal cover (obscure laws, mandatory arbitration, complex EUAs, etc.) to avoid responsibility for its actions. The present controversy about Goodwill Industries is instructive.
The age of the Ferengi is here!
I paid $39.95 for annual service last December. I looked at my account today and see my next payment this coming December will be $99.95 for six months. Nope -- I guess not. Good-bye Newspaper Archives in 6 months.
- I threatened to call the Cedar Rapids police to pursue possible fraud charges. I got the second charge reversed. Not a subscriber anymore.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics