Saturday, September 14, 2013


Herriman Saturday

Friday, April 24 1908 -- A wild west show, which was postponed from Wednesday due to bad weather, is put on both Thursday and Friday to the delight of the Great White Fleet sailors on leave. Apparently these boys can truly do no wrong -- even when they pelt a policeman with oranges they were given as gifts, the near-riot is shrugged off as boyish pranking.


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Friday, September 13, 2013


Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase

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

Adam Chase strip #38, originally published February 19 1967. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.


Was Thursday an unexcused absence?
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Unclipped Bound Volumes For Sale by the Stripper

A portion of the stacks
NOTE: since this was posted, all the bound volumes have found new homes. 

The time has come for the Stripper to do some down-sizing. I currently have a room in my home that is primarily devoted to storing newspaper bound volumes. Many of the volumes have had the comic strips clipped out of them, but there are a few big stacks of volumes that are unclipped and pristine.

I spent a few months this spring selling some of the clipped volumes on eBay with relatively good success, and I've sold off well over a hundred of those, making a good dent in the piles. I also experimented with selling the unclipped bound volumes in the last batch of auctions, and they do quite well, too ($40-75 high bids). But running auctions on eBay is time-consuming, and the fees are substantial. So before I go ahead with more auctions, I thought I'd offer the unclipped volumes to you folks, at a price below what you'll be able to get them on eBay.

Here's what I have in terms of unclipped volumes -- about 25 of the Minneapolis Star and about 38 of the Minneapolis Tribune (dates below). Most volumes contain one month's worth of papers, but some have a month and a half. The Tribune volumes include Sunday newspapers, but the Sunday comic sections were not bound into the books. Some volumes do include the Sunday slick magazines, which have a few minor Sunday strips in them. The Star did not have a Sunday edition. Here are the available bound volumes:

Minneapolis Tribune: 4/26, 7/30, 7/31, 10/37, 8/38, 3/40, 1-2/44*, 2-3/44*, 10-11/44*, 1-2/45*, 10-11/45*, 11-12/45*, 1/46, 7/46, 8/46, 12/46, 4/47, 5/47, 1/50, 3/50, 5/50, 7/50, 8/50, 9/50, 11/50, 2/51, 3/51, 1/52, 2/52, 4/52, 6/52, 7/52, 8/52, 11/52, 7/53, 9/53, 12/53

Minneapolis Star: 10-11/43*, 10-11/45*, 11-12/45*, 7-8/46*, 1-2/47*, 2-3/47*, 4-5/47*, 5-6/47*, 8/47, 9/47, 10/47, 11/47, 8/51, 11/51, 1/52, 5/52, 3/53, 6/53, 7/53, 10/53, 12/53, 3/54, 5/55, 3/56, 5/65

* month and a half volume

To give you an idea of contents, here are the strips in a few volumes I picked at random:

Minneapolis Star February 17 - March 1947: Dick Tracy, Terry and the Pirates, Bringing Up Father, Winniw Winkle, You Solve It (rare local strip, became Lance Lawson later), Gasoline Alley, Li'l Abner, Jane Arden, Abbie an' Slats, Elmo, The Gumps, Harold Teen, Grin and Bear It, Off the Record, Yesterdays (local panel by Frank Wing)

Minneapolis Star May 1952: Dick Tracy, Mutt and Jeff, Abbie an' Slats, Li'l Abner, Gasoline Alley, Little Orphan Annie, Jane Arden, Terry and the Pirates, Bringing Up Father, Little Debbie, Winnie Winkle, Donald Duck, Mopsy, Peanuts, Grin and Bear It, Off the Record, Double-Take, Just a Moment

Minneapolis Tribune January 1946: Blondie, Popeye, Smilin' Jack, Smitty, Candy, Mary Worth, Mandrake the Magician, Room and Board, Henry, Mopsy, Cuties (billed as Girligraphs in this paper)

Minneapolis Tribune March 1950: Henry, Smorgy (local strip), Steve Canyon, Mary Worth, Blondie, Rip Kirby, Scarlet O'Neil, Candy, Smilin' Jack, Roy Rogers, They'll Do It Every Time, Mopsy, The Man Who, The Neighbors, Bobby Sox.

Minneapolis Tribune March 1951: Henry, Smorgy (local strip), Steve Canyone, Mary Worth, Blondie, Rip Kirby, Scarlet O'Neil, Sandy Hill, Smilin' Jack, Mark Trail, The Neighbors, They'll Do It Every Time, Bobby Sox

Something notable about the Tribune and Star is that they printed most of their daily strips in 5 columns, not the newspaper norm at the time of 4 columns. That means all these great strips are bigger and clearer than you'd find them in other papers.

If you are interested in purchasing some or all of these bound volumes please contact me directly ( I am thinking that a price of $30 each per volume is a really good bargain (I often get that much for clipped volumes on eBay!), and I may sweeten the deal a bit further if you wanted all of them. You are, of course, responsible for shipping costs, which I can estimate for you if you send me your address. If you are in Florida, save the shipping by coming to pick them up, or if you are someplace I wouldn't mind spending the day, I might just be willing to deliver them for gas money.

PS: if you are interested in clipped volumes from the 1890s to 1970s, that still offer great headlines, ads, movies, celebrities, sports, etc, etc, etc, at bargain prices, let me know and I'll send you my next list. Some bound volumes available for as little as $5!

Hi Allan,

I contacted the Minneapolis (Hennepin County) library system in hopes they will contact you to buy the lot of these treasures for their collection. I sure hope they do... it is a shame to have such a collection get spread out all over the place. I sure hope they contact you (and if they get them, they treat them with a whole lot more respect than their predecessors)! Good luck with your sale, regardless... may they all find a good home. Hope all is well with you.
Nice of you, Steven, but you know it was libraries that pitched these out in the first place, right? In fact these were all once owned by the Minneapolis Public Library.

Libraries claim (oh so wrongly) that there is no use for them once they have been microfilmed.

Hi Allan---Next won't you list your unclipped volumes of THE N.Y.EVENING JOURNAL and the N.Y.GRAPHIC, please? That's all I ask.
I am interested in clipped volumes in bulk. Please email me at
Indeed you are right, Allan... I figured they would be buying back books their predecessors more than likely abandoned.

Clearly this was a betrayal of the public trust in libraries, so why trust them again? Good question. I guess I am probably wrongheadedly optimistic that librarians of today may be more enlightened about their treatment of old books of newspapers post-Nicholson Baker's excellent book Double Fold. Hopefully more care is being taken today in digitizing old books than was taken in microfilming them (I know Google has a machine that scans without destroying books, although I doubt it is built to handle giant tomes of old newsprint).

I put a plea in my message to the library that these were in need of preservation, and should be housed in special collections if acquired. I've no idea if such pleas would be heeded, of course.

I hope they found a good home to be preserved in... ideally one where they can be appreciated by the public.
Hi, I am a history teacher who collects newspapers to use in my classroom. I am interested in the following volumes of the Minneapolis Star if they are still available: 1/52 and 10/53. Also, 1-2/44 and 6/52 from the Minneapolis Tribune. Please let me know if they are still available. Thanks, Steve

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Jeff Keate

Robert Jefferson “Jeff” Keate was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 10, 1912. His full name and birthplace was found in British Columbia from the Earliest Times to the Present, Biographical Volume 3 (1914), which profiled his father. According to the book, his parents were William Lewis and Ethel Anderson and his older brother was William Lewis. Keate’s birth date is from his naturalization record at and the Social Security Death Index.

Editor & Publisher, August 19, 1950, said: “…Born in British Columbia, the cartoonist got encouragement from his father, who was in the lumber business but apparently had a suppressed desire to be a cartoonist. ‘It reached the point when I was a kid that whenever I drew on walls, instead of erasing the stuff, he’d buy frames to put around it.’ ”

In the 1930s Keate moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan (his father’s birthplace) to attend college. Next, he enrolled in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 1936. He was listed in the 1936 Grand Rapids City Directory: “Keate Robt J cartoonist r215 Paris av SE”. In the 1939 directory he had replaced Robert with Jeff.

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Keate was the writer on the strip Filbur McFudd, which was drawn by Leland S. McClelland. It debuted November 1, 1937. Keate was named twice along with several cartoonists in a 1938 or 1939 issue Judge magazine.

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census recorded Keate in Chicago, Illinois at 30 West Chicago Avenue. He was a cartoonist who had two years of college. On August 14, 1940, Keate became a naturalized citizen of the United States. During his time in Chicago he dated Phyllis Diller as reported in the Vancouver Sun, June 18, 1962:

She admitted she once was quite enamored of ex-Vancouver cartoonist Jeff Keate.

That was when he was writing gags, didn’t own a typewriter of his own and used to sit up all night using the machine in the office of the Lawson YMCA in Chicago, where he lived.

Another version was in Diller’s book, Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse (2006):

My next relationship was with a cartoonist called Jeff Keate, who specialized in sports cartoons on which he’d work all night long. When I’d arrive for the breakfast shift at the Lawson building at six in the morning, he would be in a nearby office mailing out his night’s Work. That’s how we got acquainted, and soon we began dating….

A short time later, when I returned from a visit to Lima, Jeff dropped me for a girl who he was probably screwing. We’d nevertheless remain lifelong friends, and he would end up marrying three times. The first wife reportedly met with his family’s approval, but thereafter it was downhill all the way, and his last marriage was to a butchlooking pianist whom I met while we were both performing on the Dutch cruise ship Prinsendam. She was about six foot one and had the face of a bulldog. I’ve still got letters from Jeff in which he wrote, “Oh, if I had only married you when I was young…” He realized what a big help I would have been, especially with my interest in comedy.

Keate sold cartoons to various periodicals. He was the writer on Dotty Dripple, which ran from June 26 to October 14, 1944. His career took off when he moved in 1945 to New York City. A 1946 Manhattan City Directory listed him at 321 East 43rd Street.

He was one of seven contributors to Today’s Laugh, which began September 1, 1947 with his art. In 1946 and 1947, the panel, Time Out, was drawn by Berger and Keate; they alternated days or weeks at a time. Keate took over from 1948 to 1984. He advertised for gags in the Writer’s Market 1975 and 1980:

Jeff Keate, 8 Maple Grove, Westport CT 06880. Cartoonist since 1936. Interested in general situation and timely gags, sports gags (all sports in season) for “Time Out” sports panel and “Today’s Laugh,” general situation panel. “Be Funny. No puns. No oldies. No old hat situations.” Has sold all of the major publications over the past 30 years. Currently doing syndicated newspaper cartoon panels for Publishers-Hall Syndicate and Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. Pays 25% commission. Bought close to 200 gags from freelancers last year. Holds unsold gags for “approximately 2 years unless gagwriter requests gag back sooner.” Returns rejected material immediately. Enclose SASE for return of submissions.

Jeff Keate, l322 Ensenada Dr., Orlando FL 32807. Cartoonist since 1936. Buys 193 gags/year; sold about 500 cartoons last year. Has sold all of the major publications over the past 30 years. Currently doing syndicated newspaper cartoon panels for Field Newspaper Syndicate. Pays 25% commission. Holds unsold gags for “approximately 2 years unless gagwriter requests gag back sooner.” Returns rejected material “immediately.” SASE. Needs: General situation and timely gags, sports gags (all sports in season), for “Time Out” sports panel. “Be funny. No puns. No oldies. No old hat situations.”

Best Cartoons of the Year 1958

Look magazine cartoon

Some of his comic book credits are here, and an interest in jazz is revealed here. A photograph of Ben Thompson, Keate, and Mort Walker at the 1965 Connecticut Cartoonists Gold Tournament is here.


At some point Keate moved to the high income environs of Connecticut. The 1954 Westport City Directory listed him and his wife, Margaret, at Chapel Hill Road. The date of their divorce is not known. The Connecticut Marriage Index at said Keate married Evangeline L. Boychuk in Westport on July 27, 1967. They divorced July 25, 1984 in Florida. His third divorce was also in Florida on July 22, 1993.

Public records at show that he resided in Florida, at various times, in Nokomis, Orlando and Venice. According to the Social Security Death Index, Keate passed away May 22, 1995. His last known residence was Nokomis.


There are a few mistakes in your profile of Jeff Keate. Specifically about the wives. His second wife, who was a pianist for Holland America Lines, was Vangi Keate, 5;10", mother, and was well known as a beauty. She was also friends with Phyllis Diller. They (Jeff and Mom) would have dinner with her whenever she was in town. I cannot imagine her referring to mom as "butch looking."
Thanks for your comment. The Diller quote about Jeff's wives came from her book, Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse. It was her recollection. The name of your mother, Evangeline, was taken from the records at subscribers can post comments/corrections about names in its database.
I have a photo of a cartoon by Jeff Keates depicting my father. He played baseball in the U.S. In the 1950s.

Can someone there provide me with an email address where I can send the photo? I would like to get more information about it. Thank you.
I meant Jeff Keate.
i just purchased around 400 of jeff's original artworks from a guy in florida who bought a lot of it at an estate is an amazing wealth of information about life during these times..i consider jeff to be a great american comic illustrator and writer and i feel blessed to have had the opportunity to gather so many of his works...and that he used to date phyllis diller just makes it even cooler!!!
He was our Neighbor and friend. Margaret was one of Moms best friends. John (son)was one of my brothers best friends and his daughter Joan was my babysitter
He was my uncle as he married my mom, Annamae Scott's sister, Margaret. I used to watch him create cartoons when we'd visit Westport back in the mid 60s. He'd allow my brother and I to sit in his studio as he created. I reconnected with him after the divorce when he moved to Florida in the 80s.
Michael J. Vassallo (Doc V) on his Facebook page, The New York Sunday News Comics History Group, recently discovered that the Country editions of the New York Sunday News in 1950-51 added 8 additional pages of comics not found in the Home edition (the one that was microfilmed way back then).
This included two new strips it seems found no where else, including a dog humor comic by Jeff Keate called Rufus.
-Ray Bottorff Jr
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Monday, September 09, 2013


Obscurity of the Day: Rufus

Finally off the list of mystery strips is Rufus by Jeff Keate. I have posted two Editor & Publisher articles claiming the existence of this strip on the blog (7/29/1950 and 8/19/1950), but only recently found a few examples.

Rufus was a filler added to the line-up of the New York Sunday News Sunday funnies section on September 17 1950. This strip, along with a new Sunday version of Salo Roth's Laughing Matter and a few properties that had previously been edged out of the section, formed the extra pages needed to move the section from 16 to 24 pages. If I understand E&P correctly, this expanded section was only included in the national edition of the Sunday News, not the New York City edition.

Although E&P indicated that Rufus was offered for syndication, this seems unlikely. News Syndicate didn't, as far as I know, attempt to syndicate any of the fillers that were added to the Sunday News line-up, and there were quite a few of them in the 1950s and 60s.

My samples of Rufus are all from November 1950, and this may be about as long as the rather flat dog strip ran. Does anyone have later samples?

 EDIT 10/18/20: With the aid of Michael J. Vassallo's NY Daily News collection, it appears that the running dates for Rufus were 9/17/1950 - 1/14/1951.


Michael J. Vassallo‎ (Doc V) found another appearance dated December 17, 1950...he posted on his New York Sunday News Comic History Group over on Facebook.
And two additionally more, January 7 and 14, 1951.
Thanks CArchivist and Doc V., I will update my records. Sure wish I could access Vassallo's Fasebook material, but for some reason I cannot.

The Billy Ireland Museum at OSU has 15 of Jeff Keate's original Rufus Sundays in their collection. These are dated from September 17 (1950?) through January 7, 1951. Several of the originals are missing the copyright indicia, but the intact ones are all dated from late 1950 to early 1951.
Allan, from Sept 17, 1950 to January/51, the NY Sunday news comics added a Part 2 comics section to outlets outside New York City. Several of those strips added below were already News Sunday strips that had been dropped or carried on and off for a while, like Harold Teen, Timmy and Aggie Mack.

From the July 29, 1950 issue of EDITOR & PUBLISHER:

"In a bid for more pre-date sales, the New York Sunday News will add eight extra comic pages Sept. 17 for circulation outside the metropolitan area, Executive Editor Richard W. Clarke disclosed. The move will provide a minimum of a 24-page comic section for the country edition."

"The additional pages will include four Chicago Tribune - New York News Syndicate strips: "Timmy," by Howard Sparber, "Aggie Mack" by Hal Rasmusson, "Texas Slim" by Ferd Johnson; and "Harold Teen" by Carl Ed. The News had dropped "Harold Teen" to make room for the "Hopalong Cassidy," Los Angeles Mirror Enterprises comic. Two pages are being drawn especially for the expanded section: "Laughing Matter" by Salo, who does the daily panel for the syndicate; and "Rufus," new dog page by Jeff Keate."

Doc V.
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Sunday, September 08, 2013


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Dear Allan
I've seen your blog has a high resolution scan of Mischievous Willie prototype 4/30/1899 that says courtesy Cole Johnson. Could you get me in touch with him. I'm working as a research assistant for Maastricht University p.t. and trying to clear copyrights for a volume on children's media history edited by Prof. Lies Wesseling.
Kind regards,
Dr. Helle S Jensen (
Sure, email me privately.
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