Saturday, January 11, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Thursday, May 21 1908 -- Herriman's last cartoon about the California Democratic convention fails to take up the cause of local boy gone bad Frank Goings (see comments in prior posts)-- in fact he seems to view the L.A. delegates as buffoons. History would agree with him.


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Friday, January 10, 2014


Sci-Friday Starring ...

 ... Connie!

Yes, starting next Friday, our new Sci-Friday feature will be Frank Godwin's Connie! We will be printing her 1936-37 sci-fi adventure wherein a time machine sends her one thousand years into the future, where she finds amazing technology, space travel, bug-eyed monsters and danger around every turn.

I'm thrilled to be able to run this rare Connie sequence, and offer a whopping big THANK YOU to Cole Johnson, who provided these scans from his collection.

One caveat is that Cole is lacking tearsheets for some dates, and we are obliged to use images copied from microfilm. If anyone can supply good high resolution scans of 8/2/36, 8/9/36, 8/16/36, 8/30/36, 9/13/36 or 11/29/36 tearsheets we would be very thankful.

Also, most of Cole's 1936 tearsheets are mono-color. Frankly I think that allows Godwin's art to shine all the brighter for not being buried under a lot of color, but if you have full color 1936 color tearsheets, and volunteer to provide scans, we'd be delighted to run them, and of course we will be delighted to give you full credit.



I think Dr.Chrono said it best for all of us "!" Thanks guys-- TGIF-- Thank Godwin it's Friday!!!!
Very exciting. Thanks so much to you & Cole! I have two color fulls (August 23 and September 20, 1936) but I've never had the opportunity to read the whole sequence! I don't have a large enough scanner to share images, but I can tell you, they are beautiful in full color! I'll definitely be following your Friday posts.
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Thursday, January 09, 2014


Stripper's Guide Bookshelf: The Modest Renaissance Man

Backing into Forward

by Jules Feiffer
Doubleday 2010, 445 pages, $30
ISBN 978-0-385-53158-0

I have to admit that Feiffer's memoir sat on my 'to be read' shelf for a long while. Two reasons -- first, the book is rather lengthy, and second, I didn't know that Feiffer's story would hold my interest.

Because Feiffer's cartoons primarily appeared in the Village Voice, my only encounters with him came through reprint books. Although very much impressed with his poignant strips that dredge all the dark places of the human psyche, I found reading the books to make his cartoons seem quite repetitive ("oh great, another dancer..."). I know had I seen the cartoons at the real-time schedule of once per week I would have been a huge fan. But I didn't have access in that mode, and I've never been one to strictly mete out the reading of a book. 

So though in theory I know Feiffer is one hell of a cartoonist (and many other things -- screenwriter, novelist, playwright, etc.) I felt a bit standoffish towards reading his biography.

Once I finally jumped in, it seemed almost as if Feiffer knew that I would be his audience. The early chapters, covering his childhood, are uproariously funny and heart-rendingly touching, where most memoirs have us wondering when the author will jump ahead to the meat. Feiffer makes his readers fall in love with him right from the start, no matter what baggage you carried into the book. From there we go onto his teenage years, and becoming a cartoonist. Here he is self-effacing, droll, instructive, and, of course, talks about my favorite subject. The love deepens.

From there we go on to his rich middle and later years, in which he was politically active and started branching off into his other careers. Now that he had me in the palm of his hand, he feeds me the stuff I thought I didn't care about. What's it like to rewrite a play over and over in Boston? I didn't think I cared. But Feiffer had me. Heck, he even had me talking about his kids and Martha's Vineyard and all sorts of other stuff that should have had me start riffling pages.

Buy it. Even if you're not a huge Feiffer fan, you might well be by the time you finish the book.


Have you ever read his plays? He is unjustly forgotten as a playwrite. His Little Murders could be staged today.
I read one of his novels (Ackroyd) and wasn't crazy about it; but I might have been too young -- think I read it in my early teens. Unfortunately haven't seen his plays.

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Robert Carter

New York Tribune 11/13/1911

Robert Day Carter was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 2, 1875, according to the Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index at His parents were Consider B. Carter and Emma Marsh.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, he was the youngest of five sons. His father was a contractor and builder. They lived in Chicago at 314 West Jackson Street. information regarding his art training has not been found.

The New York Times, March 1, 1918, said he began his newspaper career with the Chicago Inter Ocean. The 1897 Chicago City Directory listed Carter as an artist who resided at 2347 Michigan Avenue.

Newspaper artist Carter moved to New York City in the late 1890s. In the 1900 census, his birth was recorded as February 1875. He had married Hilda, around 1898, who emigrated from Austria in 1896. They had a son, Robert D., who was born in New York, February 1899. Carter’s father lived with them at 95 Hart Street in Brooklyn.

Carter produced three strips in 1903: Coffee and Sinkers, Just Little Ones, and Montgomery and Professor Gassem.

In the 1910 census, Carter had remarried to Lilian who was born in California. The family included a nine-year-old daughter, Mary. They lived at 566 Greene Avenue in Brooklyn, six blocks south of their previous residence. Carter was a newspaper artist.

Carter was the subject of a tribute in The Outlook, August 23, 1916. The article was reprinted in Cartoons Magazine, November 1916.

A Complaint Concerning Mr. Robert Carter
The editors of The Outlook have a decided grudge against Mr. Robert Carter, of the New York “Evening Sun.” It is a grudge founded on the inescapable fact that he adds considerably to our editorial labors. 
Once a week it is our task to choose from the work of newspaper artists a group of cartoons typifying the development of public opinion throughout the country. Clippings from all over the United States are piled upon our library table, and a large and empty waste-basket placed conveniently at hand. Then the work of selection begins. Cartoons with good ideas badly executed, cartoons with poor ideas respectably executed, and cartoons which in both thought and craftsmanship are deserving of summary execution rapidly pass the way of all flesh. When the basket is filled to overflowing, upon the table there remains perhaps a scant dozen of cartoons from which a final choice must be made.
And this is where the intrusive Mr. Carter generally breaks in upon our editorial calm. It has happened more than once that when the chaff has been taken away the bulk of the remaining wheat is found to be inscribed with the name of Mr. Robert Carter. In righteous indignation we ask Mr. Carter, How can conscientious editors provide a variety of cartoons for their readers when one cartoonist insists upon monopolizing most of the good drawings?
We insistently wish to call Mr. Carter's offense to the attention of the Inter-State Commerce Commission, or any other public service body with the power and the will to act against the activities of this apparently unrepentant monopolist.
Even if we cannot forgive Mr. Carter his annoyingly .frequent successes, we are broad-minded enough to express openly our debt to him for what is, perhaps, his best contribution to the record of American cartoon history.
We like, without qualification, his presentation of Uncle Sam. Mr. Carter’s Uncle Sam is not a pen-and-ink abstraction. He is the visible embodiment of an ideal. Lincolnian in stature and countenance, austere of thought and speech, courageous of heart and mind, strong enough to be tender, wise enough both to dream and to act, Mr. Carter’s image of our national spirit looms like a mountain-peak among the conventional visualizations of the American nation. The Uncle Sam of Mr. Carter’s creation is a citizen of the world, with world-wide sympathy and understanding. Yet in the transition which he has undergone from the rustic Brother Jonathan of half a century ago he has not lost the true tang of Americanism, the shrewd humor born of the open spaces of an undeveloped continent, nor the vision and the outlook of the eternal pioneer. We want more of Mr. Carter’s Uncle Sam, not only in the pages of the “Evening Sun,” but in the halls of congress and in the executive chambers of our government.
Several of Carter’s cartoons for the New York Evening Sun are here, here, here, here, and here.

The Green Book Magazine 9/1916

Some time in 1917, Carter moved to Philadelphia and drew for the Philadelphia Press. Three of his cartoons for the Press are here.

Carter passed away on February 28, 1918. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported his death the following day:

Robert Carter, a well-known Philadelphia cartoonist, died suddenly early yesterday morning at the Samaritan Hospital. He was 44 years old and is survived by two children, Robert, 19 years old, and Mary, 17 years old, and a brother in Chicago. Mr. Carter was cartoonist for the Philadelphia Press, in which his last cartoon appeared yesterday. It had been drawn the day before, when he appeared to be as well as usual except for a slight headache. At 10:30 P.M. he was taken suddenly ill and later removed to the hospital. He died at 3 A.M. yesterday. Mr. Carter began newspaper cartooning in Chicago, from which city he went to New York, working on two papers there. He joined the staff of the Philadelphia Press about a year ago, and done much to promote the Liberty Loan drives.
The New York Times said he had been employed by papers in New York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.

—Alex Jay 


If I were a betting man, the symptoms and sudden death might indicate a stroke, however, the mentioning he suddenly took ill, leads me to speculate that it was the infamous Spanish Influenza that killed him (which was starting at that time, and had the tendency to kill quickly the who would normally be the healthiest members of the population (16-50).
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Tuesday, January 07, 2014


Mystery Strips of E&P Special Edition

Following is a list of newspaper features, all discussed in the pages of Editor & Publisher in the period 1997-2009, for which I can find no direct proof that they ran in any newspaper. The idea of the mystery strip posts here on Stripper's Guide is that if you see something you recognize, and you can supply proof that it ran in a newspaper, you receive not only my undying gratitude (value: priceless) but also a goodie box of comic strip-related stuff -- tearsheets, books, memorabilia, maybe even some original art (value: sky's the limit!). Due to time constraints I have not attempted to contact the creators referenced.

An important reminder for those who don't have great reading comprehension skills: this list is of features that possibly, even likely, never ran in a newspaper. Please please PLEASE don't write on your website or article or book that Allan Holtz claims thus-and-such was a real feature that ran somewhere. I'm doing the OPPOSITE. Capisce?

All these items were culled from E&P news stories on the issues dated as indicated:

4/12/1997 -- Oliver Gaspirtz is offering a weekly panel titled Police Blotter. The panels originally started being produced as a series for law enforcement publications.

5/3/1997 -- Jay Schiller and Greg Cravens offer a self-syndicated panel cartoon titled Juxtapose.

7/12/1997 -- Casey Shaw's comic Roswell appears on the web, but also is claimed to be in the Roswell Daily Record.

8/30/1997 -- A weekly Slanted Lens 'photocomic' is offered to newspapers. The website for the feature has long since morphed into a general photography site.

9/6/1997 -- Freelance cartoonist Ross Bunch introduces a self-syndicated strip, Sweat Sox. The strip about a minor league baseball team was customizable -- they would play actual teams in the client newspaper's area.

9/13/1997 -- Sirg's Comic Corner by Richard Sirgiovanni is being self-syndicated. The creator claimed that the feature was already running in "a number of community weeklies."

12/20/1997 -- New England Features Syndicate announces the availability of three comic strips -- Cotton Candy, Rugby, and Prince Lightning, all apparently produced by syndicate president Chester Buckley. According to this site Cotton Candy apparently did run in the Portland Press-Herald.

1/17/1998 -- Jerry Buckley, artist for Express Newspapers of Bucks County Pennsylvania and Mail newspapers of Burlington County New Jersey, is self-syndicating a weekly panel titled Wendel.

5/8/1999 -- The Washington Post Writers Group unveiled 12:01 by Thomas Boldt. WPWG seems to generally have a golden touch with features, but this one apparently disappeared without a trace.

5/22/1999 -- New syndicate Paradigm-TSA announces their strips. I know that ran, but has anyone seen Warp Wilson by Mel Casson and William F. Brown, Patent Nonsense by Roy Doty, or Greenhouse Effect by Jeff Barfoot?

6/19/1999, 10/8/2001 -- R.A. Sirgiovanni offers Urban Philosphy, to be available in either English or Spanish. Seems to be an article about the feature at this location but I can't get it to load.

7/17/1999 -- Peter Ramirez is trying to interest syndicates in his strip Raising Hector with little luck. I know he eventually self-syndicated to newspapers, but does anyone know when that began?

5/8/2000 -- Che Rippinger self-syndicates a panel titled Touche. Based on the website it seems like the feature was produced daily from 1999-2001. According to the promotional info, it may have been in the Denver Post. Anyone see it there or elsewhere?

5/8/2000 -- Bill Costello's Bizzy's Home Biz is being offered, self-syndicated via BBS (how many of you whippersnappers even know what that is!).

7/24/2000 -- Australian star cartoonist Jim Russell produced a series of 26 cartoons about the Olympics -- titled Olympic Circles -- for worldwide distribution. Did any US newspapers run them?

11/6/2000 -- Apparently Long Island's Newsday was running a three-times-a-week comic strip called Chip Tracer on their 'Student Briefing Page'. The educational stories were then periodically collected into comic books published by the Newseum. I find quite a few mentions of this comic around the web, but nothing that indicates running dates in Newsday.

12/18/2000 -- Yesterday's News by Bill Rielly is being offered in self-syndication.

12/18/2000 -- Gus Cooks by Ralph and Darrah Baden is being self-syndicated.

1/22/2001 -- Everybody's Business by Matt Tolbert and Ken Roberts celebrates their tenth anniversary in newspapers. But which newspapers? According to Matt Tolbert's website the feature ran in over 200 papers. So how have I managed to miss it?

3/12/2001 -- Looks like Sea Urchins by Jason Whitley and Scott Eckelart did indeed appear in the Myrtle Beach Sun News, as evidenced here, probably starting 2/26/01. But how long did it run, and does that reprint book in the image really exist? I can't find a copy online. [The creators contacted me and have now provided ample evidence of the strip running -- see new posts about Sea Urchins on this blog -- Allan]

6/30/2001 -- Russ Miller's Oddly Enough panels are signed up by startup syndicator At Large Features. Checking syndicate directories, the feature made the rounds of several minor syndicates starting in 1998. Oddly enough, the panel was collected in a comic book that, for some unknown reason, is advertised on various websites for over $100. Dunno why it would command such prices.[Russell Miller writes to tell me that his sales through these syndicates seem to have been mostly or all overseas; also, the feature was not a cartoon panel, but rather an illustrated column. He has no idea why the comic book is offered at such stratospheric prices -- thank you Russell!]

8/6/2001 -- Mike Black is self-syndicating a panel titled Dark Humor. Only evidence I can find of it is an apparently ghost-drawn sample.

11/5/2001 -- At Large Features announces a new comic strip, Way Out West, by Robert Snyder and John Whelan.

11/19/2001 -- Another At Large Feature offering, Hair of the Dawg by Quinn Williams. The creator got his moment on TV, and Google seems to find him on several social networks, which I can't access. Did the strip ever succeed in finding newspaper clients?

11/26/2001 -- Richard Harris Jr., who apparently did a cartoon called CheapSeats for Newsday, evidenced by a reprint book, announces a new comic strip titled What the Black. Any evidence of either feature running in newspapers available? I ordered the CheapSeats book, just seems to be sports cartoons, not really getting a series vibe.

3/11/2002 -- Robert Berardi and Pedro Hernandez Jr. are offering a new comic strip, No Rodeo, to newspapers. Later developments were found on the web: this 2005 newspaper article makes no mention of it appearing in newspapers, and this newsgroup discussion from 2004 says the strip has been signed by Creators Syndicate to a 15-year (!?!?!) development deal after another development deal with United Media fell through.

3/18/2002 -- A Universal Press Syndicate advertisement offers True North by Kevin Frank as one of their "new stars." The creator calls it the saga of an American moving to Canada. Despite my Canadan pride, I can easily imagine the idea falling flat with U.S. newspaper editors. Did it run anywhere in the U.S.? [Danny Sichel contacted the creator, who says "[True North] WAS picked up by 2 US border papers, Seattle Post Intelligencer, and Detroit Free Press (...) But [they] didn't actually print it." He notified all his friends in those cities, and they bought the paper on the day that he expected the strip to begin appearing... and they all called him to say "your strip isn't here?" - he was very disappointed.]

5/20/2002 -- Everyday People is being offered for syndication by creator Cathy Thorne. The creator's website indicates that the weekly panel appears/appeared in two U.S. newspapers -- the Ventura County Star and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Anyone seen it?

9/23/2002 -- Signe Wilkinson signs up with Washington Post Writers Group to distribute thrice weekly political comic strip Shrubbery. Supposedly began on 9/17/2002 in Wilkinson's home paper, the Philadelphia Daily News. One website shows strips as late as July 2003. Can anyone verify its regular appearance anywhere?

July 2004 -- an advertisement for Brain Squirts, created and syndicated by Frank Cummings, appears. I found a few samples online.

January 2005 -- an article about M.E. Russell's comic strip CulturePulp, which apparently ran every other Friday in the A&E section of the Portland Oregonian starting April 2004. The creator has an extensive website, but I can't get a handle on whether the strip actually ran in the newspaper or more often just on the paper's website. It also seems to have slowly ground to a halt, but the strips aren't dated so I can't tell when that might have happened.

March 2006 -- John Kovalic is a fount of mystery strips in this article. He is offering his comic book series and online comic strip, Dork Tower, to newspapers. Did it ever get picked up? He's also developing a newspaper comic strip titled Newbies with Liz Rathke. How about that one? And for that matter, what about The Wild Life, which he says was syndicated in the 1980s by Chronicle Features.


Kovalic's Wild Life supposedly ran in the Wisconsin State Journal during the time Kovalic was an editorial cartoonist there (circa mid/late 1990s).
I have way too many dates for Raising Hector by Peter Ramirez. There's the 2006 date when it got on with TribMedia. Then I have it starting on January 3, 2000 - running in the Rocky Mountain News as a self-syndicated strip. But I also have it starting circa December 1995 as a self-syndicated strip titled "Raising Hec" (no paper associated with that date).
A conversation at the time said that Thomas Boldt's 12:01 was running in the Boston Globe, and ran as a summer replacement for the Non Sequitur reruns of 1999 in the CinCinnati Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It was also claimed that Boldt called it quits (bolted) early in the run due to personal reasons.
Hi DD --
Thanks very much for throwing some good punches at this list.

I will put Rocky Mountain News on my research list to check for Raising Hector. After several re-readings of the articles about Ramirez, I think he's saying that the earlier incarnations were online or maybe magazines or something. But I could be misunderstanding...

I did see a newsgroup note about 12:01 running as a temporary replacement in the Cincinnati Post. I'm still not absolutely decided on whether such trial appearances, which are typically a freebie from the syndicate, should be considered a 'real' appearance. It's tough. But I'll put the Boston Globe on my list to check.

Thanks, Allan
I was able to get the article about Sirgiovanni's "Urban Philosophy" to load -- strip off everything in the URL after the letters "pdf" and it should work.,%20V.%2045,%20n.%2023.pdf

The article appears on page 8 of the link and claims that "Urban Philosophy and Faboo [its main character] have been featured on ABC's Eyewitness News and have appeared in The Newark Star Ledger, The Daily News and in various community newspapers.
Mike Russell here. Yes, CulturePulp did in fact appear in print in The Oregonian's A&E section on occasion from 2004-12. I'll email you more details in a sec.
"And for that matter, what about The Wild Life, which he says was syndicated in the 1980s by Chronicle Features."

Found and confirmed D.D.'s note. I find the strip in the Wisconsin State Journal in 1990 and how it is mentioned frequently in the newspaper over that decade, it was appearing there into the 1980s.

Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wisconsin), Friday, June 15, 1990, p.8D:

This July 2, 1999 article states the strip ended the previous year, 1998, p.11A:

my best
-Ray Bottorff Jr

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Monday, January 06, 2014


Mystery Strips of E&P Special Edition -- Preamble and Free Offer

In the ongoing attempt to chip away at the edges of my collection, attention has fallen upon the extensive collection of Editor & Publisher magazines in the archives.

I'm having misgivings about the prospect of getting rid of all the bound volumes, of which there are a hundred or so, but I decided that the loose issues that represent my subscription to the magazine from 1997-2009 are going to have to face the chopping block.

I subscribed to E&P to be in on industry news as it happened. My primary interest, of course, was in the syndicate section of each issue, which almost invariably featured a good article about a cartoonist, plus stories of new strips and panels being offered, syndicate changes, awards and so on. However, once I started receiving the magazine I found that the rest of its contents were pretty darn interesting too. Sure
there's dry stuff about comings and goings at the nation's newspapers, but there were also a lot of very interesting articles about how major stories were covered, discussions about trends in newspaper journalism and so on. Of course in those years there were some really interesting developments like the internet, 9-11, the Iraq war, the botched 2000 election -- all of which were covered extensively, and from a unique perspective, by E&P.

I stuck with E&P pretty much to the bitter end, even after their syndicate coverage suffered greatly by canning editor Dave Astor around 2008. Then the print edition became so expensive that I could no longer sign the annual check without breaking into a cold sweat and I had to give it up like a bad habit.

The Big Offer

But now those 1997-2009 issues have got to go. If any Stripper's Guide reader is interested in being the new owner of this collection, I'm asking only that you pay the cost of postage. If no fellow researcher here wants to give the collection a good home, it'll go up on eBay.

I don't imagine I should expect a real torrent of requests, but just to be on the safe side, let's set the rules. If you contact me and say you want the magazines, include your mailing address. I will then figure out the postage to get the collection to you (Media Mail, cheapest way I can find), ask you if that's okay, and send you a Paypal invoice, which you pay. First person to complete that process is who gets it. No whining if you're slow on the draw please.

[[ Alert: the magazines have been spoken for ]]


 Before letting these magazines go, I made one final pass through them, looking for articles about features I've never seen. Tomorrow's post will be a list of those mystery strips I've found, along with my usual begging that if you know anything about them, or joy of joys, have proof that they ran in some paper, to please contact me.


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Sunday, January 05, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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