Saturday, February 22, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Saturday, May 30 1908 -- The Los Angeles Women's Treble Clef Club underwrites a musical program featuring celebrity violinist, composer and conductor Leandro Campari. The world famous Campari had (sez Wiki) just last year moved to San Francisco, where he took on the directorship of the California Conservatory of Music. Only problem is that the institution is claimed in another Wiki article to have been founded in 1917. Oh well.


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Friday, February 21, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, September 6 1936, courtesy of Cole Johnson. Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


Not the Mongols. GOOD NIGHT!
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Thursday, February 20, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Courtney Dunkel

Edward Courtney Dunkel was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 21, 1902. His full name and birthplace was found in a family tree at The Social Security Death Index had his birth date. His parents were John and Sadie, both Pennsylvania natives.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Dunkel was the youngest of six children. His mother was a widow and head of the household. They resided in Baltimore at 1037 West Saratoga Street. A listing in the 1918 Baltimore city directory said Dunkel, a clerk, lived with his mother at 1728 East Chase Street.

According to the 1920 census, that address was Dunkel’s sister’s family. Sybil was married to John Dickel, who was head of the household, which included Dunkel, Dunkel’s mother and older brother John, a widower. Dunkel worked as a salesman in a grocery store.

Lambiek Comiclopedia and Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 both said Dunkel attended the “Maryland Institute of Arts.”

The 1923 Baltimore city directory listed Dunkel as a cartoonist residing at 63 Raspe Avenue. Three years later, Dunkel’s listing was, again, at 1728 East Chase Street. Also in 1926, this classified ad appeared in the June 19 issue of the Fourth Estate:

Cartoonist, young artist with five years experience in art departments on newspapers in the East desires new connections with paper in fair sized town. Will go anywhere as long as there is an opportunity to make a name for himself. Samples of work on request. Courtney Dunkel, care Baltimore News, Baltimore, Maryland.
Dunkel’s Radio Bugs was in the Editor & Publisher annual syndicate directory but it is unclear if it was ever published. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Dunkel produced the Fumble Family, a 1928 weekly strip syndicated by the Autocaster Service.

Clifton Springs Press (NY) 4/26/1928

His News Laffs had a one-month run in 1930. The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 4, Works of Art, Etc., 1932, New Series, Volume 27, Number 3, has an entry for Dunkel’s Jigsaw Puzzle Laughs, whose publishing history is unclear. Dunkel was one of the contributors to the collection of daily gag panels, Chirps and Chuckles, from the King Features Syndicate, published in the first half of 1937. In the Editor & Publisher, January 22, 1966, Dunkel said he was the colorist on the Hairbreadth Harry Sunday pages, but the exact dates are not known.

Dunkel has not been found in the 1930 census. The New York Sun, August 19, 1931, said Dunkel leased an apartment at 44 West Fifty-second Street. In the September 16, 1932 edition of the Sun, Dunkel’s lease was renewed. The New York Times, November 11, 1937, named Dunkel as a renter in The Wakefield.

The 1940 census recorded Dunkel, his wife, Catherine, and three-year-old daughter, Sara, in New Rochelle, New York at 46 Park Place. According to the family tree, Dunkel remarried to Alverta May Boyer on January 14, 1946.

Dunkel provided artwork for an advertising campaign according to Printers’ Ink, April 21, 1944:

Advertising campaign uses continuity comic strip 
Gag comics, running under the title Tru-Fit Ticklers, created so much interest for Tru-Fit Clothes, Baltimore, that the idea was expanded into a continuity strip. The agency responsible for the campaign, Leon S. Golnick and Associates, believes it is the first tri-weekly continuity strip devoted to advertising. 
The idea started with a panel of three pictures, the third invariably featuring the product and the box in which it was packed, and showing ludicrous and utterly impossible situations. From there it developed along the lines of non-advertising comics, which began with daily gag panels and then changed into continuity strips. It was Dr. Gallup’s discovery that comics were the first and most read feature of daily newspapers that led to their adoption for advertising purposes.
Now “Henry” and “Little Lulu” have pointed toward the use of pantomime and “Shipwreck Sam,” the creation of Courtney Dunkel for Tru-Fit, leads in becoming a pantomimic continuity strip.
“Shipwreck Sam” is believed by his creator to be unique in two particulars: He is a continuity advertising cartoon character and his various adventures are treated, and will continue to be viewed, from a nonsensical rather than a sober dramatic angle such as many newspaper comics seem to carry these days. 
It is planned to keep the humor in good taste and with a patriotic background when that can be done unostentatiously. Artist, agency and advertiser believe that “Shipwreck Sam” will fill a need and may start a trend.
Dunkel drew a pantomime strip, Hannah, which ran from late 1944 to 1947. The next two Dunkel strips were Too Funny for Words, which ran from 1950 into 1952, and Just a Moment, which ran about four years, from 1951 into 1955.The 1957 Press Intelligence Directory listed Dunkel on the staff of the York Dispatch in Pennsylvania. The date of his move to York is not known.

In his early 70s, Dunkel drew the daily connect-the-dots panel, Draw Your Own Conclusion, which ran from 1974 to 1979. The Working Press of the Nation, Volume 1 (1977) said Courtney Dunkel was an editorial cartoonist at the York Dispatch.

Some of Dunkel’s comic book credits can be viewed here and here. A 1973 press photograph of Dunkel is here. A journalist recalled his memories of Dunkel and the York Dispatch here.

The family tree said Dunkel passed away September 16, 1982, in York, Pennsylvania.

—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Too Funny for Words

I'm absolutely flabbergasted to find that in all these years I've never done a post featuring the work of the amazing and prolific Courtney Dunkel.

Actually, to call Dunkel's output merely 'prolific' seems to soft-peddle the term. This guy must have drawn cartoons 24 hours a day, awake and asleep, to achieve the output he had. What's just as amazing is how many venues you'll find running Dunkel's cartoons -- from the highest-end slick magazines to minor trade periodicals, from comic books to soft-porn mags, from the newspaper editorial page to the classified ads, from literary magazines to the crudest jokebooks. I get the feeling that Dunkel was a guy to whom it was a source of pride that no matter how bad the gag, he could always find some editor somewhere who'd pay him a buck for it.

And on top of that, the guy generally did produce excellent cartoons. He was no hack by any means. Though his art style is the soul of economy, it has lots of life and a distinct personality. You don't look at a Dunkel cartoon and easily confuse it with the work of another cartoonist. The masterly use of black areas to make the cartoon pop off the page are the first clue, and then you see those trademark big round eyes and you know you're looking at a Dunkel cartoon. 

Courtney Dunkel was active (and boy do I mean active) from the 1920s until the 1970s, mostly doing gag cartoons, but sometimes putting his efforts into a newspaper series. This one is Too Funny for Words, a pantomime feature that ran from June 12 1950 until sometime in 1952 (at least until July). It was syndicated by the Los Angeles-based Mirror Enterprises Syndicate. Leave it to Dunkel to choose one of the hardest genres to work in, the wordless cartoon, for a daily strip.


Clever. Very clean lines, but as you said so expressive, too.
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ray Evans

Raymond Oscar “Ray” Evans was born in Columbus, Ohio on December 1, 1887, according to his World War I and II draft cards. His full name was found at in the Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1962.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Evans was the oldest of four children born to Oscar, a ticket agent, and Mary. They resided in Columbus at 1047 Highland Street.

According to the Annual Report of the Board of Education of the City of Columbus for the School Year Ending August 31st, 1906, Evans attended North High School where he wrote the class song. Later that year he enrolled at Ohio State University. During his four years there, he was artist for the campus newspaper, The Lantern, The Sun Dial, the yearbook, Makio and other publications. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in June 1910.

Below are ten of 40 illustrations by Evans for the Makio 1910.

Evans married Helen Holter, class of 1913, October 11, 1911.

Evans was advertising artist with the Columbus Dispatch from March 22, 1911 to January 8, 1912. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (1967) said Evans cartooned, briefly in 1912, for the Dayton News (Ohio) then moved on to the Baltimore American (Maryland) for the next eight years.

Cartoons Magazine, June 1915, reported his forthcoming book.

Ray O. Evans, cartoonist of the Baltimore American, is publishing a de luxe edition of prominent Baltimoreans in caricature. Mr. Evans was once associated with Billy Ireland of the Columbus Dispatch in a similar enterprise, and it was with him that Evans received his cartoon training.
Evans’ book was titled Club Men of Maryland in Caricature.

National Cyclopaedia said Evans contributed to a number of magazines including Judge, Life and Puck. For Better Homes and Gardens he illustrated The Diary of a Plain Dirt Gardener. He served on the advisory staff of the Federal Board of Cartooning [Does anyone have information about this?].

Green Book Magazine 9/1916

On June 5, 1917 Evans signed his World War I draft card which had his address as 3406 Fairview Street in Baltimore. Regarding his occupation he wrote “political cartoonist, Baltimore American.” His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and hair. According to National Cyclopaedia, he produced propaganda material for the Red Cross and government during the war.

The 1920 census recorded him, his wife and two children, Ray Jr. and Dorothy, in Baltimore at 2215 12th Street. He was a cartoonist with the Baltimore American. On September 9, 1920, the Baltimore American reported his appointment at the Maryland Institute.

Ray O. Evans, cartoonist of The American, has been appointed instructor of the class in cartooning at the Maryland Institute to succeed McKee Barclay, who resigned. Mr. Evans is a graduate of Ohio State University, and was connected with the Columbus Dispatch and the Dayton News before becoming cartoonist for The American eight years ago. Mr. Evans employs modern methods of treatment and simplification of idea. His cartoons on national and international subjects have had wide circulation.
When Evans left the Baltimore American, he was on the staffs of the Baltimore News and the Baltimore Sun. The 1922 Baltimore City Directory listed him at 3308 Elgin Avenue, and employed at “The News”. Some time in 1922 he returned to Columbus, Ohio. The 1923 Columbus City Directory said he was a cartoonist on the Dispatch and resided at 91 West Lakeview Avenue.

When Dispatch cartoonist, Billy Ireland, went on his summer vacation, a number of cartoonists produced material in place of Ireland’s The Passing Show. Evans’ contribution was Filling the Gap. Evans also paid tribute to Billy Ireland with this drawing.

In the 1930 census, Evans remained in Columbus but at a different address, 137 Crestview Road. He was a newspaper cartoonist. His first daughter had passed away; the second daughter was named Patricia.

Columbus Dispatch, date not known
(found online from a scrapbook)

The 1938 Columbus City Directory listings said cartoonist Evans lived at 1176 Bryden Road. Following him was Ray Jr., an artist with the American Education Press, Inc., who resided at 42 Lexington Avenue.

Evans’ home in 1940 was in Upper Arlington, Ohio at 2615 Wexford Street. His occupation was “cartoonist / daily newspaper editorial cartoons”. On April 26, 1942, he signed his World War II draft card. His address was the same. The Dispatch Printing Company was his employer.

Evans passed away at home January 18, 1954. His death was reported by the Associated Press and published the following day in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Evans was buried at the Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus.

—Alex Jay


His son Ray Evans Jr was also an illustrator. Do you have any info on him? He illustrated First Fairy Tales published by Charles E Merrill Co.

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Monday, February 17, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Kit Kat Town

The craziest cartoonist of the 1900s, Eddie Eksergian, liked to do animal comics. Which makes sense because at this time he couldn't really draw a convincing human -- they looked like some sort of animals anyway, so why not just do animal strips and be done with it? Well, in Kit Kat Town he listened to the inner voice (at least one of the many) that said he should do a cat strip, and produced a delightfully wacky feature about a town populated by very human-acting kitties.

Solid data is sorely lacking, but we can say at least that Kit Kat Town first appeared on March 29 1903 in the St. Louis Star. What is less clear is whether the Sunday comics section was or wasn't produced by the World Color Printing shop, and it is unknown if Eks himself worked for WCP or directly for the Star.

In any case, the Star dumped the section contents after April 3 1904, Kit Kat Town included. The strip disappeared for awhile, but then began appearing in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, starting on December 25 1904. Eks was, I'm reasonably sure, now working directly for the Globe-Demo, no longer associated with a syndicate, and would stay there for many years; at least through most of the 1910s.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!


As a former St. Louis newspaper reporter for the Star/Globe's rival, the Post-Dispatch, this is an accurate and affectionate look at newsrooms. Thanks for posting.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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