Saturday, March 29, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Sunday, June 7 1908 -- Los Angeles baseball fans can't make up their minds whether to be happy or sad. Their Angels are on a greatly extended road trip, foolishly agreed to by their owner, and haven't been seen by the hometown crowds in a long while. On the other hand, the boys are tearing up every team they visit and now sit atop the standings. Herriman brings all these concepts into perfect focus with this Sunday sports page cartoon.


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Friday, March 28, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, October 11 1936, courtesy of Cole Johnson. Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


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Thursday, March 27, 2014


News of Yore: C.W. Saalburg Profile

Newspaper Illustrators—C.W. Saalburg.

(The Inland Printer, February 1894)
By F. Penn

Among the noted artists and newspaper men who have been subjects of sketches in our reviews, Charles W. Saalburg, of The Inter Ocean, holds a high place. As an artist he possesses true genius and his productions ever show originality in subject and careful, painstaking and finished work in execution. Few readers who take up The Inter Ocean and catch some story of the day by a glance at one of its color cartoons can realize how difficult and laborious it is to produce the picture in a form so complete that it attracts the eye, impresses the mind and without explanation has often a more impressive effect than a long written article dealing with the same subject would have. First the artist must get his idea, or originate his design; then he must sketch it, then make a finished drawing, which for the color process has to be duplicated several times, and even with the best artistic work results are not always perfect, inasmuch for daily newspaper work the process has to be quick and the paper used to print upon is not necessarily of the finest quality.

Improvement in the character of The Inter Ocean art work since Mr. Saalburg took charge of the color supplement has been marked and has had much to do with the accelerated popularity of the paper of late with the reading public. Saalburg’s facility for doing local or detail work, such as sketching faces and individuals and getting and presenting their characteristics in a striking manner as well as for scenes and events of importance caught on the wing, as it were, are unsurpassed by any artist of his years. But it is in cartoon work of a political and satirical nature as well as lampooning of fads, crankisms and vagaries that his best powers come into play. In this line of work he has already made his mark and is no longer regarded as one of the rising lights but a finished artist in an almost distinctively modern school, which preserves all the best features that made Cruikshank, Dore, Nast and Keppler marvels and celebrities in their day. Of a nervous temperament and modest, retiring and gentle disposition, this talented young artist is favored with many warm friends and admirers who enjoy his work, take pleasure in his success and are confident of his brilliant future.

Mr. Saalburg was born in San Francisco, and has but just passed his twenty-fifth year. Hi father is well known in business circles in the Golden Gate City, and as a side issue he has conducted the San Francisco Weekly Times since 1856. Young Saalburg early developed the artistic instinct, frequently getting into trouble for making caricatures on the public school blackboard of his teachers and most grave and reverend school officials. His ambition when he reached his sixteenth year was to become a color artist, and his parents, either to develop his talent in a practical manner or to discourage his ambitions entirely in the artistic line, had him apprenticed to a lithographer who immediately set him to work putting the color on maps. This, it must be confessed, was not an incentive to budding genius of his sort. He was faithful and did his work well, but never became satisfied with lithography, as it was too mechanical, and many of the stories turned out by him had funny cartoons about the edges, and when Christmas time came around his productions ran to representations of pudgy and kindly-looking old St. Nick, and pretty little girls carrying stockings which bulged out with a surfeit of treasures.

Tiring of this work he packed his grip and left the glorious climate of the slope, going to New York, where he entered the employ of Sackett, Willhelms & Betzig, the present printers of Judge, and there he had a period of valuable experience in colorwork. He was next employed with the firm of Julius Bieu & Co., where he had a thorough course of training in colorwork and lithographing. Being desirous of studying methods in various establishments and of gaining versatility by travel and observation he went to Springfield, Massachusetts; to Hartford, Connecticut; Boston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, and thence back home to the Pacific Coast, where, when in his twentieth year, he began to make the colored cartoons for the San Francisco Wasp. His work on this publication attracted national attention, and so popular was it locally that during the last presidential campaign he was engaged to do political cartoon work for the Examiner and his productions were largely copied by the eastern press and magazines. Becoming seized with the desire to see the World's Fair and to extend his knowledge of art work he, in company with W. W. Denslow, the talented sketch artist now employed by the Chicago Herald, started East by way of Vancouver and British Columbia, going as far north as Winnipeg, the two artists making sketches for future use of scenes and characters coming under their trained observation. Upon arrival in Chicago early last year the two companions opened a studio in the Evening Post building, and their orders for work immediately gave them plenty of hard work to do. Saalburg’s attention was struck by the colorwork done by The Inter Ocean multicolor press, which, by the way, is a peculiar one, being a marvel of rapid-working mechanism and which prints four colors at one impression, and while the speed required by a newspaper of large circulation makes it difficult to procure finished results Saalburg’s practical training led him to believe that there were great possibilities in The Inter Ocean process and that the result could be greatly improved upon. He called on Mr. H.H. Kohlsaat and was soon given full charge of the colored supplement of the paper. His cartoons have been marked features of the improved Inter Ocean under Mr. Kohlsaat’s management. Some examples of his work may well be called masterpieces—such as the “Vanishing City,” a full-page cartoon illustrative of the passing of the World’s Fair, for which there was an unprecedented demand and which exhausted several editions. Another catching cartoon was entitled “Before and After,” being a contrast between Father Knickerbocker and the “I Will” young woman typical of Chicago, and still another striking and popular piece of work was “Get Off the Earth,” a cartoon depicting a fat and frisky Chicago porker kicking the Tammany tiger off the face of the globe.

While fidelity to detail is a distinctive feature of Saalburg’s productions his best efforts also disclose marked and distinct originality—qualifications which are possessed only by work produced under the inspiration of true and inherent artistic instinct. As an experiment he is now attempting the production of half-tone work in colors by the chromatic process, and if the departure proves a success, considering the methods and materials employed, he will have added another triumph to his credit.

Saalburg’s work shows continuous improvement, and he is an indefatigable worker. Just at present his puzzle faces are creating a great furore among Inter Ocean readers.

Altogether, for so young an artist, the career of Mr. Saalburg has been brilliant, and his future promises to redound with success and honors.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Maxine

I've long been a fan of Marian Henley's cartooning, but I always considered her witty, smart and well-drawn strip Maxine to be purely an alt-weekly phenomenon -- therefore off limits as far as Stripper's Guide consideration is concerned. However, recently I stumbled across her strip appearing in a mid-1980s mainstream paper Sunday comics section (the Asbury Park Press), which means I get to heap some praise on it, and add it to my listings for the next edition of the book.

Maxine debuted in October 1981 in the Dallas Observer (one of those aforementioned alt-weeklies) and soon became a staple of the alternative press. The strip has a very decided feminist slant, but never that shrill, man-hating sort of stuff that turns off 50%+ of the population. Henley's protagonists are more in the girls-just-wanna-have-fun mold, and because they are they can get away with some pretty serious material  without seeming strident or mean. Of course, Maxine is no single-minded feminist tract, but it is written enthusiastically and unapologetically from a modern woman's viewpoint, and the content is mostly meant to relate and appeal to women. But because Henley is such a terrific writer, it is just as appealing whether or not you enjoy the use of an x-chromosome. In fact, we guys can feel privileged to get such an unfiltered behind-the-scenes look into the feminine mind as artfully decoded by Henley -- a lot of good inside information here.

Maxine apparently ended with the release of December 1 2002. However, the strip continued (or perhaps continues) to be distributed in reprints. Since the original run, the strip has been running under the title Laughing Gas.

There are two book collections of Maxine cartoons available, and I heartily recommend them both. Check out the creator's website, where you can read some free strips and then follow the links to Amazon to buy copies.


Thank you, Allan, for the mention. I do appreciate it.
from Marian
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Fish

Annie Harriet Fish was born in Bristol, England, on March 27, 1890, according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB). Her parents were Benjamin and Annie. On the American side of the Pond, Fish’s first name was Anne.

Who’s Who in Art, Volume 14 (1962), said Fish was educated at home and studied art with Charles M. Q. Orchardson and John Hassall, who also had a correspondence school. The ODNB said she studied “at the John Hassall School of Art (then called the New School of Art),” and under George Belcher. According to Who’s Who, Fish continued her training at the London School of Art and in Paris.

Fish’s career began as a book illustrator with Behind the Beyond: And Other Contributions to Human Knowledge, which was published in 1913 by John Lane, in London, and Dodd, Mead & Company, in New York.

An essay in High Society (1920) said in 1914 her drawings began appearing in Vanity Fair (New York) and the Tatler (London). The book itself was a compilation of her illustrations from the two magazines. The text was by Dorothy Parker, George S. Chappell and Frank Crowninshield. The photograph, top, is from the book. Another photograph of Fish, below, was published in the September 1919 issue of Vanity Fair.

Illustrations by Fish were featured in the John Lane books, The First Book of Eve (1916), The New Eve (1917) and The Third Eve Book (1919). She also illustrated book jackets for John Lane, and provided interior art for other publishers.

According to ODNB, Fish’s illustrations were published in the magazines Eve, London Calling, Printer’s Pie, The Patrician, Punch, Vanity Fair (plus over 130 covers), Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan.

ODNB said Fish married Walter William Sefton, a Belfast linen manufacturer, on March 12, 1918.

Passenger records at show Fish and Walter made three trips to America. The first was in 1920 to New York City where they stayed at the Belmont Hotel. According to the passenger list, she was an artist who stood six feet tall with brown hair and gray eyes. Walter was an inch shorter. The next two voyages, in 1925 and 1927, were to the port in Philadelphia. From there they went on to New York City, in 1925, staying at the Irving Hotel in Gramercy Park, and, in 1927, staying at “Sefton’s Ltd; 354 Fourth Avenue”.

Fish produced illustrations for the covers of the color sections of the American Weekly Sunday supplements. Social Advice from Aunty Climax ran in 1928. The Diary of a Lady’s Maid started August 17 and ended October 26, 1930. In 1931, Curious Kitty ran from June 28 to August 30. Next came Awful Week-ends beginning January 23 and finishing March 13, 1938; illustrations collected in the book, Awful Week-ends and Guest. Fish’s final newsprint contribution was Instantaneous Etiquette which had three runs: first in 1940, next in 1941, and then from October 11 to December 13, 1942.

ODNB said Fish “retired to St. Ives in Cornwall in the late 1940s and thereafter concentrated on painting, mostly landscapes and cats.” Her husband passed away in 1952. Fish passed away October 10, 1964, at St. Michael's Hospital, Hayle, Cornwall, England.


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Monday, March 24, 2014


Magazine Cover Comics: Instantaneous Etiquette

One of my favorite of the American Weekly cover cartoonists is Fish (Anne Harriet Sefton), so I've already covered two of her series, Awful Week-ends and The Diary of a Lady's Maid. Here's a third, called Instantaneous Etiquette. This one's unusual in that she teamed up with a writer, Arthur "Bugs" Baer. This is a great match, except that the two were on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Well, obviously they overcame that obstacle somehow.

The delightful series, which lampoons newspaper advice columns, was so good that American Weekly featured it in three separate series, each around 2-3 months in length. First series started July 21 1940 and ran at least through August, then in 1941 an uncertain start date and ending August 8, and the third from October 11 to December 13 1942.


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Sunday, March 23, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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