Saturday, August 16, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Tuesday, August 11 1908 -- On primary day Herriman admonishes voters to think for themselves. Throw off the shackles and blinders and do what your conscience tells you, not what the local party boss does!

Next week's Herriman Saturday cartoon will answer the question if (at least in this case) the pen is mightier than the sword.

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Friday, August 15, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, February 28 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


Looking at this page I felt i was getting an insight into where Joe Kubert's style came from. particularly visible in the Doc's head in panel 3 and that great Connie figure in panel 8 at bottom left of the page. go in close and look at the inking.
Having just finished the cosmic accumulator story, I feel compelled to say, why, oh why didn't they go back in time a couple of weeks and just stop the mad Doctor from stealing it. They have a freaking time machine for chrissake.
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Thursday, August 14, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: G. Whiskers

Geoffrey "Fola" Foladori, a Uruguayan cartoonist, received worldwide syndication of his strip, G. Whiskers, through Press Alliance. While that syndicate may have been a selling gangbuster overseas for all I know, in the U.S. the features they handled are scarcely ever found.

Although G. Whiskers was advertised in Editor & Publisher  from 1940-58, the only samples of the strip thus far found in U.S. papers are from 1942-43 (collection of Cole Johnson). If anyone has see the strip appearing earlier or later in a U.S. newspaper, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Foladori's strip probably went by different names depending on the country. For instance, apparently in a French-Canadian paper the strip was titled Tibi.The strip was ideally suited for international distribution because it is a strict pantomime (which means that in addition to no dialog, there are also rarely labels on objects). An impressive achievement, to be sure.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples.


Great information!
Fola live his life in Uruguay and works most of his life in Argentina.
I put some links with his creation here.
Thanks for this post!
Allan, here's 2 current obscurities, both published in the Falls Church Press -

Nick Knack by N.F. Benton and Wombania by Peter Marinacci. They've been appearing for at least a year, but I think it's considerably longer. Also in the paper is Out on a Limb, Chuckle Bros. and Loose Parts.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Stanley Armstrong


Stanley Edward Armstrong was born in Muir, Michigan, on July 11, 1873 or 1879. His birthplace was found on two passport applications from 1915 and 1917. The 1915 application had 1872 as his birth year with this statement: “I am unable to procure birth certificate.” The 1873 birth year was on his 1917 application with a notarized document from his mother, Amanda. Below is an excerpt from the document:
That she is a naturalized citizen of the United States;  
That she is a resident of Compton, Los Angeles Co., California; 
That she is the adopted mother of Stanley E. Armstrong; 
That she knows of her personal knowledge that Stanley E. Armstrong was born at Muir, Ionia Co., State of Michigan, United States of America, on July 11– 1873, 
Mrs. Amanda Armstrong 

The California Death Index said Armstrong’s birth year was 1879.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census, recorded Lester H., his wife, Amanda D., and 14-year-old daughter, Margaret, in Ionia, Michigan.

Armstrong attended the State Normal School at Los Angeles. He was listed, as a Compton resident, in the 14th Annual Catalogue of the State Normal School at Los Angeles for the School Year Ending June 30, 1896.

According to the 1900 census, Amanda was a widow living alone in Westminster, California and had no living children. Meanwhile, Armstrong, who has not been found in the census, lived in San Francisco where he attended the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art; he was a student in the University of California Register 1900–1901Armstrong knew sculptor Arthur Putnam and even posed for him.

The 1901 Crocker-Langley Directory listed Armstrong as an artist at 523 Montgomery in San Francisco. The 1904 directory said he was an artist with the San Francisco Call and resided at 821 Green.

During 1902, Armstrong illustrated numerous stories in the periodical Overland Monthly. His art also appeared in Sunset magazine.

Overland Monthly 7/1902

Overland Monthly 9/1902

Overland Monthly 12/1902

As reported in the San Francisco Call, January 9, 1905, Armstrong married Rebecca M. von Bremen on January 8.

The 1910 census recorded Amanda in Compton, California, but Armstrong has not yet been found. An early venture into comics was his Jerry the Juggler for the Chicago Tribune; the strip ran from March 2 to August 10, 1913. American Newspaper Comics said Armstrong took over Slim Jim and the Force from January 18, 1914 to June 20, 1915. Alternating with George Frink and C.W. Kahles as Sterling, Armstrong did the strip on July 25, August 1 and 8, September 26 and October 3, 1915. Armstrong’s next run on the series was from October 17, 1915 to 1940.


When Armstrong applied for a passport in 1917, his notarized statement said in part:

…that he is the owner in fee simple of the south 20 hectares of Lot number Eighty situate on the Island of Palmito del Verde, Municipality of Escuinapa, District of Rosario, Sinaloa, Mexico; that it is his intention to proceed to said Island of Palmito del Verde within the next few weeks, for the purpose of engaging in agricultural pursuits on the said property…that affiant, in the expectation of proceeding to the said Island as aforesaid has sold his house and furniture situate in the Town of Mill Valley, County of Marin, State of California…
It is not known if he was granted a passport and traveled to the island.

The 1920 census recorded Armstrong and his wife, Rebecca, in San Anselmo, California on Crescent Road. He was a syndicate cartoonist who also did illustrations for Ace-High Magazine and The Danger Trail.

Armstrong was a newspaper cartoonist in the 1930 census. He and his wife lived in San Francisco at 1120 Buchanan. American Newspaper Comics said he did Yarns of Bos ’n Bill from June 27, 1930 to November 1, 1931, and signed it under the name, “Armi”. In the late 1930s, Armstrong worked on the Kelly Kids strip.

In the 1940 census, Armstrong was unemployed. His address was unchanged and highest grade of education was the eighth grade. Artists in California, 1786-1940 said “…later in life he was a security guard…”

According to the California Death Index, Armstrong passed away March 16, 1949, in San Francisco. An obituary has not been found.

—Alex Jay


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Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Jerry the Juggler

I tend to not give Stanley Armstrong much credit. He had the thankless task of continuing the great George Frink's Slim Jim and the Force, and there's just no one who can, in my mind, compare with Frink in the reality-rattling lunacy of that classic strip.

Before Armstrong took on that thankless task, one of his few published series was Jerry the Juggler. It was only recently that I got to take a serious look at this Armstrong effort, and I have to admit, Armstrong certainly seems to have written material that's a lot like Frink's even before he was contractually obligated to do so. These Jerry the Juggler strips are ridiculous, silly and utterly pointless, but Armstrong was evidently enjoying himself, and that really shines through. I guess I have to hand it to World Color Printing -- when they had to replace George Frink, they found the right fella.

Jerry the Juggler ran in the Chicago Tribune's Sunday funnies section from March 2 to August 10 1913.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for some of these samples!


Well you've got to give 'snaps' to Armstrong for having the marbles to take over a property that was rapidly becoming the Spinal Tap drummer of early Sunday pages.

What did you think of Ewers short stint on the strip
Do you know if those (alleged) meat sticks and the ol' car-jacker's helper were named after our comic fugitive or did the moniker 'slim jim' precede the strip?


IMHO Ewer's Slim Jim pretty much just tried to follow in Frink's mold. Although Ewer was one helluva cartoonist, I think he didn't really show off his own chops there as much as he maybe should have. In other words, he should have turned the amp up to 11, but he didn't.

Regarding Slim Jims (the heart attack inducing snack), that's a great question, one I have looked into periodically only to find that the history of that skinny sausage snack is rather foggy. One thing is certain -- no one puts the invention of the snack Slim Jim any earlier than the late 1920s, and it sure seems like the brand might not have actually become a real player until the late 40s. So probably nothing to do with our comical Slim Jim.

The Oxford English Dictionary offers as the first definition for "slim jim" as "a very slim or thin person," cited to Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889).

The OED also cites a 1916 use of "slim jim" to refer to a food, but not the contemporary meat product. James Joyce used the term in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and later explained it as referring to "a kind of sweet meat made of a soft marshmellow jelly which is coated first with pink sugar and then powdered ... with cocoanut chips. It is called ‘Slim Jim’ because it is sold in strips about a foot or a foot and a half in length and an inch in breadth."
For some reason (Good Old Days magazine, maybe?) Armstrong's Slim Jim was the first I had seen of the strip, and I have seen more by him than Frink and the others.
Not saying he was better than the others, but I was always happy with his work and enjoyed it.
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Monday, August 11, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Jack Welch

(The following profile is based, in part, on Walt Reed’s 2001 book, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, and biographical information, provided by Welch’s son-in-law, Bob, in the Today’s Inspiration post dated March 15, 2010.)

John William “Jack” Welch was born in Cleburne, Texas on April 16, 1905. His birth date is from the Social Security Death Index. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Welch was the last of six children; preceding him were Grace (21), Madie (20), Ivy (18), Albert (13) and Gordon (7). Their parents were Frank, a retail grocer, and Beulah. The family lived in Cleburne at 109 Warren.

Welch lived with his parents and brothers Albert and Gordon in Temple, Texas at 109 North First Street, as recorded in the 1920 census. In high school, Welch contributed cartoons to the yearbook. According to Reed, Welch took the correspondence course of the W. L. Evans School of Cartooning. Bob said: “Jack wanted to go to art school after high school, but the local minister told his family that being an artist was not a suitable profession so his parents sent Jack to SMU [Southern Methodist University]. He lasted a year there, but his desire to be an artist led him to leave home and leave school and head to Chicago where he changed his name to Roy Sim(m)s and began a career as a political cartoonist. At some point, Jack had a comic strip as well.” Reed said Welch “…worked for papers in Texas, California, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York.”

Welch has not yet been found in the 1930 census. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Welch’s What Price Vacation!, a series of color Sunday magazine covers, was published from June 29 to July 20, 1930. Around August 1937, his daily panel, On Our Block, was distributed by King Features, which ended it in early 1938.

According to the 1940 census, Welch was married to Frances and lived in Leonia, New Jersey, at 31 Brook Terrace; in 1935, he resided in New York City. Welch was a freelance illustrator who worked 52 weeks and earned $5,000 the previous year. Some time later, Welch married Iowa native Ida Coquella Pilling, a teacher in Leonia. Bob said, “…Ida met Jack’s two major criteria for a mate, she was brilliant and she was as short as Jack was tall. Jack always felt that he was too tall and didn’t want his children to have that burden….”

Reed said Welch did sketches and comprehensive drawings for advertising layouts. He went on to produce finished art for advertisers such as Keds, Jell-O, Pullman, Traveler’s Insurance, and Birds Eye. His work came to the attention of the Saturday Evening Post for which he did several covers.

Brooklyn Eagle 1/8/1951

A 1951 passenger list, at, recorded Welch’s address as 80 Madison Avenue, Valhalla, New York.

According to the Social Security Death Index, Welch passed away in August 1985. His last residence was in Valhalla. An obituary has not been found.

—Alex Jay


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Sunday, August 10, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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