Thursday, August 27, 2015
Obscurity of the Day: Ask Professor Noodle
On January 15 1923, the Public Ledger syndicate of Philadelphia came out with a new panel feature titled Ask Professor Noodle - All Questions Answered by Hy Steinlauf. This was Mr. Steinlauf's only syndicated feature as far as I know, and it sank without a trace after little more than half a year on August 18, and what a shame that was. Steinlauf had a delightful acerbic sense of humor, and his cartooning, though not Art by any means, was a perfect complement to his writing. To gauge how much I like the man's work, I say this even though Steinlauf has a tendency to write in verse, and you know how much I just love that! Steinlauf's work reminds me a bit of Rube Goldberg, though I don't mean that he copied his style at all. He didn't. They just had a similar kooky yet well-grounded sense of irony and the absurdities of life.
Whether the Ledger Syndicate's ineffective salesmanship was the feature's downfall, or newspaper editors just didn't share my high opinion, the fact is that Steinlauf's feature was an abject failure, and seems to be Steinlauf's only foray into syndication. What a shame. I hope that whatever else he put his hand to that it was also an outlet for his delightful sense of humor.