Saturday, March 14, 2015


Herriman Saturday

Friday, September 18 1908 -- I have no idea why Herriman has chosen to dress up the Angels in stylish ladies' hats. Funny enough, I guess, but why? Why!?


Something to do with this, perhaps?
Ah!!! Mystery solved. Thanks Glynis!

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Friday, March 13, 2015


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, August 14 1938, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.

This is the final sci-fi Connie story we have available from Cole Johnson. If anyone out there can contribute scans of another complete Connie story (later than 3/26/1939), or can offer another sci-fi strip to take its place on Sci-Fridays, I'd be delighted and grateful to hear from you! Note that we elitists at Stripper's Guide do not generally use digital microfilm material here on Stripper's Guide, so we would need sharp 300-600 dpi scans from newspaper tearsheets or syndicate proofs. 

Hmm. Did Frank Frazetta remember the final panel of this Connie Sunday from his childhood when painting "Neanderthals"? The shambling men, and the extreme shadows on the faces ...



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Thursday, March 12, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Harry J. Flemming

Harry J. Flemming was born in Buffalo, New York on November 17, 1886, according to his World War I and II draft cards at In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the second of three children born to Frederick and Rose. They lived in Buffalo, New York at 456 Glenwood. His father was a sign painter. The Buffalo Express (New York), June 4, 1907, reported the "Art School Commencement": "…Buffalo Art Students' League scholarships, representing four months free tuition in the school: …Men's life class, Urquhart Wilcox, instructor…honorable mention, Harry J. Fleming [sic]…." Academy Notes, Volume 4, Issue 12, 1909, published the article, "A Satisfactory Year in the Art School", which said, "…In the competitive examination for scholarships, given by the Art Students' League of New York—open to any student in the country—the Art School of Buffalo was awarded two scholarships on life work—one to Frank Minstermann and the other to Harry J. Flemming…."

The family remained in Buffalo, according to the 1910 census, at a different address, 385 Humboldt Parkway. Flemming was a lithographer in an engraving shop. The date of his move to New York City is not known. He signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. He lived at 458 West 145 Street in Manhattan, New York City. His occupation was artist. He had an office at 170 Fifth Avenue. His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and hair.

His address in the 1920 census was the same as his draft card. He was an artist and painter. The New York Times reported his marriage on June 26, 1921.
Announcement is made of the marriage of Harry J. Flemming, an artist and illustrator, and Miss Lurana F. Stein, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stein of Flatbush, at the bride's home on Wednesday [June 22] last. The couple are on a motor trip through this State and Canada.
Advertising Arts & Crafts (1926) had a listing for him: "Flemming, Harry J., 116 W. 39th, Wis 0925. Nat'l Adv. Ill., Figure, Heads, Poster." He drew the comic strip Craig Kennedy, which was written by its creator Arthur B. Reeve. The strip was signed "H.J. Flemming", and has been attributed to Homer Fleming, whose middle name was William. The strip began in the Dallas Morning News on July 26, 1926.

Dallas Morning News, 7/25/1926
Flemming mentioned in bottom third of ad.

Dallas Morning News, 7/26/1926

Flemming was divorced in the 1930 census. His residence was in Manhattan at 130 West 57th Street. He was a commercial artist.

The 1940 census recorded him at 200 East 16th Street in Manhattan, where he was a freelance artist. On April 25, 1942, he signed his World War II draft card. He lived at the same address and was self-employed. His description was five feet four inches, 133 pounds, with brown eyes and hair.

Flemming passed away in 1953. He was buried at the family plot in Buffalo, New York, according to Find a Grave.

—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Burne Hogarth

Burne Hogarth was born Spinoza Bernard Ginsburg in Chicago, Illinois on December 25, 1911, according to a profile at “…Burne Hogarth was my father’s brother, thus I am his niece. He was born Bernard Ginsburg in Chicago, Illinois, on December 25, 1911, though he spent most of his life living in Pleasantville, New York…” His full name was found at in a Tuley High School yearbook, The Log 1928.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, he was the youngest  of two sons born to Max and Pauline, both Russian emigrants. They lived in Chicago at 1252 North Campbell Avenue; an older sister, in the 1910 census, had moved out of the household. His father was a carpenter in a cabinet ship. At Rafael Alvarez posted his biography of Hogarth and said, "…Max kept those sketches and took them and his young son to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1924. Burne was accepted as a student at age 12. By age 15, he was an assistant cartoonist at Associated Editors’ Syndicate. He flourished at the Institute and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts….Burne graduated high school at the dawn of the Great Depression…."

Comics Scene, #5, September 1982, interviewed Hogarth; here are a few excerpts: 
Comics Scene: Give us a capsule history of your career and early background. You graduated from the Chicago Art Institute?
Burne Hogarth: No, I didn’t, as a matter of fact, I went to the Institute but it was only a kind of supplemental activity while I was really in the process of going to high school and at the same time doing art work.
I went to the Art Institute, started Saturday classes, at the age of 12 [1924]. My father thought that I had sufficient material to be able to enroll in classes like that and so he took down a bundle of stuff one day, on a Saturday, and said “Let’s go see what they will think about this.” And they accepted me—so that’s how my training began. Later I went to the Institute taking special courses, but I didn’t enroll in any formal classes. I couldn’t because we were not an affluent family and [the world] was headed into what was later to be known as the Great Depression.
CS: When did you know you had a talent for cartooning?
BH: Very early, when I was a kid, about four. My father would sit and design furniture and cabinets—he was a carpenter and cabinet maker—and I would ask for my own piece of paper and pencil. And when I would say, “What should I draw?” he would push a cartoon under my nose and say “Here, draw this.” So the cartoon became a kind of focus of attention.
CS: What happened after you left the Art Institute?
BH: I enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago. There I studied further drawing and then cartooning as another side of that. That’s when I met a cartoonist who was working for a syndicate and other people who were working for newspapers, and we used to get heavily into what syndication was all about…deadlines and magazines and doing samples and taking them around. I did gags and editorial cartoons, illustrations and that was all part of my portfolio.
I used to take this around and get some jobs in magazines and at the same time worked at odd jobs like driving a truck, selling newspapers and shoes—nothing was too high, too low, or too intermediate to do, because there was obviously an economic necessity.
One of the people I met at the Academy introduced me to one of the syndicates. I worked (for them) in his studio and I was his assistant. I was just an apprentice. I used to come in and sweep up. I learned lettering and I learned also there’s something about the craft of doing work on deadlines. And more than anything else I learned how to use pen, brush, different media and all sorts of things in a very professional way. Maybe two and a half, three years later I sold my first feature to Bonnet Brown. (Many sources called the studio “Barnet Brown” but there was no such company. The Bonnet-Brown Company was mentioned in The Economist, March 13, 1915; Certified List of Domestic and Foreign Corporations for the Year 1920; and The Miami Daily News, October 12, 1926.)
Hogarth was interviewed in the Comics Journal, #166, February 1994, and at age 15, he produced artwork for Associate Editors’ Syndicate’s panels The Sportiest Act I Ever Saw and Famous Churches of the World. He attended Tuley High School although it’s not clear when he graduated. Chicago Public Schools’ website (currently closed) said he was in the class of 1929. The Log 1929, which is available at Memory Lane’s section, does not list or mention Spinoza Bernard Ginsburg. He was the art editor of the 1928 yearbook but it has no picture of him. He signed his name “Hog III” or “Hogarth”; below are pages with his art and the yearbook staff credits.

Hogarth has not been found in the 1930 census. According to a family tree at, his father passed away in 1930. In the Comics Scene interview, Hogarth said he sold his first series to Bonnet-Brown, a commercial art studio, and it was called
Ivy Hemmanhaw. It was one panel, humorous gags about Americana. I was just 18 [1930]. It lasted about a year and then I went on to teach in the Emergency Educational Program, which came along about the time I was 20-21 [1932–1933], and I went to school, too. I went to Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and studied psychology, anatomy, sectional anatomy, and then things altered. The Depression got worse and under the urging of friends who had relocated to New York, I made my foray into the field in New York, into the syndicate field, very quickly—and that became the start of a whole new and different part of my life.

Around 1934, Hogarth moved to New York City. According to the 1940 census, he had lived there since 1935. In the Comics Journal interview, he said he visited, on a friend’s advice, King Features and found work. He met Lymon Young who offered him an assistant’s position on Tim Tyler’s Luck because his current assistant, Alex Raymond, was leaving. After two summer months of penciling in Greenwich, Connecticut, he quit and returned to New York. At the McNaught Syndicate he met Charles Driscoll who liked his work and considered him for an Albert Payson Terhune dog project. Hogarth got the job but soon was reassigned to Pieces of Eight, which was written by Driscoll. Hogarth recalled the research involved to produce accurate historical drawings, “…Well, I want to tell you, I started work in February. It was agonizing. I spent 11 hours every day, half the time in the library, and I’d be sitting up nights and working incessantly, and by the end of the week I’d be drained. I’d send this stuff off to the syndicate…I lived the life of a monk in that period….” In the fall, the syndicate decided to end the strip. Hogarth said, “…‘Thank God this thing is over! I’m through with it’. The pirate strip was the heaviest chore I ever carried. And I was glad it as over.” Two weeks of his Pieces of Eight can be viewed here and here.

In the winter of 1937 he visited United Features and learned that Hal Foster was leaving the Tarzan strip. Hogarth accepted the invitation to submit samples. Later he learned he got the assignment because the United Features general manger could not tell the difference between his and Foster’s work. His first Sunday page appeared May 9, 1937 and the last on November 25, 1945. A dispute with the syndicate led to Hogarth’s departure. After Tarzan, he produced the strip, Drago, for the Robert Hall Syndicate.

Russ Cochran’s Graphic Gallery #6

#633, 4/25/1943;
Russ Cochran’s Comic Art Auction #44

#665, 12/5/1945;
Russ Cochran’s Comic Art Auction #42

#666, 12/12/1945;
Russ Cochran’s Comic Art Auction #42

#859, 8/24/1947;
Russ Cochran’s Comic Art Auction #28

#911, 8/22/1948;
Russ Cochran’s Graphic Gallery #6

Russ Cochran’s Comic Art Auction #36

In 1940, Hogarth was married to Rhoda and, since 1935, lived at 26 West 74th Street in New York City. The Manhattan Telephone Directory 1942 had his home address at 66 West 88th Street. His business address was 2091 Broadway in the 1945 directory. In the Comics Journal #167, April 1994, when asked how the School of Visual Arts started, he said around 1945 war veterans began contacting him for cartooning advice. He would invite them to his apartment, on Saturdays, to give advice and do demonstrations. To accommodate the growing number of veterans, he looked around his neighborhood and found space at a private secondary school, which was a high school. There he met Silas Rhodes, an English teacher, who suggested that he open a school. Hogarth asked what was involved and Rhodes explained the procedures. Hogarth recalled that he rented a loft on 72nd Street and Broadway and called it the Academy of Newspaper Art. A search of that name produced nothing, however, a series of small advertisements for the Cartoonists & Illustrators Center appeared in October 1945 issues of the New York Post.

New York Post 10/10/1945

With One of the Leading
Cartoonists in the Field
Classes Start October 16th, Eves. & Saturdays
Write for Information NOW!
2091 Broadway, New York, 23, N.Y.

New York Post 10/19/1945

Learn Cartooning with
The demand for original cartoonists grows daily.
Comprehensive course in cartooning and illus-
trating. Special courses for advanced students.
BURNE HOGARTH (of Tarzan Fame, Dir.)
2091 Broadway at 72nd St.  TRafalgar 4-6616

 New York Post 10/26/1945

HOGARTH of “TARZAN” fame. New complete
intensive course for beginners and ad-
vanced students.
Cartoonist & Illustrators Center
2091 B’way (72nd St. N.Y.C.) TR 4-6616

When the Center outgrew the loft space, Hogarth found space at a secondary school that opened in the evenings. There he could easily add classrooms as needed. In 1946, nearly identical advertisements ran in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 10, and Arts Magazine, February 15.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2/10/1946

With A Leading Cartoonist
of “TARZAN” fame
Now is the time to get
into the cartooning field!
Learn the technique of
newspaper and magazine
panel gags — sport car-
toons — comic strips —
caricature advertising
comic illustrations.
(Mornings & Afternoons)
246 West 80  N.Y.C.  SC 4-3232

The Center was certified by the State Education Department, in 1947, and renamed the Cartoonists and Illustrators School. The New York Times, January 19, 1956, said the school opened August 20, 1947. The school was mentioned in the Post, November 10, 1947.
Classes are still forming at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, 112 W. 89th St., it was announced by Silas H. Rhodes, director. Nationally prominent cartoonists and illustrators, headed by Burne Hogarth, illustrator of “Tarzan,” comprise the faculty and lecturing staff.
During Hogarth’s absence, Ruben Moreira had been drawing the Tarzan Sunday page from December 2, 1945 to August 3, 1947. According to ERBzine, Hogarth returned to Tarzan for the next three years, from August 10, 1947 to August 20, 1950. And for about four months, he also worked on the Tarzan daily from September 1, 1947 to January 3, 1948. Miracle Jones was short-lived strip he produced in 1947, a very busy year.

At the Silver Lantern site, Sy Barry recalled visiting Hogarth’s apartment:
…When I got to meet Bernie Hogarth, I went up to his studio, which was in his apartment. My brother [Dan Barry] had an apartment like that later on.

You would go into the main area of the apartment and it was one step down into the living room area, but there was also a staircase at the end of the living room that went upstairs to the bedrooms, in an apartment house, believe it or not. I don’t know how they designed this thing, but it was really remarkable. So you’d go up the staircase and there’d be a landing there and that landing would take you into the bedrooms. Then in one of the upstairs bedrooms was his studio. It was this beautiful, brightly lit studio and it was on Central Park West.

It was a beautiful apartment and of course he was very wealthy. He’d written anatomy books and he taught and of course they paid him very handsomely on the Tarzan daily. Trust me, he was very well paid, especially for those Sunday strips. He was a brilliant guy….

Hogarth and Rhodes were accused of being Communists, as reported January 19, 1956, in the Long Island Star Journal (below), the Milwaukee Sentinel (Wisconsin), and other papers. Both men invoked the Fifth Amendment. Later that year, the Cartoonists and Illustrators School was renamed the School of Visual Arts.

Suburbia Today, June 12, 1983, profiled Hogarth’s second wife, Connie, and said:
…By the mid-1950s she had met artist Burne Hogarth, famous as the man who drew the Tarzan comic strip. They soon married and had two children….

...In 1962, the Hogarths moved from their Queens apartment in search of more space for the boys and a studio for Burne. In Mount Pleasant [New York], they found a fortress of a house, resembling something out of Charles Addams….

...Her personal life has also become a testing ground. She and Burne were divorced last year....

The University of Chicago Magazine, October 2006, published the following sequence of events:
...In 1953 she married cartoonist Burne Hogarth, who drew the Tarzan comic strip (1937–50) and founded the art school that became New York’s School for the Visual Arts [sic]. Soon after son Richard was born in 1956 and son Ross in 1959, the Hogarths moved to suburban Westchester County, which had a reputation for good public schools. (She and Burne divorced in 1981, and nine years ago she married Art Kamell, a longtime activist and former labor lawyer.)

The Dispatch (Lexington, North Carolina), November 9, 1963, published Hogarth’s article, “Our American Art Heritage.” In 1970 he retired from the School of Visual Arts due to differences with Rhodes. He continued to teach at Parsons School of Design. In this decade he returned to Tarzan by producing two books, Tarzan of the Apes (1972) and Jungle Tales of Tarzan (1976). His first book, Dynamic Anatomy, was published in 1958. Following it were Drawing the Human Head (1965), Dynamic Figure Drawing (1970), Drawing Dynamic Hands (1977), Dynamic Light and Shade (1981), Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery (1988), and The Arcane Eye of Hogarth (1992).

In the early 1980s he settled in Los Angeles, California, where he continued teaching at the Otis School and Art Center College of Design. After attending the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France, Hogarth suffered a heart-attack in Paris and passed away January 28, 1996.


I took Burne's evening drawing course at Otis/Parsons in 1985 and socialized with him a bit. Burne still loved coffee-shop intellectualizing, and had some peculiar ideas: Jackson Pollock's paintings were depicting atomic structure, and the word "Christmas" could be traced etymologically to a time before Christ.

Nevertheless, he was delightful and his drawing demos were a occasions of jaw-dropping wonder. When he sat down to correct one of my drawings, he couldn't stop himself and worked for fifteen minutes. So I have what I consider a Hogarth original.

I met my wife Elizabeth in that class, too. She was another student.

Years later Archie Goodwin told me Burne exhorted a gathering of comics professionals who were discussing forming a guild or union that they should en masse join the Communist party. The suggestion landed with a wet thud on the floor.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Fred Neher

Photo courtesy of Mike Lynch

Fred W. Neher was born in Nappanee, Indiana, on September 29, 1903, according to Indiana’s Laughmakers (1990) and Who’s Who in American Art (1980).

The 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Censuses recorded Neher, his parents and two older brothers in Nappanee at 301 North Main Street. His father was a tailor in 1910 then a grocery salesman in 1920.

In More Amazing Tales from Indiana (2003), Fred D. Cavinder wrote: 

Fred Neher’s first cartoon appeared in 1920 in the magazine Judge, two years before he was graduated from Nappanee High School. He already had gotten $2 for a drawing he made at the age of 12 of a woman hanging up clothes. He took a correspondence course in cartooning while in high school, and after graduation he went to the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. For a while he did backgrounds and penciled in the dialogue in cartoons in a strip [Doo Dads] drawn by Arch Dale.
The Doo Dads entry in American Newspaper Comics (2012) said: “Fred Neher says he assisted on the feature in the mid-1920s.” Emboldened, Neher continued Feg Murray’s McDuffer from August 25, 1924 to April 2, 1927. A year later, Neher started Otto Watt which ran from August 31, 1925 into 1927; it was continued by other artists. December 27, 1925 was the start date of his Goofey Movies, which ended in October 1930.

Elmira Star-Gazette (NY) 1/22/1927

The Daily Star (Queens, NY) 2/13/128

In the 1930 census, Neher was married and resided in Cleveland, Ohio on East 101 Street. The Daily Camera (Boulder, Colorado), September 25, 2001, said he married Frances A. Rutledge on September 7, 1929, in Chicago.

In 1934 Neher started Life’s Like That which ran for 43 years. American Newspaper Comics said it had many alternate titles: Bubbles
, Hi-TeensMrs. Pip’s Diary, Sis; Some Punkins, The Colonel, Us Moderns, Will-Yum and Zeke.

International Who’s Who in Art and Antiques (1976) said Neher’s cartoons appeared in magazines including Colliers, the New Yorker, Punch, Everybody's Weekly, Life, Judge and College Humor.

Neher’s home in 1940 was on Greenwalde Drive in Kings Point, North Hempstead Township, Nassau County, New York. The cartoonist had two sons, Fred and James. At some point the family moved to Norwalk, Connecticut. The city directories for 1946 to 1948, and 1951 listed Neher at Silver Mine Avenue North. The Daily Camera said he moved to Colorado in 1951. Neher’s listing in the 1953 Boulder, Colorado directory said: “Neher Fred W (Frances R) cartoonist h end 19th”.

Who’s Who said Neher taught cartooning, beginning in 1964, at the University of Colorado in Boulder. A 1965 photograph of Neher with Dik Brown, Mort Walker and Bob Bowie is here.

In 1987 his wife, Frances, died. Neher passed away September 22, 2001, in Boulder. Obituaries were published in the Daily Camera on September 23, and 25.

—Alex Jay


Those were not alternate titles for Life's Like That. Rather, they were titles for recurring themes or characters within the feature, as seen in the sample panels in the Wikipedia entry for Life's Like That. At least, in the Sunday pages.
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Monday, March 09, 2015


Obscurity of the Day: Otto Watt

We've discussed radio page features here on quite a few occasions, and Otto Watt is another from that genre. In the 1920s, the new technological marvel of radio was a fascination for practically everyone. Imagine having entertainment piped right into your home 24 hours a day, without even so much as a wire (well, except for that electrical cord)! It is hard today to even imagine the impact that radio had on American homes in that exciting decade. Before the US became a nation of television couch potatoes, radio already had our behinds firmly attached to the couch, and spreading.

Otto Watt was among the more successful of the daily radio page features for one overriding reason: it packed its entertainment into a very small footprint. As a longish single-column cartoon, newspapers didn't feel their precious space being pinched too much, and certainly the ever-growing sea of type listing the radio programs needed that bit of graphic interest. Comic strips and two- to three-column panel cartoons were just too much space to lose on a daily basis, and so long after most of the other radio panels and strips had gone off the air, Otto Watt persevered.

The panel debuted on August 31 1925 to a smallish but good client list of newspapers. It was distributed by Associated Editors, a minor syndicate which specialized mostly in panels, and did best with specialized features for various sections of the newspaper, like Otto Watt. The feature was written by Barrie Payne, who also supplied gags for a golf panel for the same syndicate. Although primarily a writer, apparently he could draw as well, as he did a comic strip later under his byline alone.

The art was by Fred Neher, who also supplied art on Barrie Payne's golf panel. Neher would later on prosper off of a rather generic panel gag feature called Life's Like That, which for some reason found its way into a large client list of papers.

Neher was a perfect choice for this tall thin panel because his art, while not particularly exciting, was very clear and uncluttered. Perfect to get a gag across without a lot of fuss.

The minor success of Otto Watt was evidently not quite enough to keep the creators happy. On September 26 1927, Neher's art was replaced by that of Nick Nichols, who had come on board with the syndicate to start a new weekly strip, The Adventures of Peter Pen. Soon Barrie Payne left, and as of November 10 Nichols was taking sole credit. Nichols gave Otto Watt a great burst of energy. The cartoonist liked continuities, and somehow managed to shoehorn them into the tiny space afforded by Otto Watt.

Late in the decade, Nichols may have been feeling he might be on a sinking ship as other radio features bit the dust, and he decided to take a powder after two years. On April 1 1929 the panel was handed over to a fellow named Paul Sell. I know nothing about this cartoonist's background, but he brought the same sort of energy to the panel as Nichols. Perhaps the two kindred spirits found that they liked the cut of each others jib, because only a few months later, Nick Nichols returned as the writer of the feature.

Nick Nichols' writing byline was added on July 1 1929, and he brought back the continuities that he so enjoyed writing. However, the problem of a shrinking subscriber list seemed to continue, and it certainly wasn't helped by the first blasts of the Great Depression later that year. As the new decade of the 30s began, I notice that the Associated Editors syndicate stamps disappear from Otto Watt. While no other syndicate takes credit, I have heard that Nick Nichols did run his own syndicate.I wonder if he took over syndication of this panel when Associated Editors no longer considered the panel worthy of their distribution?

Nichols and Sell added a new feature to their cartoons in 1930, a small additional panel at the bottom of each installment titled Snappy Endings. Ideas were solicited, and credit was given, to reader submitted gags. While this did nothing to resurrect the client list, it did result in one interesting entry, seen below from unfortunately blurry microfilm:

It's hard to make out, but the reader submission in the February 15 1930 edition is from a fellow by the name of Berne (not yet having settled on 'Burne') Hogarth. The young Hogarth, eventually a cartooning giant, was 19 years old and, according to some accounts, working at Associated Editors at this time, so it's not too surprising that he'd supply a gag.

Otto Watt appears to have finally fizzled out on August 2 1930, or at least that's as far as I can track it. That makes it one of the longest running radio-related cartoons, certainly worthy of some note in the scheme of things.


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Sunday, March 08, 2015


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics are back! Yea!

What did they call sleet before they called it sleet?
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