Saturday, July 04, 2015


Herriman Saturday

Wednesday, September 30 1908 -- There is a grand jury looking into Los Angeles Mayor Harper's questionable ethics. Chief prosecutor Woolwine and city attorney Hewitt, at the forefront of the push to dethrone Harper, are considering a petition to hold a recall election against the embattled mayor.


Comments: Post a Comment

Friday, July 03, 2015


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, December 4 1938
Courtesy of Cole Johnson


Comments: Post a Comment

Thursday, July 02, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Tecla A. Scheuring

Tecla A. Scheuring was born in Wisconsin around 1908 according to U.S. Federal Census records. In the 1910 census, Scheuring was the only child of Louis, an accountant, and Cecelia. They lived in Anna, Illinois on Miller Street.

The 1920 census recorded the Scheurings in De Pere, Wisconsin, on River Road. Scheuring’s father was a partner in Smith and Scheuring Audit Company. Also in the household was Scheuring’s paternal grandmother and a servant.

The 1929 Green Bay, Wisconsin city directory listed Scheuring as a bookkeeper at Northwest Office Supply Company and her residence in North DePere, Wisconsin.

According to the 1930 census, Scheuring lived at 428 St. James Place in Chicago, Illinois. She was an office manager for an aviation corporation and had a female roommate.

In the 1940 census, Scheuring, who used her maiden name, was divorced and had a two-year-old son, Michael, who was born in Illinois. They lived in Chicago at 7700-02 North Eastlake Terrace. Scheuring was a freelance feature writer for a newspaper syndicate. Her education included two years of college. According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), beginning in 1940, Scheuring was the writer on the comic strip Little Miss Muffet which was drawn by Fanny Y. Cory since September 2, 1935. Scheuring remained on the strip into 1946.

The Rockford Register-Republic (Illinois), July 12, 1951, reported the passing of 
Scheuring’s father.
Dies of Heart Attack
Chicago—(AP)—Louis Scheuring, 73, of Depere, Wis., a retired public accountant, died of a heart seizure today while visiting a daughter, Mrs. Tecla Elliot, 43, Chicago. Scheuring, a former partner in the firm of Scheuring and Jones, Green Bay, Wis., retired five years ago.
After this event, what became of Tecla Scheuring is not known.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Obscurity of the Day: America's History in Cut-Outs

Gonna kill two holidays with one stone today! Today, of course, is Canada Day, and three days hence is the U.S.'s Independence Day. Luckily I have an obscurity that is applicable to both. Well, sorta.

America's History in Cut-Outs ran in one of the McClure pre-print Sunday comic sections from June 20 to September 26 1909. The first two episodes, above, apply to the whole continent, so I figure I'm good to go.

Now I'm no expert in paper dolls. But maybe if there is a cut-out aficionado lurking out there, you can tell me if this is a particularly awful use of the form. As best I can tell, the kiddies are supposed to cut out the figures, and then (here it gets real exciting) place them in the approved positions, as dictated by the provided black and white outline drawing, on the background illustration.

Wow. I hope those rugrats aren't prone to over-excitement, because this amount of fun could well give them a brain hemorrhage or something. Is it my imagination, or is this about as much fun as a holiday weekend homework assignment to write a ten-page essay titled "What Freedom Means To Me"?

Not surprisingly the artist, who is quite good, decided to be anonymous on this series. Good call, my friend. No point in telling the kiddies who exactly to curse for wasting a space of a proper comic strip in the Sunday paper.

Happy Canada Day and 4th of July!


What other amusements did kids have back then besides marbles and throwing rocks at each other? I suspect this wasn't paper dolls, but diorama making
Your question "What other amusements did kids have back then" reminded me of a time in the 1980s when my father suddenly said (out of the blue), "You never see kids rolling barrel hoops anymore."--Doug
The maddening thing is how close these are to 3D dioramas -- all you need is flat bases on the figures and little tabs to fold back to they can stand in FRONT of the backgrounds, which IS fun (I loved my punchout books in the early 60s). They'd have to be pasted on cardboard or something, but wasn't that a given for paper dolls in the funnies and elsewhere?

Maybe there's a story in comic strip interactivity. Segar's Popeye Sunday pages had ingenious "movies"; and post-Segar strips had oddball creatures to cut out and fold into standing position. The Disney Silly Symphonies strip included phenakistoscope discs (yes, I looked up the proper name) for a stretch.

Usually it was something to cut out and collect. Dick Tracy had his Crimestopper's Textbook pages, and L'il Abner the semi-parody Advice fo' Chillen. I remember something with spaceships, but a quick look at Flash Gordon and my ancient Buck Rogers book (with two sample Sunday stretches) yielded nothing.

Play money and stamps, decorated with character faces, seemed to appear with several strips for a while. Popeye had both. Prince Valiant had "stamps" on the banner over the strip, sometimes featuring props and symbols. In time they became little portraits with no stamp border, the same handful of faces until the banner itself went away in the 40s. I know I've seen them elsewhere. A fad, a syndicate campaign, a random tradition cartoonists kept up? I can certainly see the appeal for depression kids.

Post a Comment

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Magazine Cover Comics: Social Problems

Here's another one of those great magazine cover series by Fish; we've covered quite a few of them, and there's more waiting in the wings. This one is titled Social Problems, and it ran from July 30 to August 27 1939. As always, delightful Art Deco drawings and wonderfully droll captions.

Labels: ,

Comments: Post a Comment

Monday, June 29, 2015


Obscurity of the Day: Hippy

Okay, so anyone like to take a wild guess about the date when Hippy was being offered to newspapers? No? Well, yeah, it is a tough one. After all, the iconic image of the dirty, stupid, stoned counterculturist has been in vogue many times. In the early part of the century they were Bohemians, then in the 1950s they were beatniks, in the 60s (the classique period) they were know as hippies, and in recent times they were the 99%ers or Occupiers.

Why is it that anyone concerned enough about the status quo to speak up about it is safely ignored by the establishment by simply branding them as having imperfect hygiene? I remember when Wall Street was occupied a few years ago, I got quite the dose of nostalgia when, seemingly within hours of the story breaking, every pundit in the media apparently read the same memo and started making fun of the Occupiers as being unbathed. It was like watching TV back in 1968, when every show thought it was comedy genius to dress someone up in a Flower Power shirt and sandals, and have them act as vacant-eyed and dim-brained as, oh, say, George W. Bush.

Oops. Sorry, thought for a moment this was my other blog, Okay, back on track.

As you actually probably did guess, George Gately's Hippy debuted sometime in 1967 (exact date unknown to me -- must've been the drugs, man). That was the Summer of Love year, of course. (You can see some pics of it here, in which even the barefoot hippies appear to be surprisingly hygienic.) Hippies were a national fascination, and Gately evidently decided that a comic dealing with a beautiful curvaceous flower child, along with hackneyed hippie gags that were already getting stale, might be a winner.

Gately was already syndicated by the Chicago Tribune-NY News Syndicate with his Hapless Harry strip, and they agreed to take Hippy on, as a daily-only panel. Hippy, however, did not sell well at all. My guess is that you had liberal editors who found the panel trite and stupid, and conservative editors who weren't about to turn their papers over to a feature about the hated hippies. Not sure which editors that leaves as the market for Hippy.

Even though Hippy didn't do at all well snagging clients, it was advertised in E&P until 1970, though I've never seen any actually printed that late. Luckily, Gately came up with a vastly more popular new comic in 1973 called Heathcliff.

Oh, one last thing. That bottom sample in which smoking bananas is mentioned stimulated some dim memories of people telling me that you could get high from smoking banana peels. The memories are unclear as we might well have been experimenting with other smoking options at the time. Anyway, I looked it up, and it turns out there was a rumor that banana skins could be smoked to get a buzz. Well, turns out it was just idle stoner talk. Here's the Straight Dope on smoking bananas.


The Straight Dope traces the "smoking bananas" rumor to a Berkley Barb article 1967. I always heard that it was sparked by the line "Electrical banana is gonna be a sudden craze" in Donovan's 1966 hit "Mellow Yellow" (although Donovan has since said that the reference was to a vibrator).--Doug
I also heard the Donovan reference, but as corroborating evidence after the rumor had caught on. "See, that's what Donovan was talking about back when he made 'Mellow Yellow.'"
I'm not sure it was the hippies that bothered the editors so much as the girl in scanty clothing in every panel. This seems like it was intended more for those naughty gag digests of the 60's than a newspaper strip.
Jeez, look at those flies circling very one of those filthy hippies!
Glad I was a freak, not a hippy.
As to that bottom panel: the reference to sniffing glue surprised me. I don't think it would pass muster on today's comics pages.
Also about that bottom panel: Look at that! Forty years ahead of its time - nose rings. Far-out, Man!
Post a Comment

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


How many times did Jim fall victim to the "I forgot my wallet" ploy? Never by me, I'm proud to say.


Craig Zablo
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]