Saturday, September 26, 2015


Herriman Saturday

Thursday, October 15 1908 -- Mayor Harper isn't taking attorney Woolwine's charges of malfeasance lying down. A lawsuit has been entered, or at least threatened, against Woolwine, charging defamation of character.

Very interesting cartoon by Herriman, in which dueling slideshows vie for the viewers attention, in a movie theatre, I assume. A neat and original way to get the point across.


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Friday, September 25, 2015


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie -- February 26 1939
Courtesy of Cole Johnson


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Thursday, September 24, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Albert Bigelow Paine

Albert Bigelow Paine was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on July 10, 1861, according to passport applications filed in 1909, 1918, 1921 and 1923.

The 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Censuses recorded Paine in Xenia, Illinois. His parents were Samuel, a farmer, and Mercy. Paine had three older sisters and a younger brother.

The New York Times, April 10, 1937, said:

At 20 he went to St. Louis, learned photography, tramped with camera for three years through the South and then set himself up as a dealer in photographic supplies in Fort Scott, Kan. He kept this up for ten years, but wrote, too, and his first book, “Rhymes by Two Friends” (1893), was also the first book of William Allen White, for it was a collection of their verse.
A pleasant note from Richard Harding Davis, accepting a Paine story for Harper’s Weekly, decided him to turn author in earnest, and in 1895 he sold his photographic business and went to New York.
Paine’s verses were used in J.B. Lowitz’s Gazoozaland series for the month of November 1896 in the New York World.





According to the 1900 census, Paine was married and had two daughters, ages five and two. They resided in Queens, New York at 124 Delaware Street. Paine’s occupation was journalist.

In 1910 Paine was a biographer who lived in Redding, Connecticut on Georgetown Road. His first biography was Thomas Nast—His Period and His Pictures (1904). Paine’s Mark Twain: A Biography was published in 1912. He also wrote about actress Lillian Gish, Texas Ranger Captain Bill MacDonald, New York banker George F. Baker, and Joan of Arc.

Paine eventually returned to New York. The 1915 New York state census listed Paine, an author, in Manhattan at 200 West 74th Street.

In Paine’s second passport application, Bronxville, New York was his home in 1918. Europe was his home away from home.

Paine wrote novels, travel books, humor and verse. He produced material for adults and children, and was editor of many magazines. Paine was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Committee for several years.
The 1925 New York state census said Paine was in Bronxville at Alger Court on Pondfield Road. His address in 1930 was 62 Pondfield Road West.

Paine passed away April 9, 1937, in New Smyrna, Florida. His obituary in the New York Times was transcribed here. Paine was buried in Umpawaug Cemetery, Redding, Connecticut. 

—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: J.B. Lowitz

John Buckingham “Swifty” Lowitz was born in New York on August 1, 1873. Lowitz’s birth date was recorded on his World War I draft card, and his birthplace was found on census records and passenger lists.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census recorded Lowitz as the second of three sons born to “Denny”, a German merchant, and “Isabella”. The family resided in Plainfield, New Jersey, at 70 West Sixth Street. Gazoozaland has biographical information about Lowitz’s father here

Gazoozaland said: “…The Lowitz family spent the summer of 1889 in Paris and while there John Lowitz was hired by Thomas A. Edison to help introduce his new Edison phonograph to Europeans. John was multilingual and a very confident young man indeed.” However, the Daily Argus, (Mount Vernon, New York), February 18, 1941, said: “Due to his ability to speak French and German, Mr. [Robert] Lowitz when nineteen was asked to represent Thomas A. Edison at a Paris Exposition. Mr. Lowitz had charge of graph at the Exposition and played it in the Eiffel Tower before the royalty of Europe.” According to a passenger list at, the family returned to New York on June 28, 1890.

In the 1892 New York State Census, the Lowitz family lived in Brooklyn, New York. Lowitz was working in the oil industry. Gazoozaland said Lowitz married Louise Morris in 1894. Information regarding Lowitz’s art training has not been found.

Lowitz produced several strips for the New York World: The Cathode Ray (1896), The Never-Was People (1897), Gay Gazoozaland (1897), Captain Kidd Kids (1897), Barnyard Club (1898) and Bill, the Collector of Bills (1903). Swifty and His Wonderful Dreams debuted December 6, 1903 in the New York Herald. A photograph of Lowitz was published in Broadway Magazine, January 1899.

Lowitz Signature

Lowitz pursued work other than comics. The 1900 census said Lowitz was a clerk in the dry goods trade. Lowitz’s family included a four-year-old son at his residence in Orvil, New Jersey.

Lowitz also had his father’s talent for music. The New York Telegraph, October 2, 1904, published this item:

J. B. Lowitz. the artist who is responsible for the “Swifty” pictures in the Sunday illustrated supplements, has turned to song writing as a pastime. He has just written “My Little Java Lady" to the words of Ed Rose. F.A. Mills is publishing the song and the vaudeville artists are reaching for it.
The Sunday Telegraph, November 26, 1905, said: “Reports from St. Louis speak highly of May Irwin’s success with John B. Lowitz’s tuneful coon song, “Don’t Argify.’”

New York Clipper 4/21/1906

New York Clipper 12/29/1906

New York Clipper 3/16/1908

Gazoozaland has images of sheet music and many other songs by Lowitz; click the tab, Swifty Music.

In 1910, Lowitz was a stocks and bonds broker. His residence was in Manhattan, New York City.

On September 12, 1918, Lowitz signed his World War I draft card. His home address was 1131 President Street, Brooklyn, New York. Lowitz was a banking stockteller at Carlisle, Millick & Co., 43 Exchange Place, New York City. Lowitz was described as tall and slender with gray eyes and grayish hair.

A 1920 New York city directory listed him as a broker. Lowitz has not been found in the 1920, 1930 and 1940 censuses.

Gazoozaland said, “The Lowitz’s moved to Connecticut in the late 1920's and later created the well-known ‘Green Kettle Inn’ in Wapping, Ct, on the old Boston Post Road.” The couple spent their winters in Florida.

According to Lambiek Comiclopedia, Lowitz passed away February 13, 1941. No source was cited. It must be noted that Lowitz’s older brother, Robert, passed away in St. Petersburg, Florida on February 17, 1941, according to an obituary in the Daily Argus, February 18, 1941. Lowitz was not named as a survivor.

—Alex Jay


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Obscurity of the Day: Barnyard Club

Those with a truly elephantine memory will say that we've already covered Barnyard Club as an obscurity, way back in 2009. Not so, not so! There were two early features that went by that moniker, both running in the summer months of the very same year. This was the first of the Barnyard Clubs, beating Outcault's version to the papers by a mere two months. It was drawn by J.B. Lowitz for the New York World's Sunday comics section from May 15 to June 19 1898. Nothing too terribly interesting about either feature, both of which offered 'humorous' situations featuring farm animals. Both features were exceeding well-drawn, but otherwise unmemorable.

Before anyone asks, I'll admit that I do not know the identity of A.N.B., who drew the framing cartoons around the top sample.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans.


I believe the framing artist was A.N. Boyd whose partial name I've seen in New York World illustrations. Additional research found little information about Boyd except this obituary in The Abbeville Press and Banner (South Carolina), May 31, 1899: Death of A. N. Boyd.

Mr, L. [Larson] A. Boyd, master of trains for this division of the Seaboard Air Line, received a telegram last Monday afternoon [May 29] announcing the death of his only son, Mr. A. N. Boyd, who died in the city of New York about five o’clock p. m. The deceased was about twenty-five years of age and was an artist on the staff of the New York World and Journal, and was a young man of marked ability. Mr. Boyd, the grief stricken father, left on the first train after bearing the sad news for the home of his son. The deceased leaves a young wife, father and mother, with hosts of friends to mourn his early and untimely death. The people of this community tender to Mr. and Mrs. Boyd their sincere sympathy.
I've got an original of this cartoon nicely framed.
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Monday, September 21, 2015


Obscurity of the Day: The Hungry Five

Here's an early weekday strip from the playful pen of Roy W. Taylor that ran on the back page of the Chicago Daily News on occasion from January 3 to March 8 1902. The Hungry Five chronicles the rather repetitive misadventures of a German polka band that plays for handouts in the street. But keep in mind that a strip could get away with being repetitive in those days, as they ran so infrequently that readers forgot the gag in the meantime.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans.


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Sunday, September 20, 2015


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


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