Tuesday, November 01, 2016


Obscurity of the Day: Caesar

Last Thursday you saw the Chicago Tribune's 1951 profile of William "Tim" Timym, whose comic strip they syndicated. Now here's his strip, Caesar.

As tumultuous as Timym's early life was, it is perhaps not surprising that his comic strip Caesar was quiet, simple and gentle. After surviving concentration camps, Tim must have been delighted to sit at his drawing board and come up with simple gags about a dog.

My knowledge of Caesar's origin outside the US is spotty. I understand that the strip debuted in London's Sunday Graphic around 1945.

In 1950, the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate got interested in the strip, and it debuted here as a daily on June 12. Although syndication to U.S. newspapers certainly didn't take off, my guess is that the syndication was doing well in international markets, because they soon added a Sunday strip, on February 4 1951. As a pretty strict pantomime strip (in addition to no speech balloons, even written signs were rarely used), it was excellent fodder for international syndication because practically no translations were necessary.

My guess about international syndication may be all wrong though. It is quite possible that the international distribution was retained by the Graphic. In that case, I'm not sure why the Trib-News Syndicate stuck by this strip. According to the E&P yearbooks, both daily and Sunday were offered until 1964, yet I've not seen a single example of the Sunday later than 1957, and the daily is a rarity at any time during the run.

Outside the U.S. I've not been able to find an end date for the strip other than vague mentions of 'the 1960s'. Anyone have more info?


Might we justifiably proclaim that "Caesar" is a name analogous to "Napolean," and that Timym's canine resembles Uncle Ellby's?

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