Saturday, May 21, 2016
Thursday, November 19 1908 -- Featherweights Abie "The Little Hebrew" Attell and Freddie "The Welsh Wizard" Welsh will meet for a fight next week at Jim Jeffries' Arena. Though Attell was the world featherweight champion at this time, for reasons I don't get this was not to be a title fight. Herriman provides a pair of very nice portraits of the soon-to-be battlers.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, May 20, 2016
A History of Newspaper Syndicates by Elmo Scott Watson -- Foreword & Chapter 1
FOREWORDThis study of the newspaper syndicate was begun in 1922 at the suggestion of Dr. Frank W. Scott,
then director of the courses in journalism at the University of Illinois, while the author was doing graduate work there. Through the cooperation of Wright A. Patterson, editor-in-chief of Western Newspaper Union, a preliminary study was published the following year under the title of "A History of Auxiliary Newspaper Service in the United States."
In 1933, when the author continued his graduate work in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern university, the late H. F. Harrington, director of the Medill school, suggested an expansion of the preliminary study into a history of all syndicates as a subject for a thesis required for the degree of master of science in journalism. Through the cooperation of H. H. Fish and Herbert H. Fish, Jr., president and vice president, respectively, of Western Newspaper Union, who made available to the author the manuscript records and account books of the early syndicates, as well as aiding in the collection of other material, this thesis was revised and published as a supplement to The Publishers' Auxiliary on November 16, 1935. Further revision and the addition of other material since the publication of the supplement has resulted in the present work.
CHAPTER 1 -- THE IDEA GERMINATES 1841-1861The newspaper syndicate was a child of war. Conceived during an era of peace, its growth was started by an exigency which arose at the outbreak of the American Civil war. Like its parent, American journalism, it originated on the Atlantic seaboard, but this parallelism between the two ends with their beginnings.
Whereas American journalism remained rooted primarily in the East and required more than a century to reach a high state of development, the syndicate was transplanted early in its career to the rich soil of the Middle West and there grew into robust manhood in less than half that time. Seven men, more than any others, were directly responsible for its development and they were all Easterners who migrated at an early age to the Mississippi Valley.1 In so far as six of the seven did their pioneering in this branch of journalism in Wisconsin, that state has a better right than any other to call itself "the birthplace of the American newspaper syndicate."
By an interesting coincidence, the man who first syndicated newspaper material later became one of the founders of the first American press association formed to gather and distribute news. He was Moses Y. Beach, owner and publisher of the New York Sun.2
In December, 1841, Beach arranged to have a special messenger from Washington bring to New York a copy of President John Tyler's annual message to congress. Thereupon he printed extra editions of one sheet containing it and sold them to a score of papers in the surrounding territory.3 He used the same type for the body of these editions, changing only the titlehead so that it would be appropriate for the other papers. Their publishers were thus enabled to give their readers the whole text of the message without the delay and expense of setting it in type themselves. There is no evidence, however, that Beach's experiments with syndicating went beyond this one example so his part in the development of the idea was relatively insignificant.
Four years later a series of events in New England resulted in another syndicating experiment but in this case it was the venture of a young man who was destined to become an important figure in the business. He was Andrew Jackson Aikens, a native of Barnard, Vt. Aikens was graduated from high school in 1845 and immediately began a four-year apprenticeship on the Spirit of the Age, a Democratic weekly published at Woodstock, Vt., by Charles Carriage Eastman.4 Aikens continued his work there when Edgar Allen Kimball became editor and owner of the Age the following year.5 Kimball followed Eastman's policy of conducting the paper as an independent Democratic organ and also began issuing the Coon Hunter, a small quarto campaign paper printed from type used in the Age.
In 1846, Volney B. Palmer, America's first advertising agent, bought space in a large number of New England weeklies for the "Boston Business Directory," a compilation of names and addresses of Boston merchants. By this time young Aikens had been promoted to the advertising case and it was his job to set the Directory in type.
As he did so, he realized that some other printer was doing the same thing in virtually every weekly shop in New England. He had seen Kimball make up the Coon Hunter from the dead pages of the Age and he wondered why a similar plan could not be used on the Directory. If it could, one set of type and one press would do the work of many. A short time later Douglas Jerrold's story, "The Feather," was printed in many newspapers in the northeastern states and again young Aikens speculated on the possibility of avoiding the duplication of time and labor in preparing such material for newspaper readers. But he had no chance at that time to attempt a solution of the problem.
On April 9, 1847, Kimball was appointed captain of a company of Vermont volunteers for service in the Mexican war. When he marched away at the head of his Green Mountain Boys, his youthful apprentice was left in charge of the Age.
Then President Polk's annual message to congress was released to newspapers throughout the country and Aikens had the opportunity to test out his theory. He wrote to a Boston daily which already had the message in type and ordered several hundred impressions of it made on one side of sheets which equaled in size two pages of the Woodstock weekly. He filled the blank side with local news, editorials and advertisements. Then he folded the paper with the two pages containing the President's message inside and issued this four-page paper as the regular number of the Age.
Perhaps Aikens found that these printed sheets cost too much to be used regularly. Or there may have been some other reason why he did not continue to order them from the Boston daily. At any rate, he does not seem to have followed up his experiment either while he was editor pro tem of the Age or later when he became editor of weeklies at Bennington, Vt., and North Adams, Mass. His name does not appear again in the history of the syndicate service until nearly 20 years later and by that time others had given a stronger impetus to its development than either Aikens or Beach.
Meanwhile New York City had seen another example of syndicated service. Again the name of Beach was connected with it for Moses S. Beach and Alfred Ely Beach had succeeded their father, Moses Y. Beach, as publishers of the New York Sun in 1848.
In 1851 Hagadorn Brothers, publishers of the Staten Islander, a small weekly, began buying printed "insides" from the Beaches.6 In order to make these "insides" from the New York Sun available for their use, the Hagadorns changed the name of their paper to the Staten Island Sun and continued this arrangement for some time.
Ten years later the development of the syndicate idea shifted from New York City westward. In 1855 Ansel Nash Kellogg, a native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Columbia college, went to the frontier state of Wisconsin.7 There he entered a country printing office in Portage "to finish his education," as he expressed it.
Later he became editor of the Baraboo (Wis.) Republic, which he was publishing at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. When President Lincoln issued his first call for volunteers, Joseph I. Weirich, journeyman printer and Kellogg's first assistant on the Republic, enlisted in a Wisconsin regiment. Early in July, Kellogg found that he would be unable to issue a full-sized newspaper on the regular day of publication without the assistance of Weirich.
At that time David Atwood and Horace E. Rublee were publishers of the daily Wisconsin State Journal at Madison.8 From them Kellogg ordered half-sheet supplements printed on both sides with war news to fold inside his own half-sheets. While mailing out this edition, it occurred to Kellogg that the awkwardness of handling a paper consisting of two separate pieces could be removed if he purchased full sheets, printed on one side, instead of half-sheets printed on both sides. Accordingly, he ordered his next supply of paper in that form and on July 10, 1861, the Baraboo Republic appeared as a four-page paper with two printed pages from Atwood and Rublee and two pages printed by Kellogg.
Soon afterwards the publishers of four other Wisconsin weeklies who had been faced with the same exigency as Kellogg and learned how he met it, decided to follow his lead.9 So they began ordering printed sheets made up of news and miscellany which had already appeared in the State Journal but which, because of its general nature, was interesting to readers of their papers as well.
Almost at the beginning of the Madison publishers' service they introduced an element which was to play an important part in syndicate development. This was the insertion of advertising in the printed sheets. The first of these, a prospectus for the Journal, appeared in the service which Kellogg used in the July 17 issue of the Republic. On August 21 his paper carried the first legal notice, advertising a sale of "forfeited lands." On November 27 the Republic and the other weeklies supplied by Atwood and Rublee carried the advertisement of T. D. Plumb of Madison who offered law blanks for sale. Thereafter the insertion of advertising in their printed sheets became a regular practice.
A newspaper syndicate, in fact if not in name, was in operation by the end of 1861. Kellogg had been responsible for it and the patronage of the other four Wisconsin publishers made it possible to continue and expand the business. These are the factors which give Wisconsin its claim to being the "birthplace of the newspaper syndicate."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1. They were Horace B. Rublee and Andrew Jackson Aikens of Vermont; David Atwood of New Hampshire; William E. Cramer and John P. Cramer of New York; Ansel Nash Kellogg of Pennsylvania and George A. Joslyn of Massachusetts.
2. Beach was born in Connecticut in 1800. In 1820 he married the sister of Benjamin H. Day, founder of the New York Sun, became business manager and general supervisor of the mechanical department of that newspaper in 1835 and three years later its owner and publisher. At a conference held in the office of the Sun in 1848, Beach and several other New York city publishers formed the Harbor News association, the pioneer in cooperative news-gathering and news distribution.
3. Among them were the Vermont Chronicle, Albany Advertiser, Troy Whig, Salem Gazette and Boston Times.
4. Eastman was born in Maine in 1816 but removed with his parents at an early age to Vermont. While a student at the University of Vermont he was a frequent contributor to the Burlington Sentinel. He founded the Lamoille River Express at Johnson in 1838 and the Spirit of the Age at Woodstock in 1840, both papers devoted to the cause of the Democratic party in that state. Eastman was also a poet
and his verse won for him the sobriquet of "the Burns of the Green Mountains." Among his better known poems was "The Parmer Sat in His Easy Chair," which has been the inspiration for numerous parodies.
5. Kimball was born in New Hampshire in 1821. As a boy he worked in a print shop, becoming editor and owner of the Age at Woodstock, Vt., in 1846, when Eastman, its founder, purchased the Patriot at Montpelier and removed to that city.
6. These were probably pages from the Weekly Sun which Beach issued on Saturdays, intended for country circulation, at one dollar a year.
7. Kellogg was born in Reading, Pa., March 20, 1832. When he was two years old, his parents moved to New York City, where he was educated. He was graduated from Columbia College in 1852, second in his class, and after a year's study in an architect's office, "being of a journalistic bent of mind, he turned his thoughts to the West," where, presumably, opportunities were greater than in the East.
8. David Atwood was born in New Hampshire in 1815. After serving an apprenticeship in a print shop in Hamilton, N. Y., he emigrated to the West. In 1848 he was employed on the Madison (Wis.) Express which he consolidated with a rival paper, the Statesman, renaming It the Palladium. The venture failed and in September, 1852, Atwood established the Wisconsin State Journal. Horace Rublee was born in Vermont in 1829 and removed to Wisconsin in 1840. He began his newspaper career as a legislative reporter for the Madison Argus in 1852 and the next year became editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.
9. They were the Brodhead Reporter, the Mauston Star, the Columbus Journal and the Richland Observer.
Tried to get this years ago through a interlibrary loan, but that failed.
Looking forward to this.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Mike Roy
Mike Roy was born Joseph Michel Grenier in Montreal, Canada, on January 22, 1921. Roy’s birthplace was on his Social Security application and his birth name was recorded on a list of aliens traveling from Canada to the United States. Roy was accompanied by his parents, Napoleon and Marie Anne Grenier. On October 24, 1923, the family entered the U.S. at Island Pond, Vermont, and were headed for Lisbon, Maine.
The 1930 U.S. Federal Census recorded Roy’s parents in Lewiston, Maine. His father was a carpenter. Roy was not in his parents’ household. According to the census, there was a “Michel Grenier”, about the same age, who lived at the orphanage, Healy Asylum, in Lewiston.
The 1940 census listed Roy in the Bronx, New York City, at 560 Eagle Avenue. His mother was the half-sister of Adjutor J. Roy, a French Canadian who was the head of the household and employed as a railroad ticket agent. In the census, “Michael Roy” was an adopted son and cartoonist who, at the time, had completed three years of high school. All three had been at the same location since 1935. The status of Roy’s biological father is not known.
MV: Was there anyone else you went to school [High School of Industrial Arts] with who later worked in the business?Who’s Who of American Comics Books 1928–1999 said Roy contributed to comic books from 1940 into the early 1990s.
AB: Yes, there was another fellow there with us at school who while still a student did a Sub-Mariner story. His name was Mike Roy. He was looked upon as a big shot at school. He had done a “real” comic book feature! (Laughs).
MV: Mike Roy was drawing for either Goodman or Jacquet while in high school?
AB: Yes and he was real good, much better than we were at that time.
During World War II, Roy, under the name Joseph M. Roy, enlisted in the army on December 4, 1942. His occupation was commercial artist who had three years of college. According to Who’s Who, Roy attended Pratt Institute. The Washington Post said Roy was a paratrooper in the D-Day invasion of Normandy where he was wounded twice. Later, French-speaking Roy was an Army interpreter in France and Belgium. Roy was discharged December 6, 1945.
Roy’s step-father also registered for the draft. Adjutor was 45 years old and resided, with his half-sister, at 572 Eagle Avenue, the Bronx. Adjutor was employed at the New York City Rapid Transit Company. After the war, Adjutor became a naturalized citizen on May 2, 1949.
Around 1947, Roy married Adrienne Louise Mootafian (1923–2009). She should not be confused with Adrienne Roy (1953–2010) the comic book colorist.
The Post said Roy moved, in 1950, to Washington, DC where he worked with the U.S. Information Agency.
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Leslie Charteris’s character, The Saint, was adapted as a comic strip. Roy drew the strip from September 27, 1948 to October 13, 1951. From time to time, Roy had inking assists by John Belfi, Sam Burlockoff and Jack Davis*. Roy ghosted the strip, Ken Winston from March 14 to July 30, 1955. The Nero Wolfe strip was handled by Roy who worked on it from November 26, 1956 to July 13, 1957. Through Roy’s syndication company, Royal Features, he produced Hoss Laffs which debuted December 14, 1959. Roy’s Sunday strip, Akwas, began June 7, 1964. Along with the topper, Indian Lore and Crafts, both ended March 28, 1965.
Roy was a member of the National Cartoonists Society.
Roy passed away March 25, 1996 in Springfield, Virginia. His Social Security application had his full name as Joseph Michael Roy. The Post published an obituary on March 28, 1996.
* The National Cartoonist, Volume 1, Number 2, “Jack Davis on the Comics Page”,
page 28: You ended up inking The Saint.
I’d heard they need someone to ink The Saint at the Herald-Tribune. I rushed down there with my portfolio and they gave me some strips. I got the job, and worked with Mike Roy for a year. It was good training. Again, I was making a little more than a $100 a week. I was thinking about getting married and things were rolling right along and then the Herald-Tribune folded, and I was out on the street again.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Obscurity of the Day: Akwas
The Columbia Newspaper Syndicate introduced a succession of well-crafted features in the mid-1950s to early 1960s, many even featuring popular licensed characters, yet couldn't seem to make anything stick. Perhaps their fees were too high, or newspaper editors weren't keen on taking material from a young and untested syndicate, but whatever the reason, a lot of pretty interesting features languished in obscurity.
As far as I can tell, Columbia's last attempt to syndicate a new strip was with the Native American adventure strip Akwas. Akwas was a well-researched quality production, taking queues for story-telling style from Hal Foster's Prince Valiant. This was no 'horse opera' silliness, but a realistic tale of an Iroquois brave in pre-Columbian times.
The production was helmed by Mike Roy, who was a Native American himself. He had a long career in both comic books and newspaper strips, but Akwas was certainly a project that was near and dear to his heart, and it must have been crushing for him that it couldn't seem to establish much of a foothold in newspapers.
The Sunday-only strip began on June 7 1964, and evidently a few high-profile newspaper clients, like The Oklahoman and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, were not enough to put it on a paying basis. In the strips of January 1965 Roy started to look a little desperate, pandering for readership. He had Akwas get captured by a rival tribe, where he was put through a long series of gruesome tortures over the span of several Sundays. Although I have never seen any later strips than January, one report I found on the internet claimed that Roy even tried giving Akwas super powers at the tail end of the run, though I'm a little skeptical of that.
As I said, I've not seen any strips later than January. However, Rick Norwood in Comics Review said that the last Sunday was published on March 27 1965, two months shy of a one-year run. As was typical for Columbia, the strip continued to be offered in the E&P yearbooks until 1972, but no new material was created and as far as I know no paper took them up on running the strip in reprints.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
News of Yore: Life’s Contributors, 1909
Some of Life’s Contributors
Bob Adams, T.S. Allen
J.K. Bangs, Geo. W. Barrett, P.R. Benson, A.D. Blashfield, C. Broughton, C.J. Budd
Harrison Cady, John Cecil Clay, J. Conacher, F.G. Cooper, R.M. Crosby, Otho Cushing
Mark Fenderson, J.M. Flagg
C. Allan Gilbert, Gordon Grant, W.R. Graupner
J.B. Hazelton, Rupert Hughes, Henry Hutt
W.L Jacobs, P.D. Johnson, Bayard Jones, Ellis O. Jones
W.B. Ker, B. Cory Kilvert, W.B. King
J.A. Lemon, Albert Levering, Orson Lowell, E.G. Lutz
Harvey Peake, C. Coles Phillips
F.W. Read, Agnes Repplier, F.T. Richards
Calvert Smith, C. Clyde Squires, Malcolm Stewart
A.B. Walker, W.H. Walker, Carolyn Wells, H.M. Wilder, Mrs. Wilson Woodrow, Walter Kuhn
Labels: News of Yore
Monday, May 16, 2016
Weekly Heritage Internet Auction Items
Something for everybody this week, no matter your budget or interests: great original art, gold, silver and bronze age comic books, platinum age comic strip-oriented books, big bargain lots, etc.To view and bid on any of my lots in this week's auction follow this link.
Here are photos and my thoughts on this week's auction items:
|Great Room and Board Sunday by Gene Ahern -- very Munchausean|
|Incredibly rare -- masthead art for the NY American Sunday comics section, by 'Bunny' Schultze|
|Delightful E. Simms Campbell Cuties panel|
|Beyond rare -- a Little Bobby Bowser original and proof sheet by Bert Cobb -- gorgeous art|
|Early Stan Drake Heart of Juliet Jones daily|
|Top tier from 1959 Heart of Juliet Jones Sunday|
|One of my very favorite pieces -- classic Clare Briggs When a Feller Needs a Friend -- this was tough to let go|
|Super-sexy Flamingo daily -- and price should be reasonable since its by Thornton, not Matt Baker|
|Ozark Ike wins the 1948 World Series! Oh my, Dinah is in that striped sweater.|
|Mel Graff Secret Agent X-9 daily -- no main characters so probably will go very cheap (oops, I mean undervalued!)|
|Super Sidney Smith Gumps daily from Andy's presidential campaign -- very timely subject matter|
|Here's a real treasure -- Burris Jenkins anti-comic book editorial cartoon from 1946|
|Man that John Lehti sure could draw, couldn't he? Should have taken over Prince Valiant IMHO|
|Delightful Lichty Grin and Bear It daily panel|
|Superb Bobby London Thimble Theatre daily with three main characters!|
|The sleeper of the auction, literally! Amazing and HUGE J. Norman Lynd Sunday about dreams!|
|Very rare item -- a Sugar and Spike single-page gag by the great Sheldon Mayer|
|The earliest Fred Opper cartoon you're ever likely to find -- 1880!!|
|Sweetly drawn C.F. Peters gag cartoon about the stock market. Check out the nice framing on this one!|
|Oh man, the fine linework of Paul Robinson just blows me away -- Just Among Us Girls panel|
|Snookums topper -- not really by McManus of course, this would be the great Zeke Zekely ghosting,. Pantomime gag!|
|Terry and the Pirates by Wunder -- fabulous drawing, and no face-front stars to make the bidding go overboard|
|Denny O'Neil comic book script with probably Michael Kaluta sketches!|
|A group of 16 different issues of 4Most -- I used to really get a kick out of reading these, and they're very inexpensive|
|Group of 9 Airboys and Air Fighters -- lot of really nice condition copies thrown into this lot!|
|Group of 15 nice silver age Batman and Detective issues|
|Group of 34 silver and early bronze age Batman, Detective, Man-Bat -- what a deal!|
|1933 Kellogg's Buck Rogers giveaway booklet in nice condition|
|Very scarce Bringing Up Father Big Book in really sharp condition|
|Lot of 8 Bringing Up Father Cupples and Leon books in lesser condtion -- lotta cheap reading!|
|The whole series of Charlie Chaplin's Comic Capers books -- I hate to think what I paid for these, and they threw them into one lot! Ouch! Mostly beautiful condition for these fragile items.|
|2 different delightful Foxy Grandpa books by Bunny|
|Quite rare 1918 Landfield-Kupfer Gumps book|
|Two really nice early Iron Man issues -- I think they under-graded these frankly.|
|OMG! They threw all my DC Kirby's into one enormous box lot. Huge lot and plenty of high grade issues in there. Gosh I loved these series as a young 'un.|
|Ultra-rare Mammoth Comics, poor condition but find another!|
|Lovely copy of the Cupples & Leon Mutt and Jeff Big Book|
|4 Cupples and Leon Mutt and Jeff books in lesser condition. Bargain reading material!|
|Ultra-rare New York American Mutt and Jeff Joke Book -- only one I have ever found from this series!|
|Rare Saalfield color interior Popeye Cartoon Book in reasonably nice shape|
|Group of 36 (!) Target Comics. What a treasure-trove of great 1940s reading, probably at a bargain price.|
|7 wonderful reprint books in nice shape. Sorta weird grouping, so will probably go cheap!|
|Great group of Eisner, Kurtzman and other reprint books. Wally Wood and R.C. Harvey are adults-only btw.|
|Set of 42 proof books for King Features' North America Syndicate. Mostly July-December 2001, plus more from 1996-97|
|Superb lot of rare platinum cartoon books. I believe Chasing the Blues has been pulled from this lot at my request.|
|Relive your military days in these three scarce books. Two slightly risque WWII digests up top, plus the incomparable Wally Wallgren's WWI Stars & Stripes strips.|
Having been badly outbid for this lot, and with the probability that winner won't be indexing these for the GCD (like was my intention, I have been slowly indexing the ones I have purchased recently), I would be more than happy to try to purchase some of the UFS & NEA books, if possible. :-)
-Ray Bottorff Jr