Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Mystery Strips: Lumer + Questions For the Brain Trust

I came upon a short stack of miscellaneous Sunbury (PA) Daily Item 1972 comics pages in my "to be filed" tower (the word 'pile' having been given up as a gross underestimation at this point). I came upon a single page, dated July 1 1972, that included the above strip, Lumer by Jerry Beaver. Other pages from late June did not include the strip. I had no comics pages from later than this date. Since I have no other record of the strip or the cartoonist, I pose the question to you -- does anyone have any info on the strip or Jerry Beaver? Since I have only the one example, I can't even list it as a series.

Other Questions
* Does anyone know of an online  resource that identifies if and where a digital  archive for a particular newspaper title is available? I spend a lot of time looking for newspaper titles (like for instance the Sunbury Item), checking, Google, Library of Congress, state archive websites, etc., and it sure would be great if that information was available in some central repository -- the Wikipedia page for the newspaper would get my vote as ideally convenient.

* a correspondent has asked me to tell him, in great detail, how newspaper comics get from the cartoonist's drawing board all the way to the printed page. He wants to know about the whole technical process, in layman's terms. Given that I don't have the free hours to do a complete brain dump, and that I'm likely to get some details wrong anyway, any suggestions for online sources where he can read up on this process? He is, of course, interested in how things worked in the bad old days, not in our new digital world.

* I have just recently discovered that overhead book scanners are now available to the general public at reasonable prices (if -- gulp -- $800 can be judged reasonable). I've been looking at the Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600 specifically, but there are others. I would very much like to hear from anyone who has one of these, or knows how well they work, or can offer any suggestions on the particular brands and models that work best. The online reviews for the Fujitsu are decidedly mixed, and the reviews for the lesser brands are downright awful, so I'm wondering if I need to wait until the 'bleeding edge' days have passed. I have fantasies of digitizing my collections of various journals and getting rid of many running feet of bookcase space. Ooh, to have searchable digital versions of my long runs of Editor & Publisher! Nirvana!

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Here's a Jerry Beaver in Sunbury who worked for the paper :

Here's the copyright entry for the May 5, 1971 strip:

There are a few resources I can recommend for finding free newspaper databases.

1) "Wikipedia: List of online newspaper archives". Note that if an American newspaper is listed as "Free" it could be a "Newspaper Archive" subscribed site freely available to a local public library and not nationally. If this link doesn't work type the title into Google.

2)Library of Congress U.S. Newspaper Dirctory 1690-present. Very useful for searching papers in the LOC collection, although they haven't digitized anything after 1924.

3)Newspapers Guide from The University Library and the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This resource does included links to more widely available newspapers and not just the one available from the library.

Also search for "digital newspapers" every so often in for news stories & press releases on newly digitized newspaper collections.
Hi Glynis --
Thanks for the links. Looks like Beaver did intend the strip to be ongoing, since he filed for copyright, but it seems he didn't manage to produce strips enough for daily frequency, since I have June issues that don't run the strip. I guess until I get to the Sunbury microfilm someday, or someone digitizes it, I'll have to table it.

Hi James --
Thanks for the wiki link. Although it is far from authoritative, it is another excellent weapon for my arsenal. Thanks!

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