Wednesday, February 01, 2017
Obscurity of the Day: The Baxter Beasleys
The Baxter Beasleys, by the always competent and often terrific Gene Carr, has a checkered history. It seems to have been produced for the McClure Syndicate while Carr was on some sort of hiatus from his Pulitzer daily feature, Everyday Movies (aka Metropolitan Movies). The daily begins on June 23 1924, and the latest I can find it running is January 31 1925. The daily is very much in the mold of a popular new genre at this time, which doesn't really have a name. In this genre there is a husband always trying out some brainless scheme, and his family, generally smarter than him, tries to save him from himself, or contents themselves with mocking him. Examples are The Bungle Family, The Nebbs, The Gumps, The Man in the Brown Derby, Cicero Sapp, etc. Anyone got a suggestion for what we could call this genre? Anyway, The Baxter Beasleys daily is firmly in this mold, and because it's Gene Carr the strip does a predictably good job of going through the familiar paces.
The Sunday, however, as you can see above, is a pretty nondescript piece of fluff. What is interesting about it is that it is beyond rare in its original run. Because of that I cannot offer you any specific dates. In fact the only Sunday I have even seen from the original run is the one you see above, which was courtesy of Cole Johnson. You'll note that it ran in the notorious New York Evening Graphic, which I did not know ever even HAD a Sunday edition. Yeah, we're talking RARE.
I have, however, seen plenty of the Sundays, though. Just not in the original run. McClure sold the Sundays off to World Color Printing, and WCP ran them as part of their Sunday sections from October 1927 until late 1928. That would seem to indicate that Carr produced about a year's worth of them, and thus the Sunday had a longer run than the daily. I just can't offer the actual running dates; perhaps if I triangulated from this one Graphic example, and assumed that the WCP run is in order, I could ... nah ...