Thursday, October 25, 2018


Obscurity of the Day: Gentle Jane

In the mid-1900s the Boston Globe had a stable of reliable if not all that exciting cartoonists. Ed Payne, James J. Maguinnis, and George H. Blair accounted for most of the low-key fun on the Globe's Sunday funnies pages, which boiled down to essentially two pages worth of material per issue.

Occasionally someone else would pop up on their pages, and Gentle Jane is the work of an anonymous try-out. The strip contrasts a woman's bold statements with her considerably daintier actual disposition. It ran only twice, first on May 28 (above), and then on June 4 1905*. Although undeniably amateurish looking, the art has an interesting turn of the century poster-inspired look to it. The question then is whether the greatly exaggerated bodies and actions are a series of happy accidents in his or her work, or if we are seeing exactly what the artist's mind's eye intended, as outlandish and bizarre as that is.

I can only imagine that this cartoonist and Eddie Eksergian would have gotten along famously.

* Source: Dave Strickler's Boston Globe index.


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