Saturday, June 23, 2018


Herriman Saturday

August 6 1909 -- I'm not going to attempt to give a capsule explanation of the 1909 anarchosyndicalist insurrection in Catalonia Spain (to be honest I thought Monty Python had invented that term), but suffice to say that it was quickly met by the inhumanly brutal hand of the government, as detailed in the news story above. Here's a site that offers some historical perspective on the event and the conditions that led to it.

I am not entirely sure this is a Herriman cartoon. Although it certainly looks like his work, it seems to be signed with the initials "CL."


Just dropping a note to say you got me coming back to this one. The 'CL' monogram (if that's what it is) is drawn with a different pen from the rest of it. Rather than looking for another artist I'm thinking we should be figuring out why Herriman might have found the job so distasteful he left his signature/mark off. That may be hooey but, as you said elsewhere, he usually managed to at least get his little cross in a circle in somewhere if he didn't feel like doing the whole name. And the other suspect, Dan Leno, never rejected an opportunity to put his pseudonym before the public.
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Friday, June 22, 2018


Wish You Were Here, from Charles Dana Gibson

Here's another Gibson card from Detroit Publishing, #14003, and this one was postally used in 1906. That puts the kibosh on what I read on the web about the series being issued in 1907. Sumptuous Gibson work, originally published in Life in 1899. The humor of this card was still current by 1906, as monopolies were still very much in the news then.


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Thursday, June 21, 2018


Obscurity of the Day: Hardy Hiram

Vet Anderson, who signed himself with a figure of a rooster sporting his first name as its tail feathers, had a long and varied career, but is most remembered today for his work in animation. Although he wouldn't move into the animation world for well over a decade after creating the short-lived Hardy Hiram, you can certainly see in this example that he was a natural at the form. Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, anyone?

Despite working for over a decade at major newspapers in various artistic capacities, Hardy Hiram is one of only two comic strip series of his of which I'm aware. It ran in the New York Herald Sunday comic section from March 2 to April 13 1902*.

* Ken Barker's New York Herald index


Hi Allan,

Thanks for plug, and thank for posting this! So beautiful, I'd love to see the other 3 or 4 "Hirams" he did in color someday. Best, CJ
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Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Obscurity of the Day: Dearie

When a cartoonist would set out to (or was commanded to) copy an existing hit strip, sometimes things went just a little awry. When Gene Carr decided to try his hand at a Buster Brown imitation with Dearie, for instance, things got a little out of hand.

Outcault's Buster Brown was hell on wheels behind an angelic facade, and Carr's Dearie took the idea and turned the control knobs up to eleven. Dearie goes right past rosy-cheeked cuteness into a kid who looks like he's auditioning for a drag show, and he's way past hell on wheels, he's a sadistic little freak who makes Alex from A Clockwork Orange seem positively well-adjusted. (In fairness to the strip, the example above is the most extreme of the short series).

The World syndicated this odd strip as the cover feature of their Sunday comics section from July 10 to August 28 1910*.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan.

* Chicago Inter-Ocean


"Dearie" has his own gang, too. It's just wierd enough to have been part of a series, maybe as featured adversaries for Dick Tracy. In 1910 it was still okay for criminalaity to go unpunished if it was pulled off by boys.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Clyde Ludwick

Clyde E. Ludwick* was born on September 28, 1885 in Texas. Ludwick’s birth date is from her gravestone; the birthplace is from the censuses; and her middle initial is from Seattle city directories. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Ludwick’s parents, Oliver (1850–1939) and Ellen (1860–1938), were residents of Blanco, Texas.

In the 1900 census, Ludwick, her parents and two older siblings lived in Justice Precinct 4, Burnet County, Texas. Ludwick’s father was a farmer.

The 1903–1904 Austin, Texas city directory listed Ludwick, her sister, Forrest, and brother, Wayne, at 1401 East Second Street. Information about Ludwick’s art training has not been found. At some point, Ludwick moved to Seattle, Washington.

In the 1910 Seattle city directory, Ludwick was an artist at the Western Engraving Company. Her address was 4071 Second Avenue NE. The same address was recorded in the 1910 census which also said newspaper artist Ludwick and her dressmaker mother were roomers. The head of the household was a stenographer.

The 1911 city directory listed Ludwick at 4233 Thackeray Place. The house was owned by her father. According to the 1912 directory, Ludwick was a Seattle Post-Intelligencer artist who lived on “Blanchard corner 6th Ave”. The 1913 and 1914 directories listed Ludwick at 4233 Thackeray Place and a Seattle Times artist.

So far the earliest samples of Ludwick’s work were found in Times of 1912. In some Seattle publications Ludwick and Nell Brinkley were mentioned together.

Such was the interest in Ludwick’s work that readers demanded to know what the artist looked like. The Times complied and published two photographs of her in its October 3, 1913 edition.

The Seattle Star, January 26, 1914, printed a Bon Marche advertisement that featured “Clyde Ludwick” pennants. Ludwick’s last illustration for the Seattle Times appeared May 13, 1914.

Ludwick was not listed in the 1915 Seattle city directory. At some point she moved to California.

So far the earliest Ludwick art found in the San Francisco Chronicle was dated March 17, 1915. She contributed drawings until the last day of the year. Ludwick also contributed an illustration to the Los Angeles Herald, March 23, 1915. 

Ludwick was listed as an Express-Tribune artist, whose address was 451 South Figueroa, in the 1916 Los Angeles city directory. 

Ludwick produced another Easter drawing for the Chronicle on April 23, 1916. Starting in July her art was published by the Sacramento Bee through September 1916.

The September 9, 1916 New York Herald said Ludwick was one of four people who leased studio apartments at 64 West 9th Street. Ludwick was on the third floor. The same address was listed in the 1917 New York City directory.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Ludwick drew Once Upon a Time, from January 7, 1917 to January 27, 1918, for the New York Tribune.

Ludwick has not been found in the 1920 census.

Dry Good Economist, March 12, 1921, reported the National Silk Week. “…Gold, silver and bronze medals are to be awarded by the Silk Association of America for the best window displays made during National Silk Week….The board of judges in the contest consists of Albert Blum, M. D. C. Crawford, Stewart Culin, Herman Frankenthal, Julio Kilenyi, Clyde Ludwick, A.M. Waldron and L.E. Weisgerber.”

On June 10, 1921, Ludwick and Matthew Hubert Harcourt obtained a marriage license in Manhattan. According to census records, Harcourt was a widower and this was his second marriage. 

During June and July 1921, the New York Evening World published Ludwick’s New York Spooning Places.







Ludwick’s illustration graced the cover of the Sunday Eagle Magazine, March 11, 1923.

In 1925 Ludwick was a Portland, Oregon resident when she copyrighted this work: “Harcourt (Clyde Ludwick)* Portland. Or. 11332 Roses. Model of bust of girl with roses. © 1 c. Aug. 8, 1925; G 75237”.

Seattle Times 6/27/1936

Ludwick passed away November 21, 1927 in Tacoma, Washington. The following day an obituary appeared in the Seattle Times.

Mrs. M.H Harcourt Is Called by Death
Services for Former Staff Artist with The Times to Be Held Friday.

Mrs. Clyde Ludwick Harcourt of Seattle died in Tacoma last evening after an illness of several months. She is survived by her husband, Matthew H. Harcourt, Seattle hotel man; their daughter, Natalie, who is attending school in Highland, N.Y.; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver B. Ludwick of Steilacoom; her sister, Mrs. Louis Wire of Tacoma, and her brother, Wayne D. Ludwick of Los Angeles.

As Miss Clyde Ludwick, Mrs. Harcourt was a staff artist for The Times twelve years ago. She returned to her work with The Times last year but was forced to give it up because of ill health. Mrs. Harcourt, whose sketches were popular with Times readers, was a native of Texas. She lived for many years in New York. She was an active member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of Hotel Greeters of America.

Funeral services will be held from Piper’s at 5433 S. Union St., South Tacoma, Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock. The Rev. Ralph Sargent of Lincoln Park Christian church will officiate.
Ludwick was laid to rest at the Tacoma Mausoleum.

Several months before her death, Ludwick applied for a patent for a mechanical manikin. The patent was granted September 25, 1928. Several mechanical devices used her work.

* There was another woman named Clyde Ludwick, who lived in Kentucky; her middle name initial was J. 1940 census records include scores of women named Clyde, many born between the 1880s and 1920s.

—Alex Jay


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Monday, June 18, 2018


Obscurity of the Day: Once Upon a Time

The idea of a fable, it seems to me, is to teach children a lesson but present it in a manner that entertains and stimulates their imagination. This is done by use of metaphor. That fellow Aesop showed future fableteers the way -- hide your message in an interesting drama using unusual characters; if the story is memorable, the message will sink in and take hold. You don't need to use a hammer to drive in this sort of nail; a feather will take awhile, but will be the best tool in the end.

Clyde Ludwick penned the fable series Once Upon a Time for the New York Tribune's Sunday comics section from January 7 1917 to January 27 1918*. Ludwick had an intriguing sketchy art style, but the fable-telling was utterly hopeless. Each episode presents a fable in which the message is delivered not just with a hammer, but like the bombing of Dresden. In the second example above, characters are named after the qualities they are to illustrate, leaving the reader no need to have any imagination whatsoever. And in case the reader is a complete and absolute blockhead, the message of the fable is spelled out as clearly as humanly possible on the right side of the title bar.

Tune in tomorrow for an Ink-Slinger Profile about Clyde Ludwick with an unexpected twist.

* Ken Barker's New York Tribune index


The strip actually ran until February 10, 1918
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