Saturday, October 27, 2018


Herriman Saturday

October 11 1909 -- Herriman's editorial and sports cartoons have been few and far between since his return near the end of September, but his drawing hand has certainly not been idle. He's mostly been working on the comic strip adventures of Baron Mooch.

As I've mentioned before on Herriman Saturday, it is not my purpose to republish Herriman work that has recently seen the light of day, and so the Baron Mooch strips will not be seen here. There was a collection called By George Volume 1, edited by Bill Blackbeard, in which the strips are reprinted. Unfortunately the publisher, Spec Productions, appears to be all but defunct after the death of Andrew Feighery. Those By George collections contain a lot of rare and important work, and it's a shame they're not readily available.

My set of By George volumes is currently residing about 2000 miles away, but I believe that there was a Baron Mooch strip missing, the one you see above, which was published on October 11 1909. If someone who has the volume could check me out on that, I'd very much appreciate it.

Baron Mooch was also published in the New York American and probably other Hearst papers but the LA Examiner ran them earlier and in a (presumably) complete run, whereas others did not. Other Hearst papers almost certainly did not run this particular strip because the subject is President Taft's visit to Los Angeles.


Hi Allan! Just unearthed my copy of BY GEORGE and the 10/11 strip is not there--we jump from 10/10 to 10/12. Thanks for showing us the missing strip!

Thanks for checking Brian. Looks like there's more Baron Mooch to come, as I see at least one more in my LA Examiner stack. --Allan
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Friday, October 26, 2018


Wish You Were Here, from Margaret G. Hays

Margaret G. Hays was known both as a cartoonist and writer of comic strips, but here she shows us a side of her talents not cartoony at all. This birth congratulations postcard was issued in 1910 under the copyright of H.H. Rose. The reverse offers a logo with the initials TRC, presumably the printer (edit: The Rose Company).


Those initials actually stand for "T.R. Co.", standing for the Rose Co. of Philadelphia.
-Evan Schad
Ah! Thank you Evan.
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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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Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Obscurity of the Day: Looie and his Tin Lizzie

I was never a big fan  of Russ Westover's Tille the Toiler, the strip that brought him fame and fortune, but I do very much like his earlier work. A lot of his earlier cartooning was done for the New York Herald, where one of my favorites is Looie and his Tin Lizzie, which ran in their Sunday section from January 21 1917 to March 10 1918*.

A tin lizzie, of course, is the nickname of the Ford Model T, which went into production in 1908. It was an immediate hit, offering affordability, simplicity of design, and quality. The Model T changed automobiles from a rich man's plaything into a car within reach of the average man. The car was the source of a million jokes, but Russ Westover seems to be the first and only cartoonist to see the obvious opportunity to make one the star of an ongoing comic strip. Although many other strips featured cars (Joe's Car/Joe Jinks and Gasoline Alley being a few notables), Looie and his Tin Lizzie is the only one I know of that concerned Mr. Ford's flivver specifically.

* Source: Ken Barker's Hew York Herald index.


Pretty neat to see this strip. I believe there is a book out now containing all the "Looie and His Tin Lizzie" comics. Jim Schild compiled all the strips into one book.

Also, wasn't there a "T for Two" comic strip at one time?

I can't find such a book through a web, worldcat or amazon search. Never heard of "T for Two".

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Gene Fawcette

Richard Eugene “Gene” Fawcette was born on January 15, 1920, in Quincy, Illinois. Fawcette’s full name and birth information were on his Social Security application which was transcribed at His parents were Tenellas D. Fawcette and Delores V. Brown.

The 1920 U.S. Federal Census was enumerated January 7 so Fawcette, who was born eight days later, was not counted. His parents and sister, Vanessa, resided in Quincy at 1236 Spring. Fawcette’s father was a dentist. On May 22, 1929, Fawcette’s father died in Manchester, Illinois, according to the Illinois death index.

In the 1930 census, Fawcette and his unemployed mother were Quincy residents. Fawcette has not yet been found in the 1940 census.

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Fawcette worked for Will Eisner and Jerry Iger around 1939. Fawcette worked in the comic book industry through the 1950s and returned in the mid-1970s into the early 1980s. Many of his comic book credits are here.

During World War II, Fawcette’s enlistment record said he was a commercial artist, married and living in Nassau County, New York. He enlisted on February 9, 1943 in New York City. He attended one year of college which may have been an art school. Fawcette was five feet nine inches and 140 pounds. Fawcette’s Beneficiary Identification Records Locater Subsystem death file said he was discharged January 26, 1946.

At some point Fawcetter moved to New Rochelle, New York. The 1947 city directory listed the illustrator and his wife at 5 Circuit Road, apartment A52. Later, Fawcette moved to Westport, Connecticut. A 1962 directory said his address was 40 Park Lane. He had the same address in 1972.

American Newspaper Comics (2012), said Fawcette was one of four artists to draw Our New Age, which debuted September 21, 1958. The series began with Carl Rose (as Earl Cros) who was followed by E.C. Felton. Fawcette’s run started with the Sundays in mid-1961 to October 26, 1975, and the dailies from December 31, 1962 to the 1970s. Ray Evans Jr. produced the dailies during 1962. Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus wrote the series for Publishers-Hall Syndicate.

Other work by Fawcette include a Dennis the Menace cut-out coloring book and graphics for Kentucky Educational Television.

Fawcette passed away April 10, 1988, in Volusia, Florida according to the Florida death index. He was laid to rest at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens.

Further Reading and Viewing
Sunday Funnies Blast Off Into the Space Age
Original art here and here 

—Alex Jay


Fawcette also did all the later issues of Supermouse, taking over from Milt Stein. So I am not surprised at the Denis the Menace connection.

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Monday, October 22, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ray Evans Jr.


Raymond Oscar “Ray” Evans Jr. was born on September 11, 1913, in Baltimore, Maryland. The birth date is from Evans’ Indiana death certificate and the Social Security Death Index. The birthplace is based on the 1920 U.S. Federal Census and the Ohio State University Monthly, October 1913, which announced his birth, “Born to Raymond Oscar Evans, ’10, and Mrs. Evans (Helen Holter, Ex-’13), a son, Raymond Oscar Evans Jr. Mr. Evans is cartoonist of the Baltimore American Maryland.”

In the 1920 census, Evans lived with his parents and sister in Baltimore at 2215 12th Street. The 1922 Baltimore city directory listed the Evans family at 3308 Elgin Avenue. Soon, Evans’ father returned to his birthplace.

The 1923 Columbus, Ohio city directory said the Evans family resided at 91 West Lakeview Avenue and Evans’ father worked at the Columbus Dispatch. The following year’s directory had their address as 137 Crestview Road. The same address was recorded in the 1930 census.

Like his father, Evans attended Ohio State University. Freshman Evans contributed caricatures to the 1933 yearbook, The Makio.

In Evans’ junior year, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi (He pledged in 1933.). He was a year behind future editorial cartoonist Bill Crawford. The Ohio State University Bulletin, Volume 40, Issue 7, 1935, had this listing: “Evans, Ray, Jr., Arts 3, Columbus, 1176 Bryden Rd.”

On April 13, 1936, Evans married Maxine Adelle Van Dyke Walley in Franklin County as recorded in the Ohio County Marriage Records at

Evans was named in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, Etc. 1937 New Series, Volume 34, Number 9. 

Johnson (Eleanor M.) 30883–30891
Nip, the bear. Diagnostic reading workbook, [no. 1] By E. M. Johnson; illustrations by Paul Burchfield and Ray Evans, jr. © Sept. 1, 1937; AA 244340.
The 1938 Columbus city directory listed the couple at 43 Lexington Avenue. Evans was an artist at the American Education Press Inc.

According to the 1940 census, Evans, his wife and two-year-old son, Michael, were Columbus residents at 85 Hamilton Avenue. Illustrator Evans earned $2,400 in 1939 and had three years of college. Cartoonist Evans’ address in the 1941 directory was 722 Chelsea Avenue. The same address was in the 1945 directory and his occupation was editor at the American Education Press, Inc.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Evans drew Out of Line, from October 7, 1945 to January 13, 1946, for the Columbus Dispatch.

The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 1, Part 1A, Number 2, Books, July–December 1947 said Evans contributed scientific text and illustrations. 

De Grouchy, William John, 1889– ed.
Science is in the air; an inspirational textbook told almost exclusively in pictures. Artists: Ray Evans, Jr., Robert Powell; authors : Ray Evans, Jr., Alfred M. Klein. Ed. by William J. de Grouchy. New York, Street and Smith Publications, c1947. 158 p. illus., maps. 20 cm. © Street & Smith Publications, inc.; 16Sep47; A1615C.

American Newspaper Comics said Evans was one of four artists to draw Our New Age, which debuted September 21, 1958. The first was Carl Rose (as Earl Cros) who was followed by E.C. Felton then Gene Fawcette. Evans did the daily panel from January 1 to December 29, 1962. Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus wrote the series for Publishers-Hall Syndicate.

The Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska), December 27, 1961, announced the upcoming start of Our New Age and said in part:
An eminent scientist and a writer-cartoonist have joined talents to produce a new cartoon panel.

…The team is Dr. Athelstan F. Spilhaus and Ray Evans.

…Mr. Evans is an editorial cartoonist and science writer for the Columbus, O., Dispatch.

Mr. Evans explained the cartoon:

“We hope to show in capsule form, quickly for everybody, how science impinges on everyday life and how extremely interesting it is.

“Science is the most entertaining subject in the world. We shall try to show how entertaining it really can be made.”
The Long Island Star-Journal (Long Island, New York), December 29, 1961, announced it was going to run Our New Age and said about Evans:
Ray Evans, editorial cartoonist for the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, as was his father before him, founded and edited Current Aviation, a technical weekly, started a “space science” series and recently introduced a n«w science feature, “science explains,” for the Dispatch
A family tree at said Evans remarried on an unspecified date. His first wife remarried in 1966.

Evans passed away July 26, 1982, in Richmond, Indiana, according to his death certificate.

—Alex Jay


I worked with Ray Evans, Bangkok in 1966 and 1967. His wife Barbara and one or two children were with him. In Bangkok, he was "designer and illustrator" for The "Blue Book of Coastal Vessels South Vietnam" and a sister publication on Thai vessels. While there, he had a boat made in the style of the Chinese junk which he and Barbara sailed as far as Europe.
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