Monday, January 07, 2019


The Hearst Sunday Newspaper Magazine Cover Indexes Part I: The Dan Smith Series

A few months back I tried to put together an index of the American Weekly Sunday magazine covers. With the help of you blog readers, I was able to turn my index, which started out shot through with holes like a Swiss cheese, into a near perfect one.

Unfortunately, publishing that index worked out so well that I got the crazy idea that maybe -- just maybe -- I could succeed in indexing the other Hearst magazine cover series. The problem with the others is that, unlike the American Weekly, these magazine covers are not identified with a running title or masthead. Which might not necessarily be an insurmountable problem, except that there are definitely multiple cover series in play. Seemingly we are offered two identifying characteristics:
  1. Unless a newspaper routs it out, each cover displays a copyright to a syndicate. Hearst is known to have run magazine cover series under three different syndicates: International Feature Service (IFS), Newspaper Feature Service (NFS) and King Features Syndicate.
  2. Newspapers thankfully tend to stick with one magazine cover series for a long period. Therefore, in theory, we can assume that the series being run by newspaper X is consistent from week to week for long periods.
Unfortunately I found out as I worked at the indexes that neither rule is nearly as helpful as expected. While I was blissfully left alone by the routerman, everything else seemed to be stacked against me. Not only do many of the newspapers I followed seem to have a penchant for switching series, but far worse, the Hearst syndicates sometimes seem to play pin the tail on the donkey with their syndicate stamps. The exact same cover can be stamped with different syndicate stamps, depending on which newspaper was using it. To add more complexity, it's typical to find multiple papers that run the same series but running the material weeks off track from each other.

So I went in expecting to have a pretty clean delineation; there'd be an IFS series, an NFS series and a King series, each of which followed its own and separate path. No such luck. My indexes are a mess, and series seem to change from one syndicate to another for no obvious reason. Because of that, what I'm going to present here is a bit of a jumble. I'll try to annotate when things get weird and when I feel that I have insights.

My first index is for a series I didn't realize even existed when I began work. I knew Dan Smith had produced quite a few Hearst magazine covers, but I discovered that he basically had his own series throughout the 1920s.

The Dan Smith cover series begins in May 1921, when he took over as the cover illustrator on a feature magazine that had previously concentrated mostly on photos and uncredited illustrations for its covers. When Smith arrived, the covers continued to often feature a photo or two, but they became secondary aspects of the design, which featured large Dan Smith drawings and usually a few paragraphs of text story. When the series began, the cover subjects were generally about bizarre news stories, fashion and culture. Later on the series subjects would evolve in several different directions.

5/15/21An Indian Lover's Curse Fulfilled at LastInternational Feature Service
5/22/21Science Sanctions FlirtationInternational Feature Service
5/29/21The Poppy GirlInternational Feature Service
6/5/21The Strangest Wedding That Ever HappenedInternational Feature Service
6/12/21How Red Hair Made a New Reno in EuropeInternational Feature Service
6/19/21Girl Bull Fighters - Mexico's Latest FlingInternational Feature Service
6/26/21The Woman Judge Who Gives Husbands a Square DealInternational Feature Service
7/3/21We Want Our Own Star in the FlagInternational Feature Service
7/10/21The Tragedy of the Loveless MarriageInternational Feature Service
7/17/21Who'll Bid For This Beauty?International Feature Service
7/24/21The Battle Against Bare LegsInternational Feature Service
7/31/21The Beauty Whose Make-Up Has Lasted 8,000 YearsInternational Feature Service
8/7/21The New Bareback Dianas of the SurfInternational Feature Service
8/14/21Why Do Men Marry Their StenographersInternational Feature Service
8/21/21Is Woman Leaving Her Pedestal?International Feature Service
8/28/21Are Men More Merciful Than Women?International Feature Service
9/4/21The Law Defines a "Vamp"International Feature Service
9/11/21The New Beauty Doctor -- The BabyInternational Feature Service
9/18/21Fashion Now Fancies Fish ScalesInternational Feature Service
9/25/21What Is Your Husband Worth To You?International Feature Service
10/2/21Italy's Astonishing Matrimonial LotteryInternational Feature Service
10/9/21Love's Newest Triumph -- The Germ-Proof WeddingInternational Feature Service
10/16/21Fashion's Astonishing Flop -- From Knees to TrainsInternational Feature Service
10/23/21How Would You Solve this Mother-Love Problem?International Feature Service
10/30/21Has a Wife the Right to Choose Her Successor?International Feature Service
11/6/21Fashion Reflects the Red Man's RobesInternational Feature Service
11/13/21Good-bye to the OverallsInternational Feature Service
11/20/21Thanksgiving TimeInternational Feature Service
11/27/21The New Romances Tell EverythingInternational Feature Service
12/4/21No More European Women For MeInternational Feature Service
12/11/21Will Chicago's Social Leader Seize the New York SceptreInternational Feature Service
12/18/21The King and Queen of ChristmasInternational Feature Service
12/25/21ChristmasInternational Feature Service
1/1/22Will 1922 Bring Romantic Clothes?International Feature Service
1/15/22The American Makes the Best LoverInternational Feature Service
1/22/22"I Want a Cave Man Husband"International Feature Service
1/29/22Why Europe's Most Picturesque Queen hanged Her MindInternational Feature Service
2/5/22The Greatest Wedding of the YearInternational Feature Service
2/12/22Marrying a Pilot on the WingInternational Feature Service
2/19/22The Much-Watched Marriage of the "Wonder Girl"International Feature Service
2/26/22Has the Lipstick Come To Stay?International Feature Service
3/5/22Life-Size Dolls for Tea CompanyInternational Feature Service
3/12/22America's Pyramid City of the FutureInternational Feature Service
3/19/22Science Finds the Secret of the Poison PenInternational Feature Service
3/26/22Will the Tom-Tom Displace Jazz?International Feature Service
4/2/22He Followed Her Fandango Feet for 20,000 MilesInternational Feature Service
4/9/22Love -- Or a Million Dollars?International Feature Service
4/16/22The New Search for the Holy GrailInternational Feature Service
4/23/22They All Want Red HairInternational Feature Service
4/30/22Society and Science Turn to SpiritualismInternational Feature Service
5/7/22Sport and Romance Behind the Dog TeamInternational Feature Service
5/14/22The Excitement of Marrying an IndianInternational Feature Service
5/21/22The Girl and the Buried TreasureInternational Feature Service
5/28/22The Daisy's Memorial Day MessageInternational Feature Service
6/4/22Has Prohibition Boomed the Beauty Parlor?International Feature Service
6/11/22The Flapper Jockey's in the LeadInternational Feature Service
6/18/22Painting Pictures Under The SeaInternational Feature Service
6/25/22New Complexions Mean a Color BathInternational Feature Service
7/2/22A Radio "Fourth" the Season's NoveltyInternational Feature Service
7/9/22Today's Priscilla Saves a TownInternational Feature Service
7/16/22The Ending of the Wild Life EraInternational Feature Service
7/23/22The Prince's Eleven Black Cats -- And the Bishop's TiradeInternational Feature Service
7/30/22America's Greatest Girl RiderInternational Feature Service
8/6/22The Girl Who is Hiking Alone 'Round the WorldInternational Feature Service
8/13/22Zoo FansInternational Feature Service
8/20/22The Romance of the Olympic ChampionsInternational Feature Service
8/27/22Beach Ball for Girls OnlyInternational Feature Service
9/3/22Ears to be Worn AgainInternational Feature Service
9/10/22Back to the Dashing Sport of Robin HoodInternational Feature Service
9/17/22Is She America's Bravest Girl?International Feature Service
9/24/22Rugs and Curtains for CostumesInternational Feature Service
10/1/22Sees New York -- "Give Me Oklahoma," Says Indian HeiressInternational Feature Service
10/8/22Make Way for the Biggest Hats EverInternational Feature Service
10/15/22The Craze for Strange PetsInternational Feature Service
10/22/22The Strange Furore over Russian ColorInternational Feature Service
10/29/22The Return of the Bull DogInternational Feature Service
11/5/22The Girl Who Must Not MarryInternational Feature Service
11/12/22The Newest Sport Thrill - GlidingInternational Feature Service
11/19/22When Spain's Queen Comes To AmericaInternational Feature Service
11/26/22Harvest HomeInternational Feature Service
12/3/22The Sensation of Silk WigsInternational Feature Service
12/10/22The Hockey GirlInternational Feature Service
12/17/22In Santa Claus's WorkshopInternational Feature Service
12/24/22Christmas FriendsInternational Feature Service
12/31/22Miss 1923-Athlete And WorkerInternational Feature Service
1/7/23Now The Game Is Mah JonggInternational Feature Service
1/14/23The Strangest of all HoneymoonsInternational Feature Service
1/21/23The Ice GirlInternational Feature Service
1/28/23Tattooing Helps The Health, Says ScienceInternational Feature Service
2/4/23The Fascinating Fad of EarringsInternational Feature Service
2/11/23An Aurora Borealis WeddingInternational Feature Service
2/18/23Science Has a New Theory About Fighting BullsInternational Feature Service
2/25/23Painting Beauty's Secret SoulInternational Feature Service
3/4/23The Camel's Domain Conquered By The TankInternational Feature Service
3/11/23The Accordion Has Come BackInternational Feature Service

I tired of typing in all these titles after a few year's worth, because as you probably know, my primary interest is in cover series -- these one-shot covers are interesting, but sort of tangential. In this first section of the Dan Smith index I used as my sources Buffalo Times for the 1921 material, then switched over to the Minneapolis Tribune for 1922-23. If some reader would like this index to be complete and is willing to put in the work of writing the index, I'll gladly add your information for the March 1923 - March 1926 material I jumped.

So having tired of the one-shot indexing, I jumped forward to looking for some change to the pattern. I finally found the Dan Smith covers changing in 1926. Let's pick back up in April 1926 with the last few one-shot covers. The first change is on May 9 1926, when the cover design switches from including text and photos along with the art, to a full page art piece. Then on May 23 Smith's syndicate slug transitions from IFS to King Features. At the same time, the 'newsy' covers end and the subject becomes attractive women in history and fiction. Obviously the syndicate change and the cover design change have something to do with each other.

Unfortunately, my source for Dan Smith covers (El Paso Times) dries up in June 1927, and so we're going to have a long gap just when things are getting interesting.

4/4/26The Varied Splendors of Easter TimeInternational Feature Service
4/11/26Lacrosse Comes BackInternational Feature Service
4/18/26The Smock Captures the Office GirlInternational Feature Service
4/25/26Archery on HorsebackInternational Feature Service
5/2/26Front Lawn GolfInternational Feature Service
5/9/26If Spring Were Like the Artist Dreams ItInternational Feature Service (now full page illustration, no photos,text)
5/16/26A Dream of the HorseInternational Feature Service
5/23/26The June Bride in FairylandInternational Feature Service / King Features Syndicate
5/30/26A Mermaid Afternoon TeaKing Features Syndicate
6/6/26A Pirate Story Without WordsKing Features Syndicate
6/13/26The First "Charleston" in FairylandKing Features Syndicate
6/20/26The First Air Flight in FairylandKing Features Syndicate
6/27/26American Heroines - PocahontasKing Features Syndicate
7/4/26American Heroines - Betsy RossKing Features Syndicate
7/11/26American Heroines - PriscillaKing Features Syndicate
7/18/26American Heroines - MinnehahaKing Features Syndicate
7/25/26American Heroines - EvangelineKing Features Syndicate
8/1/26American Heroines - The Girl of the Golden WestKing Features Syndicate
8/8/26American Heroines - Molly PitcherKing Features Syndicate
8/15/26American Heroines - Dolly MadisonKing Features Syndicate
8/22/26American Heroines - Martha WashingtonKing Features Syndicate
8/29/26American Heroines - The Pioneer Bicycle GirlKing Features Syndicate
9/5/26American Heroines - The Settler's WifeKing Features Syndicate
9/12/26American Heroines - Nancy Hanks and Young LincolnKing Features Syndicate
9/19/26American Heroines - The War NurseKing Features Syndicate
9/26/26American Heroines - The Pioneer SuffragistKing Features Syndicate
10/3/26American Heroines - The Girl RancherKing Features Syndicate
10/10/26American Heroines - The DoctorKing Features Syndicate
10/17/26American Heroines - The Girl SkipperKing Features Syndicate
10/24/26American Heroines - The Lighthouse GirlKing Features Syndicate
10/31/26American Heroines - The FarmeretteKing Features Syndicate
11/7/26American Heroines - The Big Game HunterKing Features Syndicate
11/14/26Famous Women - Joan of ArcKing Features Syndicate
11/21/26Famous Women - Cleopatra and AnthonyKing Features Syndicate
11/28/26Famous Women - Lady GodivaKing Features Syndicate
12/5/26Famous Women - JudithKing Features Syndicate
12/12/26Famous Women - SalomeKing Features Syndicate
12/19/26An Old Time Christmas EveKing Features Syndicate
12/26/26Famous Women - Madame DubarryKing Features Syndicate
1/2/27Pythia, the Prophetess of DelphiKing Features Syndicate
1/9/27Famous Women - Charlotte CordayKing Features Syndicate
1/16/27Famous Women - Mary Queen of Scots in the TowerKing Features Syndicate
1/23/27Famous Women - Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter RaleighKing Features Syndicate
1/30/27Famous Women - Lucrezia BorgiaKing Features Syndicate
2/6/27Famous Women - Phyrne Before the TribunalKing Features Syndicate
2/13/27Famous Women - CirceKing Features Syndicate
2/20/27Famous Women - Hagar and IshmaelKing Features Syndicate
2/27/27Famous Women - DelilahKing Features Syndicate
3/6/27Famous Women - The Daughter of PharaohKing Features Syndicate
3/13/27Famous Women - Helen of TroyKing Features Syndicate
3/20/27Famous Women - Madame PompadourKing Features Syndicate
3/27/27The Christian MartyrKing Features Syndicate
4/3/27SalammboKing Features Syndicate
4/10/27Hero, Priestess of VenusKing Features Syndicate
4/17/27The Spirit of EasterKing Features Syndicate
4/24/27Famous Women - The Queen of ShebaKing Features Syndicate
5/1/27Famous Women - Anne of BrittanyKing Features Syndicate
5/8/27Famous Women - Isabella of SpainKing Features Syndicate
5/15/27The One-Two Ear Ring Love CodeInternational Feature Service (looks like a re-used old cover)
5/22/27Famous Women - Cornelia, Mother of the GracchiKing Features Syndicate
5/29/27PenelopeKing Features Syndicate
6/5/27Famous Women - Queen Margaret of DenmarkKing Features Syndicate

If anyone can find a paper online that ran the Dan Smith material in this gap, I'd very much like to know about it.

We pick up the Dan Smith thread at the Montana Standard in September 1928. The covers are now story illustrations. Unfortunately I lost this paper at the end of the year and was forced to switch again. :

9/16/28Out of the Sky (uncredited story illo)King Features Syndicate
9/23/28Out of the Sky (uncredited story illo)King Features Syndicate
9/30/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
10/7/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
10/14/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
10/21/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
10/28/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
11/4/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
11/11/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
11/18/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
11/25/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
12/2/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
12/9/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
12/16/28The Circus Baby by James Aswell (story illo)King Features Syndicate
12/23/28The Eternal Flapper by Don Warren (story illo)King Features Syndicate

I switched to Indianapolis Star, but that turned into a dead end -- got barely more than a month out of it (see below). However, it did fill in an interesting interlude when Dan Smith lost his spot temporarily to Louis Biedermann. Maybe Dan was given a well-deserved vacation. Note that the Star begins The Eternal Flapper two weeks earlier than the Standard did. Also, notice that in the Star on 12/2/28, Smith was still working on his historical women covers. This could well be a case where we have a couple strands of magazine cover DNA curling around each other, if you know what I mean. Maybe starting with the Standard we are actually seeing an entirely separate cover series, and Dan Smith was actually working on two parallel series? I told you that this index would be messy!

DateTitleCover ArtistSyndicate
12/2/28Famous Romances - Princess Mary of the House of TudorDan SmithKing Features Syndicate
12/9/28The Eternal Flapper by Don Warren (story illo)Louis BiedermannKing Features Syndicate
12/16/28The Eternal Flapper by Don Warren (story illo)Louis BiedermannKing Features Syndicate
12/23/28The Eternal Flapper by Don Warren (story illo)Louis Biedermann King Features Syndicate
12/30/28The Eternal Flapper by Don Warren (story illo)Louis BiedermannKing Features Syndicate
1/6/29The Eternal Flapper by Don Warren (story illo)Louis Biedermann King Features Syndicate
1/13/29The Eternal Flapper by Don Warren (story illo)Louis BiedermannKing Features Syndicate

Now our paper has switched to the Detroit Free Press. It appears to me that the Free Press is one week late compared to the Indianapolis Star. in other words, if the Star had continued, they would have run the first installment of Nora's Ark on the 20th.

Noteworthy here is that we have another syndicate change, this one from King to NFS on 3/10/29. There is no obvious reason for this change, and the format and focus don't change. In fact, it happens right in the middle of a series.

What is more exciting is that we finally get to a couple series that are of special interest to me, in that they are continuing comic strip series by my definition. Honeymoon Island and Pancho Rancho finally get Dan Smith a couple spots in my book. A note on those two series: although the writer is uncredited, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it is Don Warren, who wrote a number of stories in the same vein that Smith illustrated. 

1/27/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo) [start]King Features Syndicate
2/3/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)King Features Syndicate
2/10/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)King Features Syndicate
2/17/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)King Features Syndicate
2/24/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)King Features Syndicate
3/3/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)King Features Syndicate
3/10/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
3/17/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
3/24/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
3/31/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
4/7/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
4/14/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
4/21/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
4/28/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
5/5/29Nora's Ark by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
5/12/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
5/19/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
5/26/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
6/2/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
6/9/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
6/16/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
6/23/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
6/30/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
7/7/29Rocky Ranch by Don Warren (story illo)Newspaper Feature Service
7/14/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service (writer uncredited)
7/21/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
7/28/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
8/4/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
8/11/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
8/18/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
8/25/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
9/1/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
9/8/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
9/15/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
9/22/29Honeymoon IslandNewspaper Feature Service
9/29/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service (writer uncredited)
10/6/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
10/13/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
10/20/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
10/27/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
11/3/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
11/10/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
11/17/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
11/24/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
12/1/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
12/8/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service
12/15/29Pancho RanchoNewspaper Feature Service

I'm calling this the end of Dan Smith's reign as a one-man magazine cover-producing machine. I know of one additional series he did in 1930, but after Pancho Rancho ends, he's definitely not even a regular contributor anymore.So that's it for this post, and yet we're really just getting started on the Hearst magazine covers.

Tomorrow we hit an exciting stretch, so see you then!


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