Thursday, May 09, 2019


This Week's Heritage Auction Items

First item up for bid is this amazing collection of art by Folke Kvarnstrom. Kvarnstrom was a gifted young man who dabbled in cartooning, illustration art, commercial art, and photo enhancement. I know nothing about him except that my collection of his works mostly seems to date from the 1900s-1910s based on the style and subject matter, and he seems to have been based out of Chicago.

Some of the art in this grouping is of high professional quality, while a few pieces are obviously earlier stuff from when he was still learning the ropes. Some of the art has marks indicating it was published, other pieces may have been experiments or school assignments.

If you appreciate really wonderful advertising art originals, this lot really is for you; there's 25 pieces total and Heritage didn't photograph them all, so there are surprises awaiting the high bidder. Right now the bidding stands at $3. Seriously?

Lot 2 is an original by Albert T. Reid, justly famed as a political catoonist and one of the iconic chroniclers of Abraham Lincoln. Here is a sensitive piece in which young Mr. Lincoln first encounters a printing press, emblematic of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This original is in fine condition -- the photo makes it look awful because an old torn matte remains attached. Take that off and you have a lovely piece of art in decent shape. Great item for the wall of anyone in the news media or a Lincoln-phile.

An extra item Heritage has thrown in to this lot is an unsigned and unfinished illustration, quite well done and with an obvious stylistic nod to J.M. Flagg. It was drawn on the back of a 1909 Chicago political poster. Hard to say which side of this piece is more interesting!

Here's another lot that can manage only a $3 bid!

Last but most definitely not least is this group of four lovely cartoon originals by Harry Temple. These are from his long-running panel Sketches From Life, which ran in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and was syndicated around the country. Rather than rehash how amazing I think Temple is, please go read this blog post about Sketches From Life in which I gush about his work, and be sure to check out Alex Jay's profile of Harry Temple.

Believe it or not, this group of four cartoons has not a single bid as of today.


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Wednesday, May 08, 2019


Obscurity of the Day: They Made The Headlines

Here's an apparently very long-lived feature about which I know very little. They Made The Headlines ran in the Worcester Telegram as early as 1947 (based on the top sample), and as late as 1965 (based on the only mention of the feature I could find online, here). The 1947 sample is signed "Phillips", while later ones are bylined as "The Phillips". Based on the few samples I've got, the feature appeared once a week in the Sunday magazine section of the paper.

Any additional information you have on the extent of the run would be much appreciated. I think may have some Worcester Telegrams archived, but having been burned by that company I no longer have an account there. Could someone with an account check on this feature there? Monday Alex Jay will weigh in with an ID for "The Phillips".


Comments: seems to have a very limited amount of Worcester Telegram archives:

I don't see that anyone has the rest of the archives online.
Hi anon --
Thanks for checking. Looks like all they have is three weeks worth or so? Would you be able to check the two Sundays to see if "They Made The Headlines" appeared in both? I've heard that it might have been a bimonthly feature, not weekly.

Thanks, Allan
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Tuesday, May 07, 2019


Toppers: Good Morning, Boss!

George McManus' classic Bringing Up Father offered us several long-running toppers over the years, but before he settled down to a decade and a half run of Rosie's Beau, followed by Snookums, he experimented with a couple other titles in the early days of the form.

Good Morning, Boss! was his second attempt at a topper, and had a really short run, from May 16 to June 6 1926; a mere four episodes. In each episode our hero, never named, tries to break out of his humdrum job into something more exciting and better-paying. In each attempt he finds that the grass is not so green when viewed close up. The concluding panel finds our man back at his desk.

McManus was a disciple of the 'empty-eyes' school of cartooning, but for Good Morning, Boss he offered us a rare look at a character equipped with pupils.  Our hero looks perpetually surprised as a result, but maybe this was McManus depicting him as a 'deer in the headlights', as he most assuredly was.


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Monday, May 06, 2019


Obscurity of the Day: It Is To Laugh

Cole Johnson sent me this sample of Ving Fuller's It Is To Laugh many moons ago. I am usually meticulous about keeping his comments filed away with the samples, but in this case I have lost whatever context he offered for it. Obviously from the masthead this was produced when Ving was working at the New York Mirror in 1932, but how do I know it isn't just a one-shot item?

The microfilm record of the Mirror is very spotty, and exists only at the New York Public Library. Since I've not had my go-to New York guy, Jeffrey Lindenblatt, ever mention it to me, I'm guessing it is probably not microfilmed.

Luckily the interwebs has offered me a tiny crumb that would seem to prove that it was indeed a regular Mirror series. That's due to an offhand remark by Harry Lampert in an interview run in Alter Ego #148, which came up in my search results. Lampert says "There was a cartoonist in Washington Heights by the name of Ving Fuller. Ving Fuller did It Is To Laugh in the Daily News, and both Shelly [Mayer] and I were apprentices to Ving Fuller..."

Apparently Lampert misremembered the newspaper, but somehow all those years later he was able to dredge up the name of the feature Ving was working on during his early apprentice days.

Now if only we could figure out how long it ran ...

EDIT 8/31/2019: Carl Linich has the January 17 1932 page, and says that his copies of the next six Mirror Sunday issues do not include the feature.


Hello Allan-
If its of any help, 10 January 1932 was the first issue of the the NY Mirror's Sunday edition, so you probably have the start date.
More on Ving Fuller in Hal Kanter's aptly-titled autobio SO FAR, SO FUNNY.
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