Saturday, September 14, 2019


Announcement: Stripper's Guide Needs Some Recovery Time

Hello Stripper's Guide readers, your host Allan Holtz here. I live in Nova Scotia, and though we didn't get the news play that the Bahamas did, Hurricane Dorian did quite a number on us. 80% of the province was without power for awhile, and we out in the hinterlands of the Annapolis Valley didn't get power back until Thursday evening. That's six days with no power and no water. Luckily our property wasn't damaged other than a few big tree limbs down, which is pretty doggone lucky considering the wind speed at times was topping 90 mph.

Although Stripper's Guide posts have been showing up here every day as normal, that's because we try to maintain a backlog of at least a couple weeks worth in the pipeline, and they've been posted automatically. I haven't been able to create new content since last Friday, and now the backlog is almost gone. I also have a lot of clean-up work to do around the property to get things back to normal. Therefore I'm going to put the blog on hiatus. We'll be back to our regular programming on September 28. See you then!

Hope some of the linemen here in Maine came over to help out!
I'm told Maine sent a lot of help, for which many thanks.
Sorry to hear about this, I've have been in hurricanes and the recovery afterwards, so I know how hard it is. Glad to hear no major damage for you. Hope cleaning up go smooth.

Steven R
Hello Allan- You're very fortunate to have avoided worse damage, I know what furious high winds can do, and what it is to go through. It's like being caught on an active battlefield.

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Friday, September 13, 2019


Wish You Were Here, from Albert Carmichael

Hey, it's been way too long since Albert Carmichael made an appearance here! Here's a sample from his later (probably 1914) unsigned Taylor Pratt & Co. Series 728, "They Never Come Back."


Two puzzles: What this is referencing, and who you'd want to send this too.

Most of the Google hits were for the 1940 movie "Pinocchio", for a scene of the Coachman talking about Pleasure Island. There were a lot of sports articles, but no usage that implied it was a catchphrase.

I suspect this was one of a series of "funny" demises -- otherwise it would read "He Never Came Back". And that would imply the phrase had some context that allowed comic use.
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Thursday, September 12, 2019


Jeffrey Lindenblatt's Paper Trends: Gasoline Alley 1919

Jeffrey Lindenblatt has been researching Gasoline Alley strips in 1919; his interest was in comparing how the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News ran the feature. He sent me the data he collected, which seems to show that not only were the two papers inconsistent until mid-December, but the Daily News wasn't even consistently late, which would seem like the most likely scenario considering that King was producing the feature in Chicago. There's even a single strip (December 22) that apparently never ran in the Tribune.

Jefffrey says that part of the problem stems from Gasoline Alley running as part of King's Sunday Rectangle until September, which sometimes made for seven panels in one week. Even after that, though, the Daily News maintained a stubborn independent streak not only in timing but even sometimes changing the strip's subtitle.

Strip TitleChicago TribuneDaily NewsDifference
(In the First Place I'd say the Tire Has Good 7000 Miles)24-Aug
The Ladies Have A Word to Say25-Aug25-AugSame
The Bunch Has Had A Dip26-Aug27-AugMinus 1
The Home Garden28-Aug26-AugPlus 2
The Bunch Stays Downtown To Dinner27-Aug28-AugMinus 1
Avery And His Wife Have Just Left29-Aug29-AugSame
On the Fair Green30-Aug30-AugSame
(And He Sneaks Up Beside)31-Aug
H.C. Of L. Under Discussion1-Sep1-SepSame
Walt Weakens2-Sep2-SepSame
Planning A Getaway3-Sep3-SepSame
Arranging the Camping Party4-Sep4-SepSame
Walt is For Personal Liberty5-Sep5-SepSame
Collecting The Camp Outfit6-Sep6-SepSame
(What You Doin Walt Working Up An Appetite)7-Sep
The Bunch is Off8-Sep8-SepSame
They All Know The Road9-Sep9-SepSame
And Where Are the Ham and Eggs?10-Sep10-SepSame
The Bunch Censors Walt's Outfit11-Sep11-SepSame
Three Men in A Boat12-Sep12-SepSame
A Line To the Folks13-Sep13-SepSame
A Breakdown on the Road14-Sep15-SepMinus 1
Found Walt's Mustache15-Sep16-SepMinus 1
The Girls At Home Try to Start Something16-Sep17-SepMinus 1
Walt's Other Initials K.P17-Sep18-SepMinus 1
Avery's Luck Goes Bad18-Sep19-SepMinus 1
Breaking Camp19-Sep20-SepMinus 1
Stuck!20-Sep22-SepMinus 2
The Bunch Arrived Safely Yesterday22-Sep23-SepMinus 1
Walt Does His Fall Cleaning (Chicago)/Walt Does His Bit On-Machine (NY)23-Sep24-SepMinus 1
Avery May Spend Some Money24-Sep25-SepMinus 1
Walt is Still Contented25-Sep26-SepMinus 1
Speaking of Help26-Sep27-SepMinus 1
Walt Has Been Experimenting27-Sep29-SepMinus 2
Like New Speed Guaranteed29-Sep2-OctMinus 3
Shade Tree Diplomacy30-Sep1-OctMinus 1
Now What Can A Man Say?1-Oct30-SepPlus 1
A Lesson in Spelling and Hot Latin2-Oct3-OctMinus 1
Of Course It's His Own Wife3-Oct4-OctMinus 1
Crepe Hangers4-Oct6-OctMinus 2
Hard Drinkers of Soft Drinkers6-Oct7-OctMinus 1
Don't Breathe A Word of This!7-Oct8-OctMinus 1
Watch This Drive It'll Be a Whale!8-Oct9-OctMinus 1
And Besides Avery Always Shaves Himself9-Oct10-OctMinus 1
Avery Knew A Good Place10-Oct11-OctMinus 1
The Water Hole11-Oct13-OctMinus 2
How About A Motorcycle?13-Oct14-OctMinus 1
Doc Wants A Night Out14-Oct15-OctMinus 1
Walt is On the Phone15-Oct16-OctMinus 1
Avery Didn't Intend To Sell But16-Oct17-OctMinus 1
Walt He'll Say He's Still Single17-Oct18-OctMinus 1
Bill Does Some Mental Arithmetic18-Oct20-OctMinus 2
It Even Has Tassels on the Curtains20-Oct21-OctMinus 1
Wait, Avery Wants To Putt21-Oct22-OctMinus 1
A Modest Oil Well is Doc's Idea22-Oct23-OctMinus 1
Walt Wasn't Born Yesterday23-Oct27-OctMinus 4
One Blow Right After Another!24-Oct24-OctSame
Lost Ball25-Oct25-OctSame
Man's Work is Never Done!27-Oct28-OctMinus 1
Doc Hates To Go But28-Oct29-OctMinus 1
Winter Is Coming On29-Oct30-OctMinus 1
No Walt Can't30-Oct31-OctMinus 1
Here Today Gone Tomorrow31-Oct1-NovMinus 1
How Many Cylinders Are Enough1-Nov3-NovMinus 2
Wanted An Automoblie3-Nov5-NovMinus 2
A Bunch of Sourgraphes4-Nov6-NovMinus 2
The World is Upside Down!5-Nov4-NovPlus 1
Either Way Doc It Will Cost You Money6-Nov8-NovMinus 2
For Sale or Exchange? 7-Nov10-NovMinus 3
How Was She to Know?8-Nov7-NovPlus 1
Doc Has A Customer(Maybe November 10 /Chicago Tribune issue Missing)11-Nov
Man's Intuition (Chicago)/He Has One on the Salesman (New York)11-Nov20-NovMinus 9
Almost Sold!12-Nov12-NovSame
Down the Row To Make A Sale (Chicago)/According to Viewpoint (New York)13-Nov13-NovSame
Cash Or What Have You14-Nov14-NovSame
The Old Car is Still With Us15-Nov15-NovSame
Dope on the Coal Situation17-Nov19-NovMinus 2
Avery is No Truck Horse19-Nov17-NovPlus 2
The Cop Must Be Mistakin18-Nov18-NovSame
When Do We Eat?20-Nov21-NovMinus 1
No Place To Roost21-Nov22-NovMinus 1
Meeting H.C.L. Half Way22-Nov24-NovMinus 2
Once Overing Somebody's New House24-Nov25-NovMinus 1
Winter is Coming 25-Nov26-NovMinus 1
It's A Breezy Day26-Nov27-NovMinus 1
After Dinner Stuff27-Nov28-NovMinus 1
A Combination Tool28-Nov29-NovMinus 1
When The Frost is On the Radiator29-Nov1-DecMinus 2
Pinched!1-Dec2-DecMinus 1
Post Mortem on Yesterday's Arrest2-Dec3-DecMinus 1
What Do You Do in a Pinch?3-Dec4-DecMinus 1
Walt Breaks It Gently4-Dec5-DecMinus 1
Passing the Buck5-Dec6-DecMinus 1
It's All Arranged6-Dec8-DecMinus 2
Aw Judge Be Reasonable8-Dec9-DecMinus 1
Expense Account9-Dec10-DecMinus 1
Speeders Court10-Dec11-DecMinus 1
Another Post Mortem11-Dec12-DecMinus 1
Inside Stuff12-Dec13-DecMinus 1
Warm and Comfy (Chicago)/Cool and Comfy (New York)13-Dec15-DecMinus 2
Doc Put Two and Two Together15-Dec16-DecMinus 1
The Blamed Thing Won't Start16-Dec
Avery Enjoys a Movie17-Dec17-DecSame
Advice Wanted18-Dec18-DecSame
Avery Shops For Emilys Christmas Gift19-Dec19-DecSame
What A Dusty Christmas20-Dec20-DecSame
Shopping Notes(Chicago Tribune that Monday did not print a Gasoline Alley Strip)22-Dec
Bill's Foot Slips23-Dec23-DecSame
Merry Christmas25-Dec25-DecSame
Delayed in the Mail26-Dec26-DecSame
Making It Comfy For the Bunch27-Dec27-DecSame
A Detail Overlooked29-Dec29-DecSame
A Comeback30-Dec30-DecSame
Things Aren't the Same Any More31-Dec31-DecSame


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Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Magazine Cover Comics: Juliet a-la Jazz

The short-running magazine series Juliet a-la Jazz ran from April 16 to May 21 1933 and marked Russell Patterson's last magazine cover series for Hearst for the next six years. Not that there was anything wrong with the series, since it sticks like gum to the shoe sole of the standard romantic magazine cover formula. Leggy redhead Juliet is cast in a play and the only question is whether she'll pick the leading man, the stage manager or the director to be her off-stage romantic lead.


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Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Obscurity of the Day: The Duke of Dahomey

Above you see the entire four episode run of The Duke of Dahomey, one of E.W. Kemble's last strips penned for the Hearst funnies section. The series ran from October 1 to 22 1911*.

Kemble was mostly known for his depictions of black characters, going back to the 1880s when he gained fame for the illustrations to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. By 1911 he still seemed content to rest his laurels on unfortunate stereotypes, a decision that has necessarily left a truly incredible illustrator in the dustbin of history.

Dahomey was an African kingdom that finally fell under the authority of France in the 1890s after centuries of independence. The white world saw the Dahomeans as rather ridiculous characters, because after all how could native Africans possibly form a kingdom, society and economy without the benefit of white overseers? Kemble's series, then, bases its supposed humor on black characters acting as if they are high-society sorts, with the duke as a ringmaster to the proceedings. Even Kemble seems to realize that he's running on fumes here, as his signature physical comedy is oddly muted in these strips.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans.

* Source: Collection of Cole Johnson



Hello Allan-
My take on Kemble's characters is they all behave like children at play, impersonating,the best they can the way adults behave, especially in status seeking. Obviously the "Duke" is no such thing, but as a specific ethnic character, you wouldn't choose Dresden or Dublin. I guess "Dahomey" was the most prominent African place name Kemble could think of begining with "D," though Dahomey, in or out of Portuguese and French colonization, famously had a royal court.
See more Kemble stuff at my onetime blog site above. Thanks.
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Monday, September 09, 2019


Obscurity of the Day: I See by the Papers / Wilbur

Prolific gag cartoonist and sometimes newspaper cartoonist Bo Brown came up with a winning idea for a daily panel in I See by the Papers. Brown would take a newspaper story, come up with a whole slew of cute little gags on the subject and set them all in a busy three-column panel cartoon. The Register and Tribune Syndicate agreed that the idea had merit, and apparently started syndicating it in 1944*, though the earliest samples I've been able to find are from 1945.

The panel could of course run on the comics page, but it was also a nice bit of comic relief perfectly at home on the op-ed page. It could even be easily personalized by changing the title to match your paper, i.e. I See by the Tribune, or I See by the Times. I certainly like the idea, but apparently my  opinion was shared by few newspaper editors, who ignored the offering in droves.

Bo Brown was probably making enough money with his magazine cartooning that I See by the Papers became a liability, taking up more time than it was worth. He quite the feature on March 6 1946**, but the syndicate evidently felt there was still some rubber on the tires of I See by the Papers, and they replaced him with Bill Ruble, another magazine gag cartoonist.

Ruble gamely stuck to the Bo Brown model for awhile, but then he or the syndicate decided that they might have more luck selling the panel as a two-column. That change occurred around the beginning of 1947, and Ruble could no longer follow the model, having lost a significant percentage of his drawing real estate.He changed the panel to a single gag format, and the newspaper headlines were now there only as a sop to the name of the feature.

Ruble started featuring recurring characters; first Aunt Gertrude, a wacky spinster, and then a fellow named Wilbur (in the bottom panel above, though unnamed in this early appearance). As 1947 wore on, Ruble came to rely on Wilbur almost every day. Finally, I believe it was probably on September 1 1947***, the title of the panel was changed to Wilbur and the newspaper headline angle was dropped completely in favor of generic gags.

None of these changes did anything positive for the feature's circulation, but Ruble soldiered on with Wilbur for almost two years; the latest I can find it running is June 18 1949****.

* Source: Collection of Gordon Campbell.
** Source: Washington Post.
*** Source: Provo Herald. I am unable to find any paper that changed the title on that specific date, but based on the panels themselves I'm pretty sure that this is when the official title change occurred.
**** Source: Indianapolis Star.


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