Saturday, October 12, 2019


What The Cartoonists Are Doing: July 1914, Vol.6 No.1

NOTE: We are bypassing the issue of June 1914 because the online sources are missing this issue, and my collection of Cartoons Magazine is still in storage. We'll come back to it when my collection is accessible.

[Cartoons Magazine, debuting in 1912, was a monthly magazine devoted primarily to reprinting editorial cartoons from U.S. and foreign newspapers. Articles about cartooning and cartoonists often supplemented the discussion of current events.

In November 1913 the magazine began to offer a monthly round-up of news about cartoonists and cartooning, eventually titled "What The Cartoonist Are Doing." There are lots of interesting historical nuggets in these sections, and this Stripper's Guide feature will  reprint one issue's worth each week.]

So pleased was Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, with the cartoon on the abolishment of the wine mess in the navy, drawn by G. R. Spencer, cartoonist of the Omaha World-Herald, that he wrote to the artist, requesting the original copy.

The Spencer cartoon pictured John Barleycorn walking the plank, while a horn pipe-dancing sailor sang "Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of soda pop."

Another cartoonist to win the approbation of a cabinet officer is Luther C. Phifer of the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, has been decorating a room in the Home Club at the National Capital with original cartoons, and has asked Mr. Phifer, together with other artists, to send representative drawings.

Thomas Parran, formerly Representative and recently appointed a member of the Maryland State Roads Commission, has instituted an action for damages against the A. S. Bell Company and Charles H. Grasly, president and general manager of the Baltimore Sun.

The claim for alleged libel is based on a news article, an editorial, a cartoon and a news item, all of which were published in the Sun. These publications criticised the naming of Mr. Parran as a member of the State Roads Commission.


Richard Outcault, creator of "Buster Brown," was among the entertainers at the annual banquet of the Pulp, Sulphite, and Papermill Workers, at the Marlborough-Blenheim hotel, New York.

"Billy" Ireland, cartoonist of the Columbus Dispatch, returned recently from an alligator-shooting trip to the Florida Everglades, with Governor Cox of Ohio and a party of friends on the yacht of R. F. Wolfe, proprietor of the Dispatch. The Everglades did not impress Ireland particularly. He writes:

"The Everglades are the most barren and hopeless stretch of the world's surface that I have ever seen, and in my opinion will never be turned into a commercial proposition, yet we ran into camps of land agents selling this hopeless stuff to tourists from the West. I wouldn't give my back yard for all of it." Meeting John Burroughs, Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford in Florida impressed Ireland more than the scenery did. And somewhere along the route he picked up a thought that is worth considering seriously. Let him tell it:

"What will be the fate of the cartoonist when the woman in politics commences to hold office? At present we are surrounded with this suffrage thing, which is merely an offshoot of the big feminist movement. Surely we cartoonists have something to consider here. My thought is this — no woman can stand caricature! This is an absolutely established, fundamental inside formation of a woman's get-up. Just imagine our turning up a little further the already pugged nose of the good lady mayor, or making the embonpoint of the lady president of council, who is really putting in all of her spare time banting, more noticeable. Can't you see what we cartoonists are up against? The lady mayor bursts into tears and the president of council, who is surely no lady, introduces an ordinance prohibiting cartoonists from handling political subjects! I know what I am talking about. Only twice in my life have I had to make a cartoon of a woman, and upon both occasions there was h*** in camp and I lost two friends. I tell you, they can't stand it, and here they are fairly 'bustin' ' into our public life and we cartoonists sit idly by thinking we are secure in our position. Can't Cartoons Magazine start a discussion on the question: 'Will the woman in politics be able to stand caricature?' I say, 'No!'"
There is the basis for a lively interchange of opinion in Ireland's suggestion. Cartoons Magazine would be glad to hear from other cartoonists on the subject.

Frank Hammond, cartoonist of the Wichita Eagle, has drawn a series of cartoons to be used on the cover of the Official Bulletin published by the International Circulation Managers' Association. Sidney D. Long, circulation manager of the Eagle, and president of the association, writes:

"In striving to make the Bulletin more attractive, we looked about for features that would furnish the desired effect. We decided to use a cartoon for the cover, and the idea was a winner from the start. The cartoons served not only as a diversion, but gave at a glance the trend of the contents of the Bulletin, and emphasized the salient point made therein. I am convinced that in almost any line of publication the cartoon can be used to enhance the clarity of the printed word."

One of Mr. Hammond's cartoons is herewith presented. The circulation managers held their annual convention in June this year on a lake steamship.


Clare Briggs, of the New York Tribune, has furnished the illustrations for Charlotte Hay Meredith's recent book, "Mrs. Linthicum and Mary Jane." The volume, which is a collection of newspaper sketches, is published by the Donohue Company, Chicago.


Al Demaree, pitcher for the New York Giants, is drawing a series of cartoons for the Chicago Tribune, of which this is a sample.

Sponsors of various public betterment and uplift movements have begun to realize the fact that the cartoon can be used to great advantage. The appeal of a single cartoon that tells its story at a glance is wider and more striking than that of entire pamphlets of printed matter. Clare Briggs' cartoon for "Baby week" in Chicago was one that touched a universal chord.

In the "Safety first" movement that has spread across the country lately, the cartoon has been playing an important part. A rather gruesome but nonetheless telling cartoon is that of the "Pointing hands" drawn by Tom Vidor of the Grand Rapids Press. This cartoon, calling attention to the need of safety appliances, has been published widely throughout the United States, and is being sent out with the literature of the National Council for Industrial Safety.

After chewing up a box or two of cigars a day, pulling out his hair in tragedy-queen fashion, doing Marathons around the office while in quest of an idea, and bending for hours over a drawing board in the editorial rooms of the Knickerbocker Press, W. K. Starrett has for several months been paddling his own canoe as a free lance.

The accompanying sketch of Col. Henry Watterson, Kentucky's grand old editor, clipped from a recent issue of "The Editor and Publisher," will give erstwhile followers of Starrett an idea as to the kind of work he's doing now.


A series of color cartoons has been drawn by A. S. Harkness of Springfield, lll., to be shown in the Topeka social-survey exhibit. Walter Storey of New York provided sketchy outlines, which were developed by Mr. Harkness into unusually clever and attractive cartoons, emphasizing important suggestions or criticisms of the survey reports.


One of the featured acts in the recent Lambs' Gambol was the lightning crayon work of four cartoonists. They were Winsor McCay, R. F. Outcault, Hy Mayer, and George McManus. The exhibition of their skill was said to be one of the most pleasing bits on the program.

James H. Donahey, cartoonist of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has been appointed lecturer in cartooning and caricature at the new School of Journalism established by the Western Reserve University at Cleveland.

Mr. Donahey went to Cleveland eighteen years ago from West Chester, where he had been a printer. He became cartoonist on the Cleveland World when he was only twenty years old. Mr. Donahey has been cartoonist on the Plain Dealer for the past fifteen years. In addition to his work there he has for years been instructor in the Cleveland School of Art, and has drawn extensively for magazines and other publications.


Mr. Hearst has stopped his cartoon brigade from appearing in vaudeville. It seems that some of the cartoonists had more of a liking for the plaudits of the theater than real work, and Mr. Hearst politely informed the booking agents he was displeased. Result — canceled contracts.


Clifford Knight, cartoonist of the Hartford Post, appeared on the same bill with Governor Baldwin of Connecticut at the annual banquet of St. John's Club at the Hartford Golf Club. Mr. Knight told stories about cartoonists and drew pictures.

A protest against the use of the American flag in cartoons was voiced recently at a meeting of the American Flag Day Association at Chicago. Mrs. Katherine Swikard, president of the association, contended that so long as the federal laws prevented the use of the national emblem for commercial purposes, it should be unlawful to employ the Stars and Stripes as a cartoon subject. If the Department of Justice, which has been asked for a ruling on the matter, should decide in favor of the flag enthusiasts, it is to be presumed that Uncle Sam, who for so many years has been before the public in his familiar "Old Glory" costume, will disappear forever from the prints. How the cartoonists could manage to get along without him is a problem which the Flag Day Association doesn't undertake to solve.

Because certain cartoons appearing in the Lynn (Mass.) Telegram, directed against Ralph S. Bauer, "made life unpleasant for his son" to such an extent that the latter refused to attend school, Mr. Bauer recently obtained a judgment against Frederick W. Enright, publisher of the newspaper in question. Mr. Bauer was one of three plaintiffs, all of Lynn, who contended that the cartoons were malicious.

Mr. Enright pleaded guilty in the Superior court at Salem, Mass., and paid a fine of $300.

With the consolidation of the Chicago Inter Ocean and the Chicago Record-Herald, Russell S. Henderson, the sport cartoonist of the latter paper, began looking for new worlds to conquer. The coming in of the new management is referred to by Henderson as a cyclone which swept him, together with others, overboard.

During his connection with the Record-Herald Henderson had gained a wide following, mainly through his "Poker" series, picturing various phases of the national pastime. Before joining the staff of the Chicago paper he was connected with the Pittsburgh Post and the Sun. He filled the vacancy on the Record-Herald left by Ed Mack, who went with the Hearst syndicate in New York.


Whoever said everything can be found on the Internet hasn't tried following up some of these cartooning stories. I did learn that publisher Frederick W. Enright started a number of papers in the 1920s, including dailies in Boston and New York. The latter had gone out of business by 1928. I found an article in a North Carolina paper from that year, recounting how Enright accused his chauffeur of kidnapping him and threatening to murder him if he didn't cough up $1000.

Maybe a reader who can afford to penetrate the newspaper archive paywall can discover how this "sensational story" turned out.
You can find a bio of Demaree here: Spoiler: it doesn't end particularly well.
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Friday, October 11, 2019


Wish You Were Here, from Rudolph Dirks

Here's a Magic Slate card issued by Hearst's New York American, a freebie given away with the Sunday paper. This one is a better quality image than most, featuring the Captain from the Katzenjammer Kids.

What I wonder about these gimmick hidden picture cards is this: do any exist that still have the hidden picture actually hidden, or do the images eventually appear even if they aren't 'activated'? Of course in this case we can plainly see that the original owner put water on it, as the edges are all water-stained.


Hello Allen-
After collecting these cards for years I can say I have never seen one of the Magic Slates that hasn't been used. When the cards were interactive, such as the earlier sets where you'd iron it or hold it up to a flame, (I believe the image was covered in a thin veneer of parafin), and the cutout "mechanical" ones, they proved mostly irresistable to use. I have an uncut mechanical sheet, and have seen some unheated (or, unburnt) ones. I think that the slate series,( it's vegtable dye that one washes off) are generally rarer because they came out in 1907, when interest in the freebie cards seemed to wane. Hearst had issued other card sets in 1906, such as, morbidly enough, disaster and destruction of the San Fransisco Earthquake.It would seem the slate cards were the last ones.
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Thursday, October 10, 2019


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Max Newberry

Max Wilford Newberry was born on July 13, 1868, in Rochester, Michigan, according to the Michigan, Births and Christenings Index at His father was Francis D. Newbury and a family tree said his mother was Fannie Ellsworth Stone. Newberry was baptized in Oakland, Michigan.

In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Max and his parents resided in Union, Michigan, where his father was a school teacher.

The 1880 census said Newberry was the oldest of four children. The family of six lived on Washington Street in Coldwater, Michigan.

Information about Newberry’s education and art training has not been found.

In the 1880s Newberry moved to Chicago, Illinois. The Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois), March 20, 1890, published an article about the stockholders of the 1892 World’s Exposition and listed Newberry’s investment of twenty dollars.

On July 11, 1891 Newberry married Elinor Wallis in Cook County, Illinois.

The Chicago, Illinois, Voter Registration, at, said Newberry was registered in 1892.

Newberry’s wife, Elinor, was a member of the Illinois Women’s Press Association. The Daily Register-Gazette (Rockford, Illinois), June 20, 1895, listed her as “Mrs. Max W. Newberry, artist, Chicago Evening Mail”.

The 1896 California Voter Register, at, said Newberry was in San Francisco, California. The Los Angeles Herald (California), April 24, 1896, noted the newspaper people, who registered at the press headquarters in the Hollenbeck hotel, including Newberry of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Los Angeles Herald reported Newberry and his wife stayed at the Hollenbeck in December 1896.

An 1897 San Francisco city directory listed Newberry at 515 Turk. He was an artist at the San Francisco Examiner newspaper.

The New York Herald hired Newberry to supply drawings for the newspaper’s Klondike expedition. The August 30, 1897 New York Herald said

With the Herald’s special expedition to the Klondike gold region aboard and followed by the shouts and good wishes of five thousand persons, the steamer Excelsior sailed from San Francisco for St. Michael on July 28. She carried one hundred and ten passengers, among whom were Mr. John D. Gillivray, a mining expert employed by the Herald to personally investigate and write of the wealth of the Northwest, and Mr. Max Newberry, an artist and writer, also a member of the Herald’s special expedition. …
Below are some of Newberry’s drawings.

The New York Herald, January 6, 1898, explained how documents were sent to the newspaper.

From Klondike in a Can.
Despatches and Pictures for the Herald Come Through Safely.

The Herald to-day prints a picture of a tin can which came all the way from Dawson City over the pass to Juneau, and by registered mail to the Herald in New York. The can, which contained despatches, sketches and photographs, is about twelve inches long and two inches in diameter.

John D. McGillivray and Max Newberry, the Herald’s correspondent and artist respectively in the Klondike, adopted this means to protect their despatches and pictures from the snow and rain while on the way to Juneau. The can was made by a tinsmith in Dawson City, and the letters and sketches were put inside. Then the tinsmith soldered the can so tight that water could not get in.

The can was given to an Indian courier, or runner, who carried it over the trail to Juneau, six hundred miles distant.

The Herald’s correspondent in Juneau received the can from the courier and sent it by registered mail to the Herald.

The cut will show evidence of the rough treatment the can received on its way out. When the tin envelope was opened with a can opener in the Herald’s office its contents were found to be in as good condition as when they left Dawson City.

The San Francisco Chronicle, March 1, 1898, hired Newberry to return to Klondike.

The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), April 2, 1898, said “Max W. Newberry, the newspaper artist, who was sent to Dawson last fall by the New York Herald, has sold his claim, No. 97 above discovery, on Bonanza Creek, for $5000.”

Below are some of the San Francisco Chronicle drawings by Newberry from August and September 1898.

The 1899 San Francisco directory said Newberry resided at 525 Ellis Street. His address was unchanged in the 1900 census. The 1900 directory said Newberry was the manager of the Examiner art department.

Newberry was a member of the artists and writers group known as the Nyght Byrds. The San Francisco Call, January 21, 1900, named the Nyght Byrds members of the Examiner: “Herbert Igoe, Max Newberry, B. March Hare, R.E. Edgren and wife, L. Samish, C.W. Ronrhand, W. McKinnon, Henry Nappenbach and George Aspden, George Murphy and wife.”

City directories for 1901 and 1903 listed artist Newberry at 1683 Post Street.

The Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada), July 21, 1903, broke the news of Newberry’s second marriage.

Newberry of “Examiner”
Gets Married and No One Heard It
The Boys That Work with Him Won’t Know a Thing About the Wedding Till Newberry Tells Them

Who of The Journal readers has not noticed at the lower right hand corner of the handsomest illustrations that appear in the Examiner the familiar signature, “Newberry.” Max W. Newberry is the man who used the pencil that produced those pictures and the hand that held the pencil with all firmness trembled a trifle last evening when he went to the county clerk’s office in this city and signed the application for a marriage license.

Mr. Newberry is chief of the art department of that paper and rather than be joshed by the boys on the Examiner, all of whom are paid up subscribers of The Journal, he came to Reno to wed Elizabeth Hay Wiley, a fair San Franciscan. Mr. and Mrs. Newberry will spend today in this city and leave for San Francisco this evening, where the fly couple will be met at the ferry by Count dePeanut’s swine band.

Mr. Newberry was taken somewhat by surprise last night when a Journal representative asked him to make a drawing of himself and bride for publication this morning.

At some point Newberry moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he headed up the art department of the Boston Herald. Boston city directories from 1908 to 1910 listed his address as “80 Summer boards at Scituate”.

The Newspaper Feature Service produced a long-running series of romantic cartoons, by several artists, beginning in 1913. Newberry contributed at least one drawing in 1915.

The 1915 New York state census recorded Newberry, his wife and daughter in Tomkinsville [Staten Island], New York at 71 Central Avenue.

A 1918 Yonkers, New York directory said Newberry was at 127 Cassilis Avenue.

Chicago was Newberry’s home, at 4760 Lake Park Avenue, in the 1920 census. The whereabouts of his family is not known.

Newberry was living alone in 1930 census. The illustrator was lodging at 37 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York City.

Newberry found work in his childhood home town of Coldwater, Michigan. He was living with his brother, Roy, the managing editor Daily Reporter newspaper. Also in the household was their mother. Their names and address, 11 East Chicago, were found in Coldwater directories from 1932 to 1936.

Newberry passed away June 10, 1938 according to the Detroit Free Press
(Michigan), June 12, 1938.

Max W. Newberry, 69, for several years associated with Hearst newspapers as a commercial artist, died of a heart attack at his home here Friday night. Surviving him are his widow, Fay, a daughter, Mrs. Robert Foster, the former Barbara Newberry of the Ziegfield [sic] Follies, of London, England; his mother, Mrs. Fannie Newberry of Coldwater; a sister, Mrs. Grace Kitchel, one of the owners of the Coldwater Daily Reporter, and two brothers, Roy Newberry of Coldwater and Perry, of Carmel, Calif. Funeral services will be Tuesday.
Newberry was laid to rest at Oak Grove Cemetery.


—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, October 09, 2019


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Will Nies

William John Nies was born on December 20, 1892, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, according to his World War II draft card which had his full name. He was baptized on January 15, 1893 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of South Hills, in Pittsburgh, as recorded at His name was entered as “Johannes Wilhelm Nies”. His parents were Johannes Nies and Marie Nobs.

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census said Nies was the youngest of two sons. The family of four resided in Mt. Oliver, Pennsylvania, on Penn Avenue. Nies’s German-born father was employed at a brickyard, and his Swiss mother was a housewife.

Seventeen-year-old Nies was unemployed in the 1910 census. He lived with his parents and brother at 148 Penn Avenue in Mt. Oliver.

Information about Nies’s art training has not been found.

The 1912 Pittsburgh city directory listed Nies as an illustrator at Wood and Oliver Avenue.

The Newspaper Feature Service produced a long-running series of romantic cartoons, by several artists, beginning in 1913. Nies began contributing to the series on July 20, 1915.

On May 29, 1917, Nies signed his World War I draft card. His address was 148 Penn Avenue in Mt. Oliver. Nies said he was a newspaper artist employed by the Newspaper Feature Service. He was described as medium height and weight with gray eyes and dark brown hair.

The Fourth Estate, February 16, 1918, said “Will Nies, cartoonist for the Newspaper Feature Service Company, visited some of his friends in Pittsburg [sic] last week. Mr. Nies was formerly connected with the Chronicle Telegraph.”

Nies’s war service record, at, said he was in the Department of Engineers, Second Army Corps. His service began April 3, 1918 at Camp Lee, Virginia. On May 26, 1918 he departed for France. He was discharged March 4, 1919.

The 1920 census counted Nies, his parents and brother at the same address. Nies was a commercial artist in the advertising field.

According to the Pittsburgh Press, May 22, 1921, Nies and his brother, Henry, were among many veterans honored at Mt. Oliver’s Memorial Decoration Day.

The Pittsburgh Press, July 6, 1928, reported the passing of Nies’s father.

In the 1930 census, Nies’s mother was the head of the household that included Nies, her son, Henry, daughter-in-law, Bessie and granddaughter, Marion. Their address was 148 Penn Avenue in Mt. Oliver. Nies was a laborer doing odd jobs.

Before the 1940 census, Nies’s mother passed away. The 1940 census said Nies was the head of the household which include his brother and family. The address was the same. Nies was an advertising commercial artist whose highest level of education was the second year of high school.

Nies signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. The self-employed commercial artist’s address was unchanged. He was described as five feet four inches, 168 pounds with gray eyes and hair.

Nies passed away in March 1968. The Social Security Death Index said his last residence was Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, at Ancestry,com, said the probate date was March 2, 1968.

—Alex Jay


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Tuesday, October 08, 2019


The Newspaper Feature Service Romantic Cartoon Series, Part 2 (1915 - 1916)

Continuing on with our index of the NFS romantic cartoon weekday series, we have arrived at 1915. Unfortunately the Washington Times crapped out on me, but I found a good paper in the Austin Stateman. Well, it was good for awhile anyway. In January 1915 they are printing cartoons six days a week, but then the frequency drops off slowly but surely. Whether this is a function of what the syndicate was offering or the newspaper was dropping the panel more and more often is a question I can't answer.

By June the Statesman is getting pretty lax, but the Washington Times had in the meantime gotten revitalized, so I was able to use it for July through November before the seemingly inevitable fall-off once again. By November they are obviously not going along with the syndicate run date requests at all, because I start finding the occasionally two cartoon day, which I feel sure is not how the syndicate was issuing the material.

For December I switch the the Shreveport Times, which always seemed to be dropping material, but it is the best I can find for the remainder of 1915, and 1916 through August. The remainder of 1916 was indexed in the El Paso Times. 1916 is probably the worst year for the index -- I'm confident that these papers were dropping a lot of material.Thankfully things will improve starting in 1917.

Artist-wise, 1915 finds us losing Gustav Michelson (GM) in July. He's replaced by a new regular, Will Nies (WN). Nies is another graduate of the Nell Brinkley school of romantic cartooning, but he's a cut above the run of the mill. The romantic cartoon series is the only credit I've been able to find for him.

We also have a few drop-ins; Duncan Paget (DP) does a few panels in February 1915, and Max Newberry (MN) I can only credit with a single panel in May 1915. Both are excellent cartoonists, especially Newberry. Newberry's name pops up over the decades as a newspaper artist for the New York Herald and at the San Francisco Examiner. His big claim to fame seems to be a trip he took with a newspaper reporter to the Klondike during the 1890s gold rush there. Mr. Paget, on the other hand, left no biographical trail that I can detect.  He will, however, pop up in the annals of the romantic cartoon series again when he produces another handful of cartoons in 1920.


        Sun                Mon                Tue                 Wed               Thu                  Fri                Sat

Jan (Austin Statesman)
1 2 GM
3 GM 4 GM 5 FF 6 GM 7 FF 8 GM 9
10 GM 11 GM 12 13 FF 14 GM 15 FF 16 GM
17 GM 18 GM 19 FF 20 GM 21 FF 22 GM 23
24 GM 25 GM 26 FF 27 FF 28 FF 29 30 GM
31 GM

Feb (Austin Statesman)
1 GM 2 FF 3 4 5 DP 6
7 GM 8 GM 9 FF 10 11 DP 12 13 GM
14 FF 15 GM 16 FF 17 FF 18 GM 19 FF 20
21 22 GM 23 24 FF 25 26 GM 27

Mar (Austin Statesman)
1 GM 2 FF 3 GM 4 FF 5 GM 6
7 8 GM 9 10 FF 11 GM 12 13
14 15 16 17 GM 18 19 20
21 22 GM 23 24 FF 25 26 GM 27 FF
28 FF 29 GM 30 FF 31 GM

Apr (Austin Statesman)
1 2 FF 3 GM
4 FF 5 GM 6 FF 7 GM 8 9 FF 10
11 12 GM 13 FF 14 15 GM 16 FF 17 GM
18 19 GM 20 21 22 FF 23 24 GM
25 FF 26 GM 27 FF 28 29 30

May (Austin Statesman)
1 GM
2 FF 3 4 5 6 GM 7 8
9 GM 10 11 12 13 14 GM 15
16 17 18 MN 19 GM 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Jun (Austin Statesman)
1 2 GM 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 FF 11 12 GM
13 14 FF 15 16 17 18 19 FF
20 21 GM 22 GM 23 WN 24 25 GM 26 FF
27 FF 28 GM 29 30 GM

Jul  (Washington Times)
1 GM 2 3
4 5 WN 6 FF 7 8 GM 9 10
11 12 13 14 FF 15 16 17 FF
18 19 20 FF 21 22 FF 23 GM 24
25 26 WN 27 28 29 FF 30 31

Aug (Washington Times)
1 2 3 4 FF 5 6 FF 7 FF
8 9 WN 10 WN 11 FF 12 WN 13 14 WN
15 16 FF 17 FF 18 WN 19 WN 20 21
22 23 WN 24 WN 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Sep (Washington Times)
1 WN 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 WN 15 16 17 18 FF
19 20 21 FF 22 FF 23 24 WN 25 WN
26 27 28 29 30

Oct (Washington Times)
1 FF 2 WN
3 4 5 6 7 WN 8 WN/FF 9 WN/FF
10 11 WN 12 WN 13 FF 14 FF 15 16 WN
17 18 19 20 21 22 FF 23 WN
24 25 26 27 FF 28 WN 29 30 WN

Nov (Washington Times)
1 2 3 4 5 6 WN
7 8 9 FF 10 WN 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 FF 20 WN
21 22 23 WN 24 FF 25 FF 26 WN/FF 27 WN/FF
28 WN 29 30 FF

Dec (Shreveport Times)
1 2 3 4 WNx2
5 6 WN 7 8 WN 9 10 11 WN
12 13 14 15 16 FF 17 18
19 20 21 22 FF 23 WN 24 25
26 27 28 FF 29 FF 30 31


Jan (Shreveport Times)
2 3 WN 4 5 WN 6 7 FF 8
9 10 11 12 13 FF 14 FF 15
16 17 18 19 20 WN 21 22
23 24 FF 25 26 27 WN 28 29
30 31 WN

Feb (Shreveport Times)
1 FF 2 3 4 5 WN
6 7 8 9 10 WN 11 WN 12
13 14 FF 15 16 17 18 FF 19 FF
20 21 WN 22 23 FF 24 25 26 FF
27 28 29

Mar (Shreveport Times)
1 FF 2 3 WN 4 WN
5 6 FF 7 8 9 WN 10 FF 11 FF
12 13 WN 14 15 16 WN 17 WN 18 FF
19 20 FF 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 WN 28 29 WN 30 WN 31 FF

Apr (Shreveport Times)
2 3 4 5 6 7 FF 8 FF
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 WN
16 17 18 FF 19 WN 20 21 22 FF
23 24 25 26 FF 27 WN 28 FF 29 WN

May (Shreveport Times)
1 WN 2 3 4 5 6 WN
7 8 FF 9 10 11 12 13 WN
14 15 16 17 18 19 WN 20
21 WN 22 23 24 FF 25 26 27 FF
28 29 30 31

Jun (Shreveport Times)
1 2 3 FF
4 5 6 7 8 9 FF 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 WN
25 26 27 28 29 30

Jul (Shreveport Times)
2 3 4 WN 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 WN 13 14 WN 15
16 17 FF 18 WN 19 20 21 WN 22 FF
23 24 WN 25 26 27 28 WN 29 FF
30 31 WN

Aug (Shreveport Times)
1 FF 2 3 4 5 FF
6 7 8 9 10 FF 11 12
13 14 FF 15 16 FF 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

Sep (El Paso Times)
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 WN 14 15 WN 16
17 WN 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 WN 25 26 27 28 29 30

Oct (El Paso Times)
1 2 3 4 5 6 WN 7
8 WN 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 WN 16 17 18 19 WN 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Nov (El Paso Times)
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 WN 9 10 11
12 WN 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30

Dec (El Paso Times)
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 WN 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 WN
24 25 26 27 WN 28 29 30

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Monday, October 07, 2019


The Newspaper Feature Service Romantic Cartoon Series, Part 1 (Introduction and 1913-14)

We spent many posts earlier this year analyzing and indexing the multiple Sunday magazine cover series offered by the Hearst organization. That experience may have left you thinking that those folks at Hearst sure did have a strong streak of romance in their souls. After all, that was by far the most common theme of their magazine covers.

The more prosaic truth, though, is that those Hearst folks were all about making money. They discovered a truth about romantic illustrations that translated to dollar signs. Women of all ages love romance, so that translates to happy readers who feel they're being well-served. Men can appreciate romantic illustrations for the beautiful women who are the usual subjects, and that makes them happy, too. They don't see themselves as the intended target, but that doesn't mean they can't steal an appreciative glance. The only ones left out in the cold are little boys, and they're too busy reading the Sunday funnies to care.

Hearst's understanding of newspaper audiences didn't always necessarily translate into big sales. It isn't an easy task to convince a cigar-chomping features editor that there is value to constant doses of romance in the paper. But enough editors did bite, and found the material a good selling feature for their papers, to keep the syndicate pushing romantic illustrations out the door every Sunday in various guises for years.

Today we're going to begin a series on another romance option offered by Hearst. If editors found that Sunday romance helped  to sell papers, why ignore the rest of the week? Much like the multiple parallel Sunday magazine series Hearst offered, they also sold several different flavors of weekday romance content.

Hearst directed Moses Koenigsberg to create the Newspaper Feature Service syndicate in 1913, and one of their earliest features seems to have been a daily magazine page (as it was often titled on mastheads). Typical contents were homemaking and fashion columns, a story for the kiddies, and on some days, a large cartoon with romantic theme.

I've known about this feature for many moons, but it always resisted my urge to properly index. The cartoons often seemed to appear on semi-random days, and I was never sure if I was seeing the complete output of the syndicate. Many papers did not run the full page of material, or rejiggered it to add advertisements. What point is there to indexing the material if I might be missing significant parts of it?

I long assumed that the romantic cartoon was a feature unto itself, and so I believed that if a newspaper didn't print it consistently a certain number of times per week then I had to be missing something. My recent hiatus from the blog gave me the headroom I wanted to explore that problem, and that's when I finally realized that the feature NFS was selling was a daily magazine page, not a romantic cartoon. The cartoon was merely one optional element of an entire page.

That was a bittersweet discovery, because although it meant I didn't have to expect a consistent publication schedule for cartoons, it also meant that if I couldn't find a newspaper that consistently ran the full page every day I'd never know if the cartoon index was complete. It turned out that for a good percentage of the life of that page I indeed could not pin down a newspaper that printed the page on a consistent basis and with no cuts. I also discovered that since the magazine page consisted of evergreen material, newspapers often ran it late, evidenced by seeing the same cartoons running on divergent dates in various papers.

I decided to soldier on, however, keeping in mind that an imperfect index to this very interesting series is better than no index at all. What's interesting about it to me is that while there were a number of artists who put in years of consistent production on these cartoons, many others would pop up for a short stretch here and there, and the complete roster of cartoonists/illustrators is very long and eclectic.

I plan in coming posts to display at least one sample for each artist who worked on the feature. Because my files of this material are so spotty, I'll be pulling the lion's share of the samples from online newspaper sources. I know that's not ideal, but we beggars can't be choosers.

No newspaper available online that I know of offers a better start date than the one I found many years ago in the microfilm of the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph. Back then I wasn't nearly as clued in to the subtleties of this series, but I did index it during its 2+ year run there. Unfortunately, all but a small portion of that index has since been lost and all I have are the start and end dates for the artists of those early years. Therefore I can say that the feature there began on December 8 1913, and ran quite consistently three times per week on the magazine page (see below for the two months of Telegraph index that I can still find).
The series began and ran for the first seven months with only one contributing artist,  Gustav Michelson (GM in the calendar index below). While droves of female artists copied the wispy, frilly style made  famous by Nell Brinkley, it is unusual to find a male artist who did so. Michelson was one such anomaly. His cartoons also followed the Brinkley method in that he would write a paragraph or two about romance to go with them. We'll see this approach over and over from other artist contributors in coming posts. Whether the artists themselves actually penned these paragraphs seems doubtful, though. My guess is that they were contracted to illustrate paragraphs written by someone else, but that person was never credited.However, my money would be on NFS staffer Winifred Black, who seemed to specialize in matters of romance elsewhere on the daily magazine page.

Back to the matter of sources: online I found that the Indianapolis Star, which didn't run the series for long, did run it on the same regular basis as the Telegraph in February and March, except they were already sputtering out by the end of the second month. I was able to go back to the old Telegraph index for April, where we continue the regular appearances. That's it for the Telegraph unfortunately. Searching once again for a good online source, I found that the Muncie Star runs the panel VERY frequently in May and June, on one occasion five times in a single week! They sputter out at the end of June, though, so I have to resort to the Baltimore Sun for July, which only ran the panel once or twice a week. Maybe Michelson was enjoying a summer vacation, or maybe the Sun elected not to use all the supplied cartoons.

Starting in August, the Washington Times offers me the best indexing for the rest of the year. They are the first paper to use all or most of the daily magazine page, even including a masthead. As you can see by the index, though, the regular number and days of the week that once prevailed for the romance cartoon are no more; is the Times running the feature as received and complete? Unknown. Is the syndicate editor of the magazine page now using the romantic cartoons with no schedule at all?  It appears that the cartoons run when there is space, and that's about the full extent of the schedule, or lack thereof.

Annette Bradshaw's first cartoon for the series

August also signals an important first when Annette Bradshaw makes her appearance (her start date from the Telegraph is August 25). Throughout Bradshaw's many years on the feature she would do double duty as both cartoonist and fashion illustrator. After her first few cartoons, Bradshaw decided to run them under a consistent name, Feminine Foibles (which would change to Feminisms in later years). She was the first artist in the long history of the feature to be allowed such a personal touch, and the only other artist was Marie Marot, who continued Feminisms on Bradshaw's departure.

Bradshaw was also unusual in that she did straight gag cartoons, old-fashioned 'he said - she said' types mostly. Most other artists did those lovey-dovey captions and paragraphs that put the accent on romance as opposed to humor.

In the index below I indicate Bradshaw as AB until she starts working under the Feminine Foibles title, when I switch to FF.


          Su                   M                    Tu                 W                    Th                   F                   Sa

Jan (Philadelphia Evening Telegraph)
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 GM
11 12 GM 13 14 GM 15 16 17 GM
18 19 GM 20 21 GM 22 23 24 GM
25 26 GM 27 28 GM 29 30 31 GM

Feb (Indianapolis Star)
1 2 GM 3 4 GM 5 6 7 GM
8 9 GM 10 11 GM 12 13 14 GM
15 16 GM 17 18 GM 19 20 21 GM
22 23 GM 24 25 GM 26 27 28

Mar (Indianapolis Star)
1 2 GM 3 4 GM 5 6 7 GM
8 9 GM 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 GM 17 18 GM 19 20 21
22 23 GM 24 25 26 27 28 GM
29 30 GM 31

Apr (Philadelphia Evening Telegraph)
1 GM 2 3 4 GM
6 GM 7 8 GM 9 10 11 GM
12 13 GM 14 15 GM 16 17 18 GM
19 20 GM 21 22 GM 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30

May (Muncie Star)
1 GM 2 GM
3 4 GM 5 GM 6 GM 7 GM 8 GM 9
10 GM 11 GM 12 13 GM 14 GM 15 16
17 GM 18 19 GM 20 GM 21 GM 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30 GM

Jun (Muncie Star)
1 2 GM 3 4 GM 5 GM 6 GM
7 8 GM 9 10 GM 11 12 13 GM
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 GM
21 GM 22 GM 23 24 GM 25 26 27
28 GM 29 30

Jul (Baltimore Sun)
1 2 GM 3 4
5 6 7 8 GM 9 10 GM 11
12 GM 13 14 GM 15 16 17 18
19 20 GM 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Aug (Washington Times through December)
1 GM
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 GM 11 12 13 14 15 GM
16 17 18 19 20 21 GM 22
23 24 GM 25 26 27 AB 28 GM 29
30 31 GM

1 AB 2 3 AB 4 5 GM
6 7 GM 8 AB 9 GM 10 11 12 GM
13 14 15 FF 16 GM 17 18 19
20 21 22 GM 23 GM 24 FF 25 26
27 28 GM 29 30 FF

1 GM 2 3 GM
4 5 FF 6 GM 7 FF 8 GM 9 10 FF
11 12 13 GM 14 GM 15 16 FF 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 FF
25 26 FF 27 GM 28 GM 29 30 31 GM

1 2 FF 3 FF 4 GM 5 FF 6 FF 7
8 9 GM 10 FF 11 GM 12 FF 13 14 GM
15 16 GM 17 FF 18 GM 19 FF 20 21 GM
22 23 24 FF 25 26 27 GM 28 GM
29 30

1 FF 2 3 4 5 FF
6 7 8 FF 9 GM 10 11 12
13 14 GM 15 16 17 18 FF 19 FF
20 21 22 23 24 GM 25 FF 26 GM
27 28 29 30 31


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