Saturday, January 04, 2020


What The Cartoonists Are Doing, June 1915 (Vol.7 No.6) ... Part II

[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.]

H. C. Norberg, of the Kansas City Journal, claims to be the champion cartoonist fisherman of the United States. During the warm summer months he can be found at the Journal office working at his drawing board until 11 p.m. Early the next morning he will be seen loaded down with fishing tackle in the accumulation of which he has spent many years. He will be headed for a stream or a puddle. Because of the democratic administration, he says, the fish are not biting in his district, and he is planning a chalk talk route along the streams and lakes of Missouri and Kansas. Mr. Norberg's own idea of a fishing jaunt may be had by a glance at the accompanying sketch.

It may not be generally known that Nate L. Collier, the self-styled “crazy cartoonist” of the Chicago Journal, like Mr. Wegg, sometimes drops into poetry. Much of his humorous verse, illustrated by himself, appeared in the Duluth News Tribune during 1912. Here are a few samples of his “poetry.”

The summer maiden gaily trips—
She raises quite a din,
And cries, as she gets on her feet,
“Darn that banana skin'"

Under the title of “Who’s Who” a number of rhymes appeared like these:

In Hibbing just two weeks ago
I met a man who owned a show;
His face was filled with moles.
Within his hand he held a dog,
And by a rope he led a hog;
His socks were full of holes.

I cried: “Who are you, Box of Snuff?
You're lookin' pretty all-fired tough;
I fear your heart is fickle.
He looked at me and heaved a sigh,
And cried: “Ods Blood! Why, I'm the guy - - - -
Who put the pick in pickle.”

I met a man last Friday night;
His hat was trimmed with lace;
His great big feet were in his shoes;
His nose was on his face.
I cried: “Who are you, little simp?
I've seen your like quite of'en."
He yelled: “Hooray! Why, I'm the guy
Who put the coff in coffin.”

 In still another vein is the following:
Susie spied a sassy spider
Sitting down quite close beside her;
Susie sighed, and sadly eyed her;
Then the sassy spider spied her.

A verse entitled “The Old Copy Book” was first published in the Student's Art Magazine. It goes:

In a dusty cobwebbed attic hid within forgotten nooks
There I found one rainy Sunday just a pile of thumb-worn books.
And I sat me on the floor 'neath the rafters gray and old,
And I gazed upon those keepsakes dearer far to me than gold—
While above the raindrops pattered and the deep-toned thunder rolled.

Oh! I thought, if Time's grim fingers would turn back the clock of life,
Turn it back to the beginning of our seeming endless strife;
How much better I would live it if I could but live it o'er,
For my past deeds were misshapen and some steps I did deplore—
Thus in vain I dreamed and pondered, seated on the attic floor.

But among those books forgotten an old copy book I found,
With its writing old and faded and the corners thumbed and round;
And mine eyes sought out a maxim as above it I did bend,
I had copied it in childhood: " It is ne'er too late to mend.”—
And right then I vowed to profit by the words I once had penned.

And in closing I will whisper to you, brothers in the strife:
When your road seems long and rocky and the bitter cares are rife,
Hie away up in the attic and your old school-books review
'Mid the cobwebs on the rafters and your heart with hope imbue,
Read the maxims of your childhood—it will start you in anew.

Mr. Collier was married in 1909 to his “first sweetheart,” and now has two fine boys. He is not, he explains, actually crazy, but only crazy in print. In a sketch which appears on another page he intimates that he prefers the “Made in America” cartoons to the samples of foreign work in Cartoons Magazine.

The Wichita Eagle prints an interview with a western traveling man who states that the newspaper cartoons depicting Kansas as a state of great wealth, where farmers ride around in automobiles, are giving a false impression of that commonwealth, and filling Kansas with a floating population, “the poor of the cities,” the salesman is quoted as saying, “thinking that all they have to do is to come out here and they will find a job awaiting them. I don't know whether this is done for the purpose of boosting this state, or reducing the bread lines in the cities.”

W. K. Starrett, who seems to have settled down permanently as C. R. Weed's successor on the New York Tribune, has been house-hunting in the suburbs, and at last reports had found the ideal nook. His own conception of such a nook is like this:

“A little apartment where they use green grass, located in a neighborhood where they've invented trees. One not too near a church bell-tower, and where the bedroom will accommodate a bed long enough for me. Also it must not be too far from the bounding main, for I look forward with much pleasure to a summer near an ocean not used altogether as a fish-and-crab factory. All I want now is an ocean-going canoe; then I shall go down and dig ideas each morning and get damp.”

Helena Smith Dayton
Caricatures in clay by Mrs. Helena Smith Dayton, and sculptures in paper by Alfred Frueh, were drawing cards at the recent “varnishing day” of the newly-organized American Salon of Humorists at the Folsom galleries, New York. Among Mrs. Dayton's contributions were “The Funeral Hack Drivers—Waiting,” a restaurant scene entitled “Bohemians—Perhaps,” and a group called “Tramps Scorning a Doughnut.” The human figures and animals cut from paper, and arranged so as to tell stories, won for Mr. Frueh many compliments.


Clifford Knight, cartoonist of the Hartford Post, has been writing some wordless dramas recently that are said to be brimming over with human interest. Mr. Knight also has a monologue which is in much demand at smokers, and is said to be leaning toward a vaudeville career.


Ryan Walker, the socialist cartoonist, has rechristened his lecture, and now calls it, “What Henry Dubb did with his wife, Henrietta Dubb.” He has been lecturing under the auspices of the Socialist Suffrage Campaign committee, and reports a very successful tour.


Cartoonists of Columbus, Ohio, are lamenting the removal from its pedestal of the statue of “Doc” Smith, a famous landmark of that city, which figured frequently in their cartoons.

Some of the cartoonists ought to take a course of instruction in how to draw the American Flag. Cartoons with the flag in them are popular these days, but 99 out of 100 are dead wrong. They contain any number of strips from 15 up to 25, while Uncle Sam's whiskers blow in one direction and the flag in another. Another weak point with cartoonists is anything in the marine line. The way they rig ships, and make them sail would drive an old tar insane. Of course we know that many of the cartoonists never came in contact with salt water, except when they took it in merry childhood’s days for worms, but that is no excuse for turning out marine monsters, especially in a big seaport like New York.—Editor and Publisher, New York.


Harper's Weekly, during the last two months, has reprinted a number of cartoons by W. H. Hanny, of the St. Joseph News Press. Much to Mr. Hanny's dismay, however, the cartoons were credited to the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. A Hanny cartoon also appeared in a recent number of London Sketch.


Ray Evans
Ray O. Evans, cartoonist of the Baltimore American, is publishing a deluxe edition of prominent Baltimoreans in caricature. Mr. Evans was once associated with Billy Ireland of the Columbus Dispatch in a similar enterprise, and it was with him that Evans received his cartoon training.


D. R. Fitzpatrick, cartoonist of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is planning to spend his vacation in Chicago. Mr. Fitzpatrick was formerly a student at the Chicago Art Institute, and graduated into his present position from the Daily News of that city.


F. G. Cooper, cartoonist of Collier's Weekly, was among the speakers at the annual “journalism week” at Columbia, Mo., held by the students of the school of journalism of the Missouri State University. Mr. Cooper spoke on cartoons.


Mr. and Mrs. Frank M. Spangler announce the arrival at their home of a fine ten-pound daughter, Lucile Irene. Mr. Spangler is the cartoonist of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser.


Tom Bee's half-page sketches of life in Baltimore in the Baltimore Sunday Sun have met with great favor on the part of the public.

From San Jose, Cal., comes the following remarkable letter to “Cartoons”:

“The writer is a dreamer alright alright, and my dreams suggest numerous cartoons. For example, I dreamed the other night that I was standing on a steep hillside gazing into a stream of blood which made the angels weep and on a hill above the rill in even plain view, I saw the form of Kaiser Bill and he was looking too. His face was blanched, his eyes bloodshot. His bosom heaved a sigh, as he stood on the mountain top, a tear stood in each eye. Mine Got, what have I done he cried, as he gazed on the stream. Is all this blood charged to my pride, or is this just a dream. Later he fell face downward into the stream of blood.”

The writer offers to furnish other dream ideas to such cartoonists as can use them.


Like many of his fellow craftsmen, Frank M. Spangler, cartoonist of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, has a double talent. He was quite flattered recently by receiving an invitation to attend the conclave of the Knights Templars at Philadelphia in May, as soloist with the largest Masonic band in the United States. He is a member of the shrine band of Montgomery, which will take a trip to Seattle in July. Mr. Spangler says that he cannot take the western jaunt, as the poultry business, in which he is much interested, will demand his attention.


Several original cartoons loaned by the Puck Publishing company to a recent exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery of New York were removed or turned to the wall, owing to objections from certain school teachers. Among the artists whose work thus disappeared were Nelson Greene and Hy Mayer. The pictures, according to one of the censors, “were intended for more mature minds.”


J. N. Darling (Ding), of the Des Moines Register and Leader, is a vocalist as well as a cartoonist. He is a member of one of the prominent church quartettes of Des Moines, and aside from being a power for good through his cartoons, takes an active interest in church and civic work.


Claude Gibbs, sports cartoonist of the Baltimore Evening Sun, and also the writer of the “Abe” column of baseball pessimism, has returned from Fayetteville, N. C., where he spent several weeks at the training quarters of the Terrapins, Baltimore's Federal League team.

A cartoon by J. H. Shonkweiler, of the Portsmouth (O.) Times, reproduced herewith, has won the artist many compliments, and is said to have reached Von Hindenburg himself. Commenting editorially on the cartoon, the Times says:

“It was a fanciful idea, that making soldiers stand for his hair and cannon and rifles for his eyebrows, but someway as one thinks of what a wonderful man of iron and warfare Von Hindenburg is, the idea assumes concrete form, and its fittingness is apparent. That many others appreciated the strength of the idea is shown by numerous words of praise given the author.”


A newspaper cartoonist, according to the Wichita Eagle, has succeeded finally in angering Colonel Roosevelt. The artist showed the colonel mounting a war horse. “But the offense wasn’t there,” remarks the Eagle; “the picture showed the colonel getting up with the wrong foot in the stirrup.”


Eugene Gise, formerly of the Toledo News-Bee, is now cartoonist for the Reading (Pa.) News-Times.

The Corning (N. Y.) Leader points out the following discrepancy in a cartoon in a mid-western newspaper, representing someone, “presumably a child, submerged in the black waters of a river, named ‘Misfortune', that ran between two cliffs, one of which was 'Poverty.’”

“Only two tiny hands,” observes the Leader, “appeared above the murky stream. It would have been mighty effective if the submerged one had not been represented as crying out ‘Help!' It stands to reason that anyone, child or adult, who can yell ‘Help!' while plunged beneath the surface of a river, can make a pretty good living in vaudeville.”

James North, cartoonist of the Tacoma Daily Ledger, tells a personal experience that again exemplifies the popular notion that cartooning and real work are anything but equivalent.
Prior to certain restrictions on boxing and wrestling contests, the logging camps of the state of Washington were often the scene of many lively bouts. A big, burly logger, who had been victorious in one of these contests, came to the city to celebrate, and in his wanderings he visited the Ledger offices in search of the sporting editor and some publicity.

The logger's curiosity led him to the art department. For several minutes he stood looking silently over North's shoulder at the cartoon in course of construction. Then suddenly he blurted out: “Say, Bo; what do you do for a living?”

Billy Sunday has his knockers. He received a cartoon and letter from an anonymous source recently which afforded him great amusement. The cartoon showed a cannibal dressed up in silk hat, full dress coat, umbrella under one arm and Bible under the other. A sash of white cloth covered the loins. Under the cartoon was the inscription: “The Billy Sunday of the Fiji islands.” The accompanying letter read: “The more dignified of the two and the one we prefer to have in New York.”


The Rev. E. J. Pace, a cartoonist in the service of religion, has been doing some effective work for the Christian Endeavor Topic and other religious journals. A cartoon by Mr. Pace, showing the key of obedience that unlocks the Bible, was used recently as a cover-page for the Watchword, of Dayton, Ohio.


A cartoon from the Jiji, of Tokyo, which had a rather familiar appearance, resolved itself on closer scrutiny into one by Rollin Kirby of the New York World. Kaiser Wilhelm is represented as imploring Uncle Sam to take for him a supply of food which the British lion is guarding.


Carl Garderwine, of the Terre Haute Tribune, has been bringing the traction company of the Indiana city to time by a cartoon crusade in the interests of the jitney bus.

A cartoon in the Los Angeles Tribune entitled “The Brute,” and directed against brutal journalism, has been made the basis of a $125,000 libel suit, filed against the Tribune publishers by the Los Angeles Times-Mirror. The cartoon showed a hog wallowing in filth. Two dollar signs were branded on its nose. The complainants declare that the cartoon was intended to injure their business, and was “understood by the readers to imply that the complainant was a brute, and, like the hog, wallows in filth and indecency; that he is an assassinator of character, and that salacious matter and unverified rumor are his stock in trade.”


Charles H. Sykes, of the Philadelphia Evening Ledger, smashed a 91-year precedent when a cartoon drawn by him for the suffrage number of the Springfield Republican was published on the first page of that newspaper. It was the first time in the history of that staid old journal's existence that the first page had been thus decorated.


As the result of a cartoon by Frank Hammond in the Wichita Eagle, the leading merchants of Wichita have placed awnings in front of their places of business. The cartoon was entitled “Which Store Gets the Trade?” and showed the contrast between a shop with awnings and a shop without


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Friday, January 03, 2020


Wish You Were Here, from Walt Munson

Here's an iconic "vacation" postcard by Walt Munson; I swear I can remember seeing this card still on the postcard racks when I went on holidays as a kid. According to the back this is a "Colourpicture" Publication, made for the Asheville Post Card Company. Although the typical airbrush look might lead you to assume it is a linen finish postcard, it is actually just flat cardboard. There's no date on this card, but I'm guessing 1940s-50s, and that's well before my vacationing years.


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Thursday, January 02, 2020


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Flloyd Triggs


Flloyd Willding Triggs was born on March 1, 1869 or 1871 or 1872 in Winnebago, Illinois. Triggs’ gravestone has the year 1869. The Catalogue of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity had the birth year 1871. The American Art Annual (1913) had the year 1872. Most publications spelled Triggs’ first name with one L. A family tree at said his parents were Matthew W. Triggs and Martha Jane Davis.

The 1875 Minnesota census said Triggs was the youngest of four children whose father was born in England. The family resided in Lodi, Mower County.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census counted the Triggs family in Rock Falls, Illinois. Triggs’ father was a minister.

According to the 1885 Minnesota census, the Triggs were back in Lodi. Apparently Triggs finished high school there and continued his education at the University of Minnesota. Triggs graduated in 1893 and provided the illustrations for the school yearbook, The Gopher. The American Art Annual said Triggs studied at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The 1894 Minneapolis, Minnesota city directory listed Triggs, a Tribune artist, at 1300 S E 6th Street, the same address as his parents. The Catalogue of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity had his address as 303 Washington Avenue, S. in Minneapolis.

The Mower County Transcript (Lansing, Minnesota), January 13, 1897, published this item: “Spring Valley Vidette: Mr. Floyd W. Triggs, the Chicago Daily News cartoonist, is enjoying a furlough at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M.H. Triggs, of this city.”

In the 1900 census, Triggs lived with James Collins, an author, in Vernon, Illinois.

During 1902 Triggs provided stories and art to Metropolitan Magazine and the New York Press newspaper. 

New York Press 7/27/1902


Printers’ Ink, May 27, 1903, published Triggs’ article, The Art of “Playing Up”.

The Connecticut Marriage Record, at, said Triggs married on July 31, 1903 in Darien. The family tree had his wife’s full name, Effie Gertrude Overly.
In the 1910 census Darien, Connecticut was Triggs’ home, located on Old Post Road. The newspaper cartoonist had two sons. Also in the household was his wife’s niece, Amelza K. Overly, a 16-year-old artist.

Triggs completed the 1917 Connecticut military census form on February 15. The artist said he lived in Darien. His height was five feet four-and-a-half inches and weight 110 pounds. He had three dependents. He could ride a horse and drive an automobile but not a motorcycle.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Triggs produced The Busyville Bees from May 28, 1910 to December 16, 1918. M.L. Baum did the writing from the start to September 26, 1914. The series appeared in the Christian Science Monitor

The Bridgeport Times (Connecticut), December 17, 1918, reported the jury summons for two murder cases. Triggs was named as a juror.

Triggs passed away August 23, 1919, in Stamford, Connecticut. He was laid to rest at Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien, Connecticut. His death was reported in several newspapers and some of them said he worked at the Chicago Tribune, but no information has been found supporting it. Triggs did work at the Minneapolis Tribune and Chicago Daily News. An obituary appeared in the New Britain Herald (Connecticut), August 25, 1919.

Stamford, Aug. 25.—Floyd Wilding Triggs, a cartoonist, died here suddenly Saturday night. His home was in Darien but he was staying in this city temporarily. Mr. Triggs was 47 years old, a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the Chicago Art Institute, and formerly was a cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune. He made his home in Darien in 1903 and was connected with newspapers in New York city and Boston. Mrs. Triggs and two sons survive.

Another death notice was published in American Art News, September 13, 1919.
Floyd Wilding Triggs, artist and cartoonist died at Stamford, Conn., Aug. 23 last, aged 47. He is survived by a widow and two sons, was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and had been connected with the Chicago Art Institute. He was a cartoonist on the Chicago Daily News previous to coming to Darien, Conn., in 1903. Later he did cartoon work for the N.Y. “Press,” and the “Christian Science Monitor.”

Triggs’ fraternity mentioned his passing in The Shield of Phi Kappa Psi, October 1919.

Floyd Wilding Triggs, Minn. Beta ’90, the well-known artist and cartoonist, died suddenly in Stamford, Conn., August 23, 1919. He was born in Winnebago, Ill., March 1, 1872. He was graduated from the University of Minnesota and the Chicago Art Institute. He has successively been cartoonist for the Chicago Daily News, New York Press and Christian Science Monitor.

—Alex Jay


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Wednesday, January 01, 2020


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Obscurity of the Day: The Busyville Bees

Happy New Year! Here's our first obscurity of 2020.

The Christian Science Monitor began publishing in 1908, and it wasn't long before a cartoon series found its way into their pages. It was called The Busyville Bees, and it debuted on May 28 1910. Sometimes a strip, but more commonly a panel, the feature concerned the goings on around a beehive full of industrious and inquisitive bees. The stories were intended to be fun but also instructive about the natural world. M.L. Baum provided the rhyming stories, and Flloyd Triggs (yes, two Ls) handled the art chores. Neither of these folks has any other newspaper comics credits that I know of.

Baum left the feature with the installment of September 26 1914. A little biographical sleuthing turns up that M.L. Baum was Maria Louise Baum, an important early contributor to the newspaper. She was editor of the Home Forum page from 1910-14, parting ways with the paper after a change in leadership made her feel that her contributions weren't as welcome as they once were. She is most known for writing the words to several Christian Science hymns.

After Baum left, the feature only appeared sporadically and Triggs, now presumably writing since no additional credit appeared, swapped out poetry in favor of  prose (sometimes a LOT of it -- see the bottom sample). In 1916 the running title was dropped in favor of a headline about the current installment. Triggs brought on a dingo as a new main character and the bees were gradually reduced to supporting roles. The series last appeared on December 16 1918.


CSotD reports the death of Everett Kinsler mentioning that he worked on a comic strip "Strictly GI". Have you ever heard of it?
No, afraid I don't. Sounds like it might have been an army camp newspaper feature?

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Obscurity of the Day: Mazie the Motor Maid

Let's ring out 2019 with a superb series, one that marks the debut of the great J. Norman Lynd as a newspaper series cartoonist. Lynd was a jack of all trades at the New York Herald, starting there sometime around 1910. When I think of all the years he spent there NOT producing great cartoons it makes me a little ill. What a criminal waste of talent.

Anyway, Mazie the Motor Maid is in the style of a magazine cover series, and concerns a beautiful gal who is an expert car driver ... believe it or not that would have been considered pretty noteworthy in that era. Paul West provides the doggerel verse, which manages here not to be nearly as grating on the nerves as usual.

Mazie the Motor Maid ran in the Herald from June 15 1913 until March 15 1914. For some reason the final installment was demoted to a little 3-column black-and-white rather than the glorious full-pagers of the rest of the series. The series went on long enough that Paul West must have run out of ideas about automobiling, because the last three episodes were titled simple Mazie and the subject went afield form motorcars.

After this series Lynd would not do another series cartoon until 1919's You Know How It Is.


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Monday, December 30, 2019


Obscurity of the Day: Pip Gint

Clare Dwiggins did many different series featuring his School Days cast, and here's a short-lived version in which he concentrated on the musclebound prank-puller Pip Gint and his favorite victim, the bookworm Flossy. This was one of the New York World's quarter-page comics that ran from August 20 to December 3 1911*. Occasionally these quarter pagers were dropped from the World itself in favor of an ad, so it ran a little longer in the syndicated version of the Sunday section.

* Sources: Start date from Ken Barker in StripScene #14, end date from Dave Strickler based on San Francisco Call.


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