Saturday, January 18, 2020


What The Cartoonists Are Doing, August 1915 (Vol.8 No.2)

[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.]

A prophet is supposed to be without honor in his own country. Persons have often wondered why “Billy” Ireland, cartoonist of the Columbus Dispatch, elects to remain in the wilds of Ohio when other and presumably more attractive fields are open to him. Mr. Ireland doubtless has his own reasons. That his own newspaper appreciates him is evident from the following editorial published recently in the Dispatch:

“War cartoons that have appeared in The Dispatch in recent months, from the pen of William A. Ireland, have been copied around the world. Instances that have come to the notice of this paper recently have shown that they met with favor from some of the most conservative reviews and from other magazines and newspapers of prominence in France, England and various of the larger cities of America.

“One of the largest reading publics attained for any of these graphic messages was that of the readers of the Hearst Sunday newspapers, which recently carried in their 2,000,000 copies a full page editorial entitled “Do You Pity This Helpless Chinese Colossus?" which had for its theme a recent cartoon of Mr. Ireland's that formed the center of the page. A huge Chinaman is shown with Jap handcuffs that have just been placed on him by a little Japanese soldier, who is shown on his way back to his boat. The editorial draws a moral for America from helpless China because of this country's unpreparedness for war. ‘Our compliments to the editor and the artist of The Columbus Evening Dispatch for their idea and their picture, reproduced here,' runs the bold legend underneath the cartoon. 'We are glad to give them credit. We render a public service in republishing in two million copies of the Hearst Sunday newspapers this excellent and much-needed cartoon.’

“A pictorial idea that caught the fancy of La Vie Parisienne, the breezy and fearless Paris publication, recently, was a cartoon of Mr. Ireland's in which the German, standing in the Kiel canal, was describing by means of a compass tipped with submarines a circle of embargo about the British Isles. Several of the artist's cartoons have recently appeared in the London Sketch and not a few in the Literary Digest, of New York, while Cartoons Magazine hardly ever gets out an issue without including several products from his forceful and virile pen.

“Collier's Weekly, of June 19, is sufficiently impressed by one of Mr. Ireland's expressions regarding the Lusitania that it reproduces the drawing in the middle of one of its editorial pages. It is that one which was inspired by the group picture of the American mother, Mrs. Paul Crompton, and her six children, all of whom were lost in that maritime disaster. Von Tirpitz, sea lord of Germany, is shown holding the picture, which he has taken from an envelope addressed to him. Beads of perspiration stand out on his brow, but he falls back on the reiterated explanation, ‘Well, I gave them warning.'”

The French idea of an occasional instead of a daily cartoon is recommended to the New York Evening Sun by a New Jersey correspondent, who believes that the cartoonist can do better work if not constantly under pressure.

“The French plan of having the cartoonist at work every little while rather than daily,” he says, “would probably help the inspirational contents and form. The New York public will soon be ready for a great improvement in the caricature all around, and the exaction of a strictly naturalistic idiom may be less insisted upon as the modernists get more forward in their attack upon conventional models. We are in the case of the early printers and engravers in our desire to make an ephemeral thing not exactly beautiful but as beautiful as the conditions allow. I think the time is near at hand when American caricaturists of the daily press will have their fighting chance to win recognition as artists—with the memory of their great protagonists, Callot, Hogarth, Daumier, et al., nay, even Leonardo and Rembrandt, for ideals.”


Ray T. Handy, cartoonist of the Duluth News-Tribune, was in Chicago recently to attend the engravers' convention. Mr. Handy owns his own engraving plant, and, unlike most cartoonists, has no fault to find with the engraver. The News-Tribune is one of his best customers.


Cartoonist Winterhalder, who was identified with the New Orleans Picayune before the consolidation of that newspaper with the Times-Democrat, is now on the staff of the New Orleans American, published by the union printers who left the employment of the Times-Democrat, Daily States, and Item.

After a service of 25 years as cartoonist of the Minneapolis Journal, Charles L. Bartholomew, known affectionately as “Bart,” has left that newspaper to devote his attention to a syndicate. “Bart” was more than an individual. He was an institution, and a national institution, at that. He began his career in the days when the newspaper cartoon seldom appeared, and when perhaps less than a score of names made up the register of active American cartoonists. He has portrayed many important episodes in the nation's history, his album of Spanish American war drawings being representative. For a quarter of a century presidential campaigns have been chronicled by his pen. He devoted much of his attention to the field of national politics. His style was rather that of an older school, as he delighted in exaggerations and the portrayal of the grotesque. While his cartoons had the “punch” and showed a close insight into public affairs, they never offended. It is doubtful whether “Bart” has ever made an enemy. As an expression of the unique regard in which he was held in Minneapolis, a public dinner was given in his honor on June 8 at the Hotel Radison. “Bart's" most recent achievement is a cartoon in oil on goatskins, which he presented to Louis W. Hill, president of the Great Northern Railway. It will adorn the new hotel in Glacier Park.

A. G. Racey, cartoonist of the Montreal Star, is dividing his time these days between his professional and his military duties. He is a member of Montreal's crack rifle corps, the Victoria Rifles Reserve. This organization already has sent several thousand members to the front, where they have given a good account of themselves. In its ranks are to be found lawyers, doctors, artists, authors, members of parliament, and many Bisley men, all experts with the rifle. It is commanded by Chief Justice Sir Charles Davidson. A series of shooting prizes presented by Mr. Racey brought the best shots to the fore during the winter, and many of these are doing good work in the trenches in Flanders.

Good old Doc Yak, with his red automobile, “348,” and his Belgian war orphan, has gone into broader fields. Sydney Smith, his creator, has staged Doc's adventures for the movies, where they are being presented under the auspices of the Chicago Tribune, in the pages of which newspaper they originally appeared. Readers of the Tribune are being offered $50 prizes for the best ideas for a Doc Yak scenario. Doc already has made a trip to the moon, and has explored the bottom of the sea. It is probable that he will make a few excursions into the war zone. Doc Yak has been described as “the funniest funny character ever cartooned.” He has long been a family friend in Chicago from baby to grand father.

Apropos of a decision made by the St. Louis board of aldermen to attend a formal dinner in business dress, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat remarks that it is not to be supposed that the street costume of a city father in any way resembles that which the cartoonists have made famous. “They do not seek such deafening effects,” this newspaper continues. “They do not wear massive gold chains or dazzling diamonds. They are exceedingly modest—at least in matters sartorial.”

Maurice Ketten, the New York Evening World cartoonist, is said to be looking for a place to spend his vacation. Usually he goes abroad, but such a trip is out of the question this year. He wants something exciting, however, and has rejected the idea of a camping trip in Maine because of its tameness. Having appealed to his friends, the most exciting suggestion he has received thus far is that he hire a Staten Island ferryboat and try to force the Dardanelles.


“If I were a cartoonist,” suggests a reader of the New York World, “I would make a cartoon of Dr. Dernburg with one hand bidding William Randolph Hearst good by, and passing with the other hand the belt to William Jennings Bryan, with the line underneath: “No use of my staying here, gentlemen. You have beaten me to a frazzle.’”

C. M. Payne (“S'Matter Pop”), accompanied by his wife and two little daughters, has been visiting Los Angeles and southern California, and will remain on the coast for several months. An automobile trip to the Panama-Pacific Exposition and to San Diego is planned during his stay. The kids, true to their comic supplement prototypes, asked myriads of questions, and were delighted and amazed with all they saw.

Mr. Payne created “S'Matter Pop” three years ago while traveling over the Nevada Desert, and has been making the American public laugh ever since. The accompanying cartoon, drawn for the Los Angeles Tribune, shows “Pop” and his talented family marching down Broadway of the California city.

“The enclosed sketch will show why I unloaded it,” writes Fred Myers, the Indianapolis cartoonist who did for Terre Haute on a small scale what Nast did for New York in the days of the Tweed ring. The "it" in question refers to an “ancient two cylinder machine” which Mr. Myers picked up for fishing trips. Envious friends, however, made him feel as if he were trying to get about on a couple of spools and an old tin can, and the owner, being sensitive to criticism, reluctantly parted with it.

Mr. Myers, who has been doing chalk talks at local theaters and Y. M. C. A.'s, received a unique compliment not long ago. At the close of an entertainment given in a Posey County metropolis, his “impresario” remarked: “Wall, Myers, derned ef ye' ain't th' fust o' them cartoonists I ever seen who didn't draw th’ Rock of Ages in red chalk somewhere in his program.”


Albert Dressler, the California artist and cartoonist, has been visiting in Butte, Mont., gathering impressions for a series of sketches. Butte will occupy three pages in a volume by Mr. Dressler, entitled “Seeing San Francisco in 1915,” which is to be published by an eastern firm.


Joseph Keppler, the cartoonist who helped make Puck famous, has retired in favor of his son. The St. George Staten Islander, therefore, felt quite honored when Mr. Keppler consented to draw the cover design for the quarter-century anniversary edition of that paper. The cartoon portrayed an Indian, symbolizing the earliest recorder or historian of Staten Island.

When J. H. Donahey, the cartoonist, made his sketching trip through Egypt for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he discovered the deadly peril of the pith helmet. He passes this warning along to all who are intending to do Egypt. Let them heed lest they wear a pith helmet.

With the Donahey party was one of your wealthy young fellows who thinks it necessary to dress for everything. Accordingly he got himself up to look exactly like the tourist of fable and fiction, in puttees, Norfolk jacket and pith helmet. Donahey started out one day with this chap when the latter needed a new pair of puttees. Donahey didn't need anything. He had on an old suit of clothes and no pith helmet.

Together they went into several Cairo shops. At the first one the dusky shop keeper asked $7 for a pair of puttees. It was a wild guess, and they went to another place. Here the price was $9.50. Good night! Another shop was more reasonable —$6.85. They even found a shop where the price hovered around $4.30.

“See here,” said Donahey to his friend, “there's something queering us. You stay outside and let me go in and buy your puttees for you.” This was done. Donahey went in without a pith helmet and came out bearing a fine pair of the desired puttees. “How much d’they soak you for 'em?" asked the pith helmet boy. “A dollar ninety,” answered our hero calmly. (Copyright 1915, American Press Humorists)

Admirers of E. A. Bushnell's cartoons have been burying the artist lately with inquiries as to what has become of the sad-eyed, mournfu1 looking “Doc” with which canine Mr. Bushnell has for many years embellished his work. As the artist has found it impossible to answer all these communications, he has explained “Doc's" disappearance to the editor of Cartoons Magazine.

Mr. Bushnell, who draws his cartoons for a syndicate, is unable, he says, to please everybody, and as several unappreciative clients objected to the funereal character of “Doc,” it was decided to put him out of the way as humanely as possible. Most of Mr. Bushnell's followers will regret this wanton sacrifice, but the artist himself is reconciled, and states that “Doc” has probably appeared for the last time.

On the initiative of a committee, of which the presidents of the French Academy and of the Academy of Fine Arts were the heads, a number of artists and literary men have contributed, the former, original drawings, and the latter, their autographs, which have been bound into an album dedicated to the people of the United States as an expression of France's gratitude for the liberal gifts of money, food, and medicine, which have come to her and her allies through the generosity of our people.

This album, ornamented with the arms of the United States and of the French Re public, was presented to Ambassador Sharp at Paris, and will be forwarded to the United States to be deposited in the Library of Congress.

Among the contributing artists were Rodin, the sculptor, Leon Bonnat and Carolus Duran, of the French Institute, both celebrated painters of the older school; Desiré Lucas and Lucien Simon, representatives of a younger generation, Hermann Paul, one of the greatest of the French satirists, and Renouard. Recent war paintings by Lucas and Simon promise to become historic.

Miss Pauline Taylor, a Salt Lake City girl, has been attracting considerable attention lately by her cartoons of the national sport. She may be seen almost daily with her pad and pencil at the local ball park, where she amuses herself by making drawings of her favorite players. “About the productions of her untaught skill,” says the Salt Lake City Tribune, “there is ever something that speaks of a large native talent.”

As a gentleman jockey, cross-country rider, Olympian athlete, and globe-trotter, C. Wiedemann, the new cartoonist of Colman's Weekly, of Manila, P.I., is a person much to be envied. A familiar figure on the Lunetta, or on the Bund of Shanghai, he is known and liked wherever Europeans gather east of Suez. As a horse owner and rider he has shone with special brilliance at Shanghai and Tsingtau. At a recent race meet at Tsingtau he brought in one of his own mounts as winner in every event. Mr. Wiedemann was entered in the Olympic games in London in 1908, and at the Manila carnival this year he won the pentathlon in the athletic meet. His knowledge of China and the Chinese is particularly thorough. He numbers among his friends many a viceroy, taotai, and provincial potentate in the interior of that country. He was a war correspondent for European papers during the Chinese revolution, and marched with the allied forces into Peking. We present one of his cartoons here. For the most part they have to do with oriental subjects.


Kaiser Wilhelm will have one less cause to worry when he discovers that since the first of June Sam Hunter's cartoons have not appeared in the Toronto World. The kaiser, however, can be no more glad than Mr. Hunter. This is the time of the year when, following his custom of a quarter of a century, the veteran cartoonist drops all work, closes his town house, and listens to the call of the wild. He is spending the summer at his camp, “Pepacton,” in the Kawartha Lakes region of northern Canada. Here he remains, finding cartoons in stones and running brooks, until September.


“Violent and abusive,” according to the Detroit Journal, are the cartoons that Harper's Weekly has been aiming at the German leaders. “This newspaper,” the Journal adds, “employed Nast to cartoon Jefferson Davis during the civil war as a hyena despoiling the graves of the dead. Similarly the southern press cartooned Lincoln as a naked African. We Americans are more or less ashamed of the rabid horrors of that period, and discover in both north and south some very human elements.
There are some Americans who are going to be quite as much ashamed of their present ignorance and blind prejudices.

Boardman Robinson, who left the New York Tribune some months ago to become a free lance, has published, through the house of E. P. Dutton and Co., a volume entitled “Cartoons of the War.” It is a beautifully printed quarto, and contains 33 drawings in Mr. Robinson's best style. These cartoons, the artist explains, “represent the emotions evoked by the news from day to day, and make no pretense to a philosophic viewpoint.”


A limited edition of Will Dyson's “Kultur Cartoons” has been imported from England for American distribution by the Page Company of Boston. The most striking of these, together with H. G. Wells' introduction, were reproduced recently in this magazine.


“Perhaps diplomacy,” suggests the Long Beach (Cal.) Telegram, “is able to frame an answer to the executive note. To answer the New York World's cartoon, showing a score of babies with hands extended toward the kaiser, and asking: “But why did you kill US?' simply is beyond the power of the most astute of diplomats.” It was this cartoon that was used as a cover decoration for the July number of this magazine.


Harry Parsons, a Topeka cartoonist, has been appointed chief of police of that city.


“Bib Ballads” is the title of the book from which these verses and decorations are taken; are written by Ring W. Lardner, and the illustrations are by Fontaine Fox. The poems, which immortalize Mr. Lardner's little son and heir, will appeal to everybody who loves children, especially to fathers with young sons. The book is published by P.F. Volland and Co. of Chicago.

This is a Eugene Field story from the repertoire of A. J. Taylor, cartoonist on the Los Angeles Times.
It seems that Field was wont in times of stress to resort freely to credit at a certain place of refreshment, so that it grew as hard for him to discharge as the national debt. Good-natured as was the creditor, he at last had to dun, and he “done” so in vain. Finally he decided the thing was hopeless.

“Field,” he said one day, in exasperation, “you now owe me $60. Just as a proof of the fat chance I’ve got of ever getting that money, I'd sell the debt for ten cents!”

Reproachfully, Field eyed him. Then with a sigh, reached down in his pocket and found a thin dime. This he laid on the counter.

The cafe man snorted, but was game. He took the dime and tore up the tab. But Field lingered.
“Well, what are you hanging around for," angrily inquired the victim of this deal.

“Why,” answered Field with elaborate surprise, “don’t you always set 'em up when a patron pays his bills?” Upon which the setting up exercises followed, a large and jubilant throng taking part.  (Copyright 1915, American Press Humorists)

The recent discovery by a Harvard professor of adrenin, a substance which makes sleep unnecessary, has been heralded by H. T. Webster, cartoonist of the New York Globe, as a heaven-sent fulfillment of a long-felt want. Most important, Mr. Webster believes, will be the discovery in its bearing on those who enjoy an occasional game of “draw.” In a recent cartoon he pictures a scene in his own 137th Street apartments. Sitting in are Mr. Webster himself, Ray Rohn, who does pictures for Judge, and “Bob” Brinkerhoff, illustrator and manufacturer of the national Welsh sweetmeat known as “woggles.”

Fortified with several barrels of adrenin, the group intends to play straight through until Sept. 1. The only dissenting voice appears to come from Mr. Brinkerhoff. The “date two weeks from tonight” that he refers to, evidently is with some society queen, or Lillian Russell, as the artist is much sought after in the best Knickerbocker circles.


T. A. Dorgan (“Tad”), cartoonist of the New York Journal, was one of the star witnesses recently in an inquiry to determine whether public gambling was being carried on at Belmont Park.


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Friday, January 17, 2020


Wish You Were Here, from an Anonymous Puck Artist

A Puck cartoon that sought to make fun of Milwaukee finds an unexpectedly appreciative audience with the Milwaukee-based postcard company, F.G. Kropp Publishing. The signature was left off from this excellent cartoon -- anyone care to hazard a guess as to the cartoonist?


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Thursday, January 16, 2020


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Emidio Angelo

(An updated profile is here.)

Emidio “Mike” Angelo was born on December 4, 1903, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to the Social Security Death Index and several volumes of Who’s Who in American Art.

Angelo and his family has not yet been found in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census.

The 1920 census recorded Angelo as the oldest of six children born to Stanley, a baker, and Laura (Alessandroni). The family resided in Philadelphia at 1325 Garnet Street. Angelo was an assistant at a newspaper office.

Who’s Who (1989) said Angelo studied at the Philadelphia Museum and School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 15, 1953, said he started at PAFA in 1924. The 1936–1937 Who’s Who said he was a pupil of George Harding and Henry McCarter. Angelo was awarded PAFA’s European Traveling Scholarship in 1927 and 1928.

A passenger list, at, said Angelo arrived in New York city on September 20, 1927. He had departed Cherbourg, France on September 14. His address at the time was 1255 South 21st Street, Philadelphia.

According to the 1930 census, Angelo’s mother was a widow who had seven children. The family lived at 1628 South 22nd Street in Philadelphia. Angelo’s occupation was commercial artist.

The same address was in the 1936-1937 Who’s Who that said Angelo was a member of the Da Vinci Alliance and Fellowship of PAFA. His pen portraits from life included Mussolini, ex-Presidents Coolidge and Taft, William Jennings Bryan, Premier Dino Grandi, Rudolph Valentino and others. His cartoons were published in Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, Life, Judge, Ballyhoo, College Humor, Sales Management, Bell Telephone News and the Public Ledger. He lectured on “Cartoons and Caricatures.”

Who’s Who (1989) said Angelo was the editorial cartoonist for the Main Line Times (Ardmore, Pennsylvania) from 1937 to 1954 and 1981.

The Inquirer, December 12, 1943, said Angelo joined the Inquirer staff and married Yolanda Marinelli in 1938. At the time they had a four-year-old daughter named Jova. Anthony A. Chiurco wrote about his uncle in Up from South Philly (2014) and said Angelo joined the Inquirer staff in 1937. The book has a photograph of Angelo.

Angelo has not yet been found in the 1940 census.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Angelo produced Funny Angles from January 1, 1945 to 1958. The panel was known later as Emily and Mabel. Vincent Schiller contributed to the writing.

The Inquirer, February 23, 1952, reported Angelo’s Freedom Foundation “third-place award for an editorial cartoon published last July 11 and entitled, ‘No Let-Up On Vigilance.’ He pictured Uncle Sam scanning storm clouds over Korea.”

The Inquirer, November 15, 1953, reported the annual PAFA exhibition and said

This is the first year that humor, in the form of a gallery of original cartoons, has been included in these annual exhibitions. Angelo will speak particularly about this phase of the show.
In 1957 a collection of Angelo’s cartoons, The Time of Your Life, was published by the John C. Winston Company.

Who’s Who (1976) said Angelo received the Da Vinci Award silver medals in 1958, 1960 and 1968, and a bronze medal in 1961. He was awarded a gold medal from the Philadelphia Sketch Club in 1969. His memberships included the National Cartoonists Society and the American Editorial Cartoonists. He was the producer of the 1967 short color film, Alighier’s, The Inferno.

The 1989 Who’s Who said Angelo was an advance art class instructor at Samuel S Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. He received the Freedom Foundation Award in 1983. His mailing address was 419 Redleaf Road, Wynnewood Pennsylvania 19096.

Angelo passed away September 2, 1990.


Further Reading
Editor & Publisher, February 18, 1950
Editor & Publisher, May 31, 9152

—Alex Jay


Emily and Mabel remind me of the Whoops! sisters by Peter Arno, in the early 30s.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Obscurity of the Day: Funny Angles / Emily and Mabel

Emidio "Mike" Angelo was working for the Philadelphia Inquirer when he sold them on the idea of running his gag cartoons under the title Funny Angles. The panel cartoon debuted as a three-times-per-week feature in the Inquirer on July 25 1944, then soon graduated to a daily on October 23 of that year. Evidently Angelo was also shopping the feature around, because on January 1 1945*, Funny Angles started its syndicated run distributed by the Chicago Sun Syndicate. Evidently Angelo was not much of a gagman, because lots of his panels credit gag writers by their initials; a popular collaborator was Vincent Schiller, whose "+ V.S." is often seen.

Early in the run Angelo or one of his gag writers came up with the characters Emily and Mabel, identical twin spinsters who are always on the make to snag some men. In 1950 the ladies took over the panel entirely, and the title was changed to Emily and Mabel. In this era it is claimed that the feature had upwards of 150 clients, a very healthy number.

Perhaps the newspaper-reading public got tired of what was now a one-note gag panel, and the Chicago Sun syndicate (now under the name Field Enterprises) dropped the panel sometime in 1958. Angelo signed on with a company called Metcalf Features, of which I know nothing, and they distributed the panel for a very short period, until January 10 1959**. An impish spacesuit-wearing boy was added to the cast to save the feature, but evidently it did not.

In the late 1970s Angelo brought the old gals back for the Philadelphia neighborhood weekly paper, the Chestnut Hill Local, as evidenced by the below short item in an AAEC Bulletin. I don't know how long that lasted.

* Source: Jeffrey Lindenblatt based on Long Island Star-Journal.
** Source: Camden Courier-Post.


I get a very faint whiff of Arno's Whoops Sisters.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2020


Selling It: Boots and her Buddies Arrives in Dubuque

Back from the days when syndicates and newspapers actually marketed their features, here is a special strip created by Edgar Martin in 1925 to announce that Boots and her Buddies was soon going to begin appearing in the Dubuque Times-Journal. The Times-Journal would go belly up in 1927, despite the presence of this cute as a button NEA starlet.

Martin could have easily used this same art to advertise the strip in other new client papers, but this is the only instance I've seen where this promo was used. Scan from the collection of Cole Johnson.


I have seen other papers use this promo, I guess like most big syndicates, NEA would update them every few years; the first "Boots" promo was re-using the first episode.
At King Features, we'd put out our own , but unless it was a top title, we'd just keep sending out the same one until the artwork didn't look the same.
The problem with promos, is that you can offer a plethora of various styles, sizes, and characters, but most new clients just didn't use them, making them rare collector's items.

The Dubuque Times-Journal's last issue was Friday,1 April 1927. There was no Saturday issue anyway, but on Sunday 2 April, the rival Telegraph-Herald had incorporated their name (in small type) into their masthead, and announced the two had merged. It seemed like not much of an equal partnership, more like a buyout. On 6 May 1935 the Times-Journal's name vanished forever from the masthead.
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Monday, January 13, 2020


Obscurity of the Day: The Cat and the Kid

Cartoonist John Rosol lucked out when the Saturday Evening Post took a shine to his comic strips that featured a small boy and litter of white-faced black cats. The cartoons began appearing there around 1934, and were to become a regular fixture.

Eager to parley his good fortune, Rosol signed a contract with Philadelphia's Ledger Syndicate to produce a daily comic strip on the same subject, though the cat population was cut back to one. The Cat and the Kid debuted on March 8 1939* in a very small list of client papers.

Considering that Rosol wasn't making much off of this major investment of effort it is perhaps not altogether surprising that he started making his life easier by adding word balloons to what had been a pantomime strip. He also started penning typical kid gags in which the cat only figures as a background object. It wasn't long before Rosol threw in the towel, ending the feature on February 17 1940*, apparently not even finishing off a one-year contract.

The Ledger Syndicate, as with many of their features, had the strips numbered rather than dated. That made it all the easier to resell the strip on the reprint market. Western Newspaper Union took the bait, and resold the series at least 1941-46. Oddly, they did not include the strip with their own regular weekly line-up that I know of; and they never removed the Ledger copyrights in favor of their own.

If you'd like to see a much more intriguing series penned by Rosol, I commend you to the archives of King Features' Ask The Archivist to check out a real oddball item, Here and There.

* Source: Philadelphia Evening Ledger


The Cat and the Kid is a very hard strip to find. The only client paper that I ever found it in was in the Winnepeg Free Press, which isolated it from contaminating the other funnies by burying it in amongst dense want ad pages.
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