Thursday, December 31, 2020
Advertising Strips: Good Vision Will Help Win the Decision
Are you depressed? Anxious? Stressed? It's not because you are a war worker in 1943, with members of your family fighting and dying overseas. It's not that you're putting in long hours. It's not the changes in your diet since rationing began. Nah, buddy, the problem is your eyes! Can't you see how obvious it is?
Some association of optometrists, apparently with the initials A.C.S., offered their members a sequence of five comic strips designed to stimulate business. In each strip a war worker who is troubled on the job is discovered to be slipping because of eye problems. The series, titled Good Vision Will Help Win the Decision, began appearing in newspapers in March 1943; in some cases it ran daily, others weekly, and still others on a more haphazard schedule*. The strips are always run featuring the name and sometimes an associated print ad from a local optometrist.
The samples were supplied to me by Mark Johnson, who IDs the anonymous cartoonist as F. O. Alexander. Thanks Mark!
* Sources: Sedalia Democrat, Rochester Democrat, Ord Quiz.
Speaking of F. O. Alexander, if anyone is interested in seeing his jolly countenance, you should take a blink at the Stripper's Guide entry of 4 March 2020.
Happy New Year, everyone- we sure could use one.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Magazine Cover Comics: Two Innocents Abroad
One of only three magazine cover series drawn by Leonard T. Holton, Two Innocents Abroad is the earliest of them and the only one he drew for the Philadelphia Ledger Syndicate.
Holton later became a comedy writer, so it is unfortunate that for this series he was assigned only the art duties. The writer was Margaret Ernst, whose ability to write comedic verse was quite nearly nonexistent. I don't know if this is the same Margaret Ernst who later paired up with James Thurber for a book called In A Word, but if so she was lucky to have fine collaborators at least twice.
Two Innocents Abroad offers us vignettes from the whirlwind world tour of two flapper-types. Our gals may very well have never been dignified with names -- they aren't in my examples. There also seems to be a problem with the count of travellers, as a schnook named Bobby Day tags along in at least one sample (and he even has a name!).
This pretty forgettable magazine cover series had a very short run, from July 28 to September 1 1929. Impressive, though, that these ladies made the Grand Tour in a mere six weekly episodes.
Incidently, did someone figure out their income tax on your second example?