Monday, June 28, 2021
Obscurity of the Day: Mr. Jonah Jimsenweed
Mr. Jonah Jimsenweed was the swan song for one of the great pioneer newspaper cartoonists, F.M. Howarth. He died unexpectedly from pneumonia at the young age of 43, in September 1908.
This final series shows that Howarth was still at the height of his powers at the time, his bold and fascinating, yet creepy and repellant cartooning style shows no signs of flagging. The subject was one of his favorites, the never-ending battle between husband and wife. In this case the wife is a harridan and the husband a weak-kneed schmuck. Pretty standard fare for Howarth, but executed as well as always.
Mr. Jonah Jimsenweed was created for the Chicago Tribune, where Howarth spent the final year or so of his career and life. The strip debuted on July 5 1908, and the material ran out on November 22, showing that Howarth had several months of material banked at the Trib prior to his death. Howarth's flagship Trib strip, Old Opie Dildock's Stories, was not as far ahead and that material ran out in September.
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples.