Saturday, June 26, 2021


Herriman Saturday: February 10 1910


February 10 1910 -- In a huge upset Fireman Jim Flynn has won a newspaper decision over Sam Langford in a ten round fight. According to most papers, Flynn had Langford off-balance right from the start, and helped his case early on by opening a cut above Langford's eye in the first round that had the Boston Bonecrusher half-blind through the remainder of the fight. 

Because this was an interracial bout, boxing historians reasonably wonder whether Flynn got the decision fair and square, as his record otherwise against Langford was pretty dismal. However, Flynn did have a history of occasional flashes of brilliance like this, the most notable being when he knocked out Jack Dempsey in 1917.


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Friday, June 25, 2021


Obscurity of the Day: Little Will


Comic strip kids of this era had stereotypical names, and Willie was the most popular. For obvious reasons, though, the comic strip rugrat in Little Will wisely goes by a slightly modified version. 

Little Will was by Carl Anderson, who finally gained comic strip fame very late in life when he created that famous pantomime kid, Henry. Back in the 1890s and 1900s, though, Anderson made the rounds of the big New York papers and the syndicates, seldom making any contributions that stuck for long. In 1904 Anderson had a short stint with World Color Printing. He created three series for them, of which Little Will was the last. It's your typical prank-pully brat kid strip, nothing memorable about it. 

Little Will, sometimes headlined as The Joker, ran in the World Color Printing sections from September 18 to November 13 1904.*

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the sample strips. 

* Sources: San Francisco Call and St Louis Star.


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Wednesday, June 23, 2021


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ted Miller

Ted Miller was born Edmund Gordon Miller on February 19, 1918, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Miller’s full name and birth information are from his World War II draft card and Social Security application. His parents were Ralph G. Miller and Helen Sargent.

In the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Censuses, Miller, his parents and three older siblings lived in Haverhill at 131 Brockton Avenue. His father was the proprietor of a plumbing and heating business. 

In 1935 Miller graduated from Haverhill High School. He contributed an illustration to the school yearbook, The Thinker

According to the 1940 census, Miller was the only child living with his parents. They remained in Haverhill at a different address, 21 Windsor Street. Miller was a self-employed cartoonist. 

Six months later Miller signed his World War II draft card on October 16, 1940. His employer was the Haverhill Evening Gazette. His description was six feet, 160 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. At some point his 21 Windsor Street address was crossed out and replaced with 106 Hempstead Avenue, West Hempstead, New York. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on December 27, 1941. 

During his service, Miller contributed cartoons to Yank, the Army Weekly. One of his cartoons was described in Yank, the Army Weekly: Reporting the Greatest Generation (2004). 
In a latrine in the November 16, 1945, issue, Sergeant Ted Miller had a full eagle colonel rewarding a hard-scrubbing Private Smith for excellent efforts, “I’m having you transferred to the officers side!” 
A Miller cartoon appeared in Yank, March 30, 1945. 

Miller’s letter was published in Flying, December 1944. 
Flying’s Giraffe
By way of interest, I thought I’d pass this on to you. A Liberator pilot, fresh back from the China-Burma-India theater and with 101 missions to his credit, was in here yesterday with news of one of my cartoons which he found clipped and posted in a remote operations tower deep in China. It was that giraffe job [August, ’43, issue]; I guess it smacked of the environment enough to warrant their keeping it. Anyway out shows how Flying gets around.

M/Sgt. Ted Miller Mitchel Field, N. Y. 

Cartoonist Ted Miller is a regular contributor to Flying. — Ed.
Miller’s draft card said he was honorably discharged on December 14, 1945. 

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Miller was the last of three artists to draw Diary of Snubs, Our Dog aka A Little Dog’s Diary. The series debuted with Paul R. Carmack, from June 4, 1923 to February 28, 1939. He was followed by Richard Rodgers, from March1, 1939 to September 15, 1947. Miller’s run was from September 16, 1947, 1947 to August 31, 1954. The series appeared in the Christian Science Monitor. Miller also produced Sunny Climes for the Christian Science Monitor. The weekly panel debuted January 2, 1951. It was continued by Grant Wilson for an unknown period of time.

The Newton Graphic (Massachusetts), March 30, 1950, reported Miller’s upcoming speaking engagement. 
Annual Meeting of Auburndale Woman’s Club to be Held April 12
Mrs. Thomas E. Crosy, day chairman, will introduce the speaker, Mr. Ted Miller, cartoonist, who will take for his subject, “This Funny Business.” He will tell the story behind the comic strips. He created the comic strip “Loop Carew” for the Haverhill Evening Gazette prior to his enlistment in the AAF. During the war he contributed regularly to “Yank.” His cartoons have appeared in such publications as and Better Homes and Gardens and he recently became associated with the Christian Science Monitor as artist and author of ‘The Diary of Snubs Our Dog.’”
Miller’s chalk talk was noted in the Nashua Telegraph (New Hampshire), November 18, 1960. 
Under the auspices of Nashaway Woman’s club, Ted, Miller, well known cartoonist and humorist, will present chalk-talk entitled “This Funny Business” at their meeting on Monday at 2:30 pm in the Odd Fellows hall. He has been in the business since 1935, created the comic strip “Loop Carew” in 1939, and during World War II when he in the Air Force he contributed to Yank. His cartoons major magazines and children’s comic books, and at present he is seen on “Your New England Weather” over WHDH-TV
Miller’s profile in the 1960 National Cartoonists Society Album said 
Born Feb. 19, 1918 in Haverhill, Mass. Drew for high school aper. Later met Wally Bishop in St. Pete, Fla. and became hopelessly addicted to cartooning. Contributed to ‘Yank’ during the war and have sold to all markets since. Did a daily strip for the Christian Science Monitor for eight years and later a panel, ‘Sunny Climes’ for them. Currently am under contract to the Hall Syndicate.

We are five, (one wife), two girls and a boy live in West Newbury, Mass. ...
Miller passed away on May 31, 2007, in West Newbury, Massachusetts. An obituary was found at Dole, Childs & Shaw
Edmund G. “Ted” Miller, 89, a freelance artist and TV personality, died peacefully Thursday at his home with his family present. Ted was the husband of Florence E. “Betty” (Peel) Miller.

Born in Haverhill February 19, 1918, he was the son of the late Ralph G. and Helen A. (Sargent) Miller.

Educated in Haverhill he was a 1935 graduate of Haverhill High School. During the war he served four years in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an intelligence specialist before his discharge as a Master Sergeant in 1945. At this time his cartoons appeared in the Army publication “Stars and Stripes”. He and his family moved to West Newbury in 1946. He did art work for the New England Telephone Yellow Pages, and for seven years drew and wrote a comic strip “The Diary of Snubs Our Dog” for the Christian Science Monitor.

In the 50’s he appeared for many years on Eileen Kneeland’s TV show “Lady of the Bookshelf”. With the advent of Channel 5 Ted began a twenty year career as the weatherman and incorporated his famous seagulls “Barney” and “Leonardo” into his program at WHDH. As an in court artist he covered the inquest following the death of MaryJo Kopechne.

He was devoted to his family and considered himself fortunate to engage in work he loved. Earlier he had enjoyed sailing and boating along the New England coastline, and winter golf trips with his wife to Bermuda. He enjoyed bicycling in his hometown, and speaking to anyone who would stop to say hello outside his home.

In addition to his wife of 65 years Ted is survived by his son, Grant Miller of West Newbury; daughters, Susan Miller and her husband Joe Edwards of Michigan, Marilyn Miller of Bradford; one granddaughter, Megan; sister, Francesca Lane of Newbury. He was the brother of the late Julian S. Miller, and twin sister Janice de Moulpied.

Relatives and friends are invited to the Memorial Service Monday 1:00 p.m. at Dole, Childs & Shaw Funeral Home, 148 Main Street, Haverhill. Private interment to follow at Linwood Cemetery. Calling hours will precede the service from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Hospice of North Shore, 10 Elm Street, Danvers, MA 01923.
TV Guide, Boston Area

Miller was laid to rest at Linwood Cemetery. The Haverhill Public Library has a Miller archive. 


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Tuesday, June 22, 2021


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Richard Rodgers

Richard Hellerman Rodgers was born on January 22, 1900, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to his World War II draft card and the Social Security Death Index. In the 1900 U. S. Federal Census, Rodgers was the youngest of two sons born to Isaac, a flour manufacturer, and Mary, both Pennsylvania natives. They lived in Philadelphia at 1205 Arrott Street. 

The 1910 census recorded the Rodgers family in Euclid, Ohio on Windward Drive. Rodgers’ father was a bookkeeper at an insurance company. 

On September 12, 1918 Rodgers signed his World War I draft card. His address was 1205 Arrott Street, in Philadelphia, and he was a student at Frankford High School. Rodgers description was stout build, medium height, with blue eyes and light colored hair. 

After graduating high school, Rodgers attended Lafayette College. The Biographical Record of the Men of Lafayette, 1832–1948 (1948) said Rodgers majored in civil engineering and was in the fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. The Rainbow of Delta Tau Delta, Summer 1981, said Rodgers was in the class of 1922. The Pennsylvania World War I Veterans Service and Compensation Files, at, said Rodgers was inducted on October 22, 1918 at Easton, Pennsylvania. He was a private at the Students Army Training Center of Lafayette College. He was discharged on December 10, 1918. 

According to the 1920 census, Rodgers lived with his widow mother and a servant at the same Philadelphia address. 

Georgetown Arts & Culture said Rodgers studied illustration under Thornton Oakley at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia. His landscape and figure painting instructors were Henry Snell and Emile Gruppe.

Rodgers finished his art training and moved to New York City. Everybody’s magazine featured his paintings on the covers of January and February 1928. In the 1930s he contributed drawings to Blue Book Magazine. (view November 1931 and March 1934) Rodgers’ art appeared in several books including Smuggler’s Luck: A Nantucket Story of the Revolution (1930), Dog Sled for Byrd, 1600 Miles Across Antarctic Ice (1931),  The Vengeance of Fu Chang (1932), Lone Rider (1933) and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Windsor Press, 1938). 

The New York, New York Extracted Marriage Index, at, said Rodgers and Susan Schwartz were married on April 26, 1930 in Manhattan, New York City.

The 1940 census said the couple was living in Queens, New York, in 1935, and eventually moved to Richmond Road in Berkshire, Massachusetts. The census said Rodgers was a self-employed artist who worked 44 weeks in 1939 and earned $2,360.

Rodgers signed his World War II draft card on February 15, 1942. He lived on West Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. He was described as five feet eight inches, 170 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. His employer was the Christian Science Monitor

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Rodgers drew the Christian Science Monitor strip, Diary of Snubs, Our Dog, from March 1, 1939 to September 15, 1947. He succeeded Paul R. Carmack who started the strip on June 4, 1923. Ted Miller continued the series from September 16, 1947 to August 31, 1954. 

The 1945 Florida state census counted Rodgers, his wife, daughter and son as Pompano, Broward County residents. 

The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts), April 1, 1978 said 
… Rodgers had several exhibitions of his oil paintings and watercolors in Berkshire County and throughout the United States. 

Mr. Rodgers was a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Pompano Beach, Fla. He was also a member of the Florida Watercolor Society, the Real Estate Board and the Rotary Club of Pompano Beach. 

He had made his winter home in Pompano Brach for 25 years until moving to Boca Raton three years ago. 
Rodgers passed away on March 30, 1978, in Boca Raton, according to the Berkshire Eagle

Further Reading and Viewing
Richard H. Rodgers
Mary Baker Eddy Library, Snubs the Dog in The Christian Science Monitor


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Monday, June 21, 2021


Obscurity of the Day: The Diary of Snubs, Our Dog


A comic strip that ran for over thirty years, was reprinted in at least five books, and was lovingly remembered by readers wouldn't seem to be much of an obscurity. However, if you weren't a reader of the Christian Science Monitor, chances are you never heard of one of their premier features, The Diary of Snubs, Our Dog

Although the Monitor wasn't exactly a treasure house of comics content, what little they ran were, generally speaking, quite good. Despite restrictions on content (or perhaps because, one might argue) their low-key, gentle comics managed to be pleasantly heartwarming and entertaining.

The Monitor's first comic was The Busyville Bees, which ran from 1910 to 1918. After a long fallow period with no more comics, The Diary of Snubs, Our Dog was added on June 4 1923. The new feature, which ran under the title A Little Dog's Diary for the first two installments, was by Paul Carmack. Carmack supposedly created the feature for the Prairie Farmer weekly magazine before it began in the Monitor, but I have not been able to confirm that (Carmack was the cartoonist on The Adventures of Slim and Spud for that magazine).

Carmack really had his sights set on being an editorial cartoonist, but if he didn't have his heart in the strip, it certainly didn't show. The episodes, told from the perspective of the pup Snubs and featuring his youthful master, known to the dog as "The Boss", are little nostalgia-tinged anecdotes in the life of a boy and his dog that are quietly thrilling, especially for those of us who were lucky enough to have such a dog companion in our youth (mine was named Trixie). Readers marveled at how Carmack seemed to remember all those little adventures a boy and his dog had together, and skillfully interpreted the bemused mind of the dog, trying to understand what goes on in the world of the humans.

The new strip did not run on a daily basis (generally 2-3 times per week) during Carmack's tenure, and until the 1930s ran in the vertical box format shown above; eventually the feature transitioned into a typical strip format. 

Carmack begged off from the Snubs strip as his editorial cartoons became more and more popular, often reprinted in mainstream papers. On March 1 1939, Richard Rodgers took over on the strip. Rodgers did an impressive job of channeling Carmack, both in art and writing. He did bring a little more continuity into the strip, telling occasional extended stories. Carmack had also engaged in continuities, but they were generally of the type seen above, where a group of strips tells of The Boss and his dog attending a summer boys' camp, not really plot-heavy tales.

Rodgers saw the pup through the war years, but was replaced by another new artist, Ted Miller, on September 16 1947. As with mainstream strips, by 1947 the Monitor's strips had been reduced in size, and Miller simplified and modernized the art a bit to go along with the new format. He also more often strayed from the diary format, in which the strip is narrated by Snubs; more often the narration was now actually dialogue, just not in word balloons. 

On the last day of August 1954, the Christian Science Monitor shut down most of its strips, including The Diary of Snubs, Our Dog. Only Guernsey LePelley's Tubby and Buddy and Company and non-series gag cartoons would survive the change in editorial direction. 

Coming next, Alex Jay's Ink-Slinger Profiles of Snubs' later artists, Richard Rodgers and Ted Miller.


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Sunday, June 20, 2021


Wish You Were Here, from Grace Drayton (?)


Here's the famous Campbell's Soup Kids, who were created by Grace Drayton in 1904. These promotional cards seem to have been issued as a set of four, and the perforations seen on the cards would seem to indicate that they were attached to each other in pairs. There are also two versions of the cards, one set with the added text "10 cents a can". This card was postally used in 1909, probably the year of issue. 

I can't decide if these cards feature Drayton art or not. Some of the kids seem like they are spot on (the girl in the yellow frock particularly) while others seem just a little off. What do you think? 


Hello Allan-
To my gimlet eye, this is not by Grace Drayton, the kids are perhaps "inspired" by her. The hard outlines aren't hers, and her kids would be a bit fatter than these.
Also their heads would be more disproportionately large. This artist has them in a much more realistic configuration. Most telling, I would think at this time, niether her signature or any accreditation is seen, and hers would be a well known name.
Perhaps she was not working for Campbell at that moment, though she definately would be back. Might be that there would be a conflict with her North American contract, or that of other Post Card printers.
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