Saturday, July 17, 2021
Herriman Saturday: February 16, 1910
February 16 1910 -- A Scottish Terrier dog lost by Mr. and Mrs. Bell of South Los Angeles Street has not been found, but his license tag has turned up. Unfortunately the tag was found inside a weiner served at a local restaurant. The restaurant buys all their weiners from a local manufacturer, so they're in the clear. The manufacturer of the weiners is mystified and is quick to point out that the tag is in perfect condition, showing no signs of having gone through their weiner-making machinery. The belief now is that someone slipped the license tag into the weiner somewhere along the way as a rather bizarre prelude to asking a ransom for the pooch. The Bells have enlisted a detective to get to the bottom of it all. So has the weiner manufacturer, understandably wanting to find a solution to the mystery that does not involve them grinding up the city's pets in their products.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, July 16, 2021
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Myron Waldman
Mr. and Mrs. Max Socolov, 26 Miller ave., have announced the engagement of their daughter, Miss Rosalie Socolov, to Myron Waldman, son of Mrs. Rebecca Waldman, 3 East 66th st., Manhattan.Miss Socolov was graduated from Freeport High School in 1941 and studied art at Hunter College. During the war she served as a Red Cross Gray Lady and assisted in the work of the United Service Organizations in entertaining soldiers. She is a member of the Young Folks League of Temple B’nai Israel and the South Shore Junior Hadassah as well as the St. Margaret Singers.Mr. Waldman is a graduate of New Utrecht High School, Brooklyn, and the School of Applied Arts, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. Both Mr. Waldman and his fiancee are employed at the Paramount, Animated Cartoon Studio, Manhattan, the former as one of the head animaters [sic] and the latter as an inspector of scenes. She has been associated with Paramount for five years. Mr. Waldman also, is a cartoonist with the New York Post and the originator of the strip, Happy the Humbug. He has appeared on the radio, in television and on the stage. He served for three years in the Army during the war first in a camouflage unit and later in a photography unit with Frank Kapper.
Animato! #22, Winter 1992, Reminiscing with Myron Waldman
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Obscurity of the Day: The Commodore
One of the cartoonists who supplied strips for the Boston Globe in the mid-1900s went only by the moniker 'Grif'; now that the Globe is online, I went on a fool's errand trying to find a mention of him in which his full name would be divulged. After searching on every variation of Grif, Griffin, Griffith, cartoonist, etc., I could think of, I've still come up empty. Oh well.
One of Grif's few series was The Commodore, aka The Admiral, aka The Tar. Believe it or not, Grif managed to go through all those title names in a span of just eight strips. The early episodes were all about the portly officer chasing a cat that has gotten loose on the ship. The title of one episode, "The Commodore, the Coxswain and the Cat" would have made an excellent series title; too bad it was only used once. Anyway, in later episodes the cat doesn't figure anymore. The series ran from October 9 1904 to June 25 1905, with long gaps between appearances.
Grif was a fair enough cartoonist, but his gags (as seen above) are rank amateur work. His eventual disappearance from the Globe could not have left many readers pining for him. Unless Grif underwent a serious change in styles, I do NOT think that he is the same Grif who did It's Only Ethelinda for the Philadelphia North American in 1908-10.
Monday, July 12, 2021
Obscurity of the Day: It's Amazing
I feel pretty sheepish that H.T. Elmo's features are so rarely featured on Stripper's Guide. I'm fascinated by Mr. Elmo's dogged pursuit to scratch out a living selling weekly features to small papers, year after year, decade after decade, probably never making more than a pittance, and probably being stiffed more often than being paid..
Here is It's Amazing from Elmo's aptly named Elmo Features Syndicate. This is yet another in the long procession of Ripley wanna-bes; how surprised would I be to find that many of the items in these panels were cribbed from Ripley and his other imitators ... not much.
The earliest examples of It's Amazing I have seen are from 1942, but based on the numbering in those the start date could possibly be in 1941. As with most Elmo productions, the feature was sold in batches, though, so start and end dates are pretty academic. The highest numbered panel I've come across is #272, which would afford a client paper over five years worth of weekly It's Amazing panels if they paid for an entire run.
The entire run of It's Amazing seems to be drawn by Elmo himself, but he never actually took credit on it. Panels #1 - 176 are signed "Harmon", and then "Hothel" for the remainder of the run. I understand why Elmo didn't take direct credit on It's Amazing -- he took credit on some other Elmo Features Syndicate strips and wanted to give clients the idea that there were lots of cartoonists in the Elmo bullpen. What I can't figure out, though, is why he changed pen-name horses in the middle of the run. I also think Elmo probably reused some of his earlier 'weird facts' art from Facts You Never Knew and some other features that he produced for trade publications. He also wasn't above selling It's Amazing as comic book filler. Fox Features used some panels in their comic books in the mid- to late-1940s* under the title Facts You Wouldn't Believe.
Elmo sold this and his other features for so long that they began to look really out of place in even Podunk newspapers. The latest I've ever seen It's Amazing run is 1970, in the Cottonport Leader, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit to find later ones.
If anyone has access to Elmo Features advertising or business correspondence, anything that would shed light on his syndicate business, I'd be thrilled to see it!
* By the way, the GCD cites these as being by "Clint Harmon" -- maybe such a cartoonist exists, but I really don't think he had anything to do with It's Amazing. If anyone knows different, I invite correction.
I was pretty skeptical of that one, thought maybe Elmo was just making stuff up. So I checked in and found that, Believe It Or Not, there really was a British law about marrying your mother-in-law (yes, even if her daughter was no longer your wife). A couple made all sorts of tabloid fodder awhile back, not just for flouting the law, but also for the off the charts ICK factor. (The husband had divorced his mother-in-law's daughter and hooked up with mom).
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Wish You Were Here, from Jim Davis
Here's another Garfield card from Argus Communications. This one is coded as P3670. I'd say about this card that Jim Davis was getting a little cocky about the recognizeability of his cat, but then again, it gives his name in the copyright slug, so my righteous indignation is quelled.
Labels: Wish You Were Here