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.


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Friday, July 16, 2021


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Myron Waldman

Myron Waldman was born on April 23, 1908, in Brooklyn, New York, according to his World War II draft card. His father, Barney Waldman, was a Russian emigrant, and his mother, Rebecca Lipman, was a German emigrant.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Waldman was the youngest of four brothers. They lived with their parents and maternal grandmother at 1251 50 Street in Brooklyn. That was their home over the next 25 years or so. 

In June 1924 Waldman graduated from Public School 103. He attended New Utrecht High School where he was on the 100-pound relay team and a staff member of the school newspaper, The Weekly NUHS. He graduated in June 1926. Waldman continued his art studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He graduated with a Drawing, Painting and Illustration certificate on June 20, 1929. 

In 1930 Waldman was employed at the Fleischer Studios in Manhattan. (Seceral Fleischer cartoons can be seen on Pluto TV’s Classic Toons.) 

A Florida passenger list at listed Waldman on the S.S. Florida which departed Havana, Cuba on March 11, 1937 and arrived in Miami the next day.

According to the 1940 census, Waldman lived with his parents in Miami, Florida at 2326 21st Avenue. In 1939 he earned $5,800. 

On October 16, 1940 Waldman signed his World War II draft card. His description was five feet five inches, 160 pounds, with hazel eyes and brown hair. Waldman’s employer was Fleischer Studios.

Waldman’s father passed away January 25, 1941. 

The Brooklyn Eagle, March 7, 1942, said “It is Brooklyn talent that is on display at the N. Y. Paramount Theater. ... And on the screen is ‘Superman,’ animated by Myron (Mike) Waldman, former cartoonist for the New Utrecht H.S. publication, ‘Nuhs.’” 

Waldman enlisted in the Army Corps of Engineers on October 12, 1942. His Department of Veterans Affairs file, at, said he was discharged on October 12, 1946.

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Waldman did some scripts for Better Publications around 1944. 

The Leader (Freeport, New York), May 6, 1948, reported Waldman’s engagement to Rosalie Socolov. 
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. 
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Waldman drew Happy the Humbug which was written by Steve Carlin. The New York Post Syndicate strip ran from November 17, 1946 to April 3, 1949. The Eagle and New York Post mentioned Waldman and Carlin’s appearances at local theaters to promote Happy the Humbug. Below is a RKO advertisement from the Star-Journal (Long Island City, New York), March 24, 1947.

Waldman’s animation career is covered in great detail and illustrated with several photographs at Cartoon Research.

Waldman’s mother passed away October 18, 1960. 

On February 4, 2006 Waldman passed away in Bethpage, New York. 

Further Reading and Viewing
Editor and Publisher, October 5, 1946: The New York Post Syndicate has scheduled tor Nov. 17 release “Happy the Humbug,” by Steve Carlin and Myron Waldman ... 
Cartoon Research, Remembering Myron Waldman: A Talk with His Sons, Bob and Steven 

Animato! #22, Winter 1992, Reminiscing with Myron Waldman

The Observer, January 26, 1995, Making A Wish Come True 
The New York Times, February 6, 2006, obituary
Broadcasting, November 22, 1943, Happy the Humbug pre-comic strip advertisement
The Bulletin of the National Retail Dry Goods Association, August 1944, Happy the Humbug pre-comic strip advertisement 
Display World, June 1948, Happy the Humbug promotional displays


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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.


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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.


The question is not what was the dime doing inside the egg, but what was the dime doing in Cuba? Also, the man who left his wife $1.99 was AMAZING because they lived in Britain. Believe it or drop dead!
When I first read the one about it being illegal to marry your mother-in-law, I assumed it was a joke (like the old riddle "Why is it illegal for a man to marry his widow's sister?") and wondered if all the items would be along the same lines. Since they weren't, I assume the cartoonist didn't realize the absurdity of the statement. (It doesn't say "FORMER mother-in-law.")
Hi Doug --
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).

Although the GCD has a number of strips by Clint Harmon, they're all for Charlton and none of them appear to be related to Elmo's work. They do have one Fox filler attributed to Hothel/Elmo.
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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.


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