Saturday, September 25, 2021
Herriman Saturday: February 16 1910
February 16 1910 -- The big Johnson-Jeffries fight is still many months away, but Herriman accurately reflects the feverish anticipation.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, September 24, 2021
Obscurity of the Day: The Marrying of Mary
Thornton Fisher had a long cartooning career, but his salad days were definitely the mid-1910s at the New York Evening World. One of his longest running strips there was The Marrying of Mary, featuring a couple of obnoxious parents and a beautiful young girl (well, as beautiful as Fisher's limited artistic ability could manage, anyway). Objective was the matrimony of young Mary, which would be as easy as falling off a rock if it weren't for all the 'help' inflicted by her parents.
This was a plot that Fisher beat to death in several strips over the years. Why he kept saddling himself with drawing supposedly gorgeous young gals when his pen just refused to draw such things I dunno. He did have the sense to keep Mary off-stage an awful lot for a title character, thus saving himself the trouble on a frequent basis. In that he was a lot like Cliff Sterrett with Polly and her Pals, whose gorgeous young thing was similarly made into a supporting character in her own strip; Sterrett was one heck of an artist, but at cheesecake was just as much of a bust as Fisher.
The Marrying of Mary debuted on June 11 1914, and ended on May 1 1915 with the surprise elopement of Mary. During a subsequent half-year honeymoon Fisher put a different strip through its paces, but then Mary and her new hubby returned in a new strip, Mary's Married Life, which we'll 'obscurify' as well one of these days.
You're right about the supposed beauty of Polly. If you see the earliest version of her in POSITIVE POLLY, it would seem Sterrett wasn't trying to make her attractive, she's an ordinary plain Jane.
But when it became Polly and Her Pals, then he goes wrong. He had a weak idea of what should pass for attractive; my brother Cole described her as a "foot-face."
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Hap Hadley
Romance Enacted on Gotham Stage: Proved to Be the ‘Real Thing’Mrs. Alvan C Hadley who before her marriage was Miss Dorothy Uttley a New York actress. Mr. Hadley, who formerly lived here, is a cartoonist on The Sun and New York Herald. What was only a postlude to an audience after the performance of “What’s in a Name?” at the Lyric Theatre, New York City, April 28, was in reality a prelude to a wedding which occurred on the stage immediately after the performance.All the beautiful scenic settings of the play, “What’s in a Nome?”, were put to practical use for the marriage of Miss Dorothy Uttley one of the members of the company and Mr. Alvin C. Hadley, a cartoonist on the staff of the Sun-Herald. The ceremony was performed by the Reverend C. N. Mollei of Trinity parish. The bride, who was one of the attendants on the Empire Bride in the musical production, wore for the ceremony the elaborate gown of the 1830 bride which she wore in the show.Miss Uttley’s maid of honor was Miss Corone Payhtor, another of the brides of the company. She was attended by her sister Miss Constance Barnes, Miss Beatrice Milner, Miss Muriel Manners and Miss Frances Tumulty all of whom are members of the “What’s in a Name?” company. The best man was Jack Vincent, the dancer of the company. Mr. and Mrs. Hadley had intended to be married very quietly but when the news of the event leaked out the fellow players of the bride insisted upon a stage wedding. They arranged the details with genuine enthusiasm at the idea of having a real bride in the scene which had only been make-believe. Mrs. Hadley was presented with a mesh bag containing 150 in gold. The company which produced the show served a wedding supper on the stage.Mrs. Hadley is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Uttley, 103 West 88th street, New York. She has an uncle and aunt Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Uttley who live in Muskogee at 608 North E. street. Mr Hadley is the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Hadley, 627 North Seventh street and is a cartoonist with the Sun-Herald of New York.
Hadley, Hap: Commercial Artist, b. Flndlay Ill., March 16, 1895; e. art schools. Acted on stage and screen; cartoonist and commercial artist. Proprietor, Hap Hadley Studio, motion picture adv., pictorial posters, designs.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, September 20, 2021
Obscurity of the Day: Marty the Marine / Marty Muggins
Alvin* "Hap" Hadley joined the Marines in World War I, and his cartooning ability kept him safely behind a drawing board during the conflict, where he did publicity material for the Corps. While still in the service Hadley developed a valuable fan, an editor at the New York Herald. In early 1918 he began submitting cartoons about military life that were run occasionally in the Sunday feature section of the paper.
While still in uniform Hadley graduated to penning a regular Sunday comics series for the Herald and a separate daily strip for their evening paper, the Telegram. To please his primary employers, both strips were about Marines and showed the service in a generally favourable light.
The Sunday series was Marty the Marine, and it began on November 10 1918. It originally began appearing in a special Sunday war section of the Herald. Recruit Marty was constantly in trouble with his superiors, but Hadley made sure to lay the blame squarely on him and not the service. On February 16 1919 the feature was moved into the regular comics section, upgrading it from a tabloid feature to full page. In July Marty was discharged (probably at the same time as Hadley was) and the strip was retitled Marty Muggins. The strip didn't miss a beat, showing that Marty could make just as much of a mess of things in civilian life.
Hadley's style may not have been technically all that great, but the energy, panache and joie de vivre of his work practically leapt off the page. Hadley could no doubt have made a fine career as a newspaper cartoonist, but it was not to be. On May 16 1920 Marty Muggins took his final bow, a casualty of Hadley wanting to pursue other interests. He had found himself mesmerized by the stage and screen. He married an actress, and after a brief stint in acting himself, Hadley found his ideal niche in producing art for shows and movies. Eventually he became a noted movie poster artist, producing among many others some iconic images for Buster Keaton and Chaplin movies. Information about his movie poster career can be found here.
* Apparently sometimes spelled 'Alvan.'
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Wish You Were Here, from Fontaine Fox?
This card is the exact size and paper type as a postcard, but blank on the back. This product of the Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago is actually what is known as an arcade card. The arcade machines (here's a list of the many machines that were produced) would, on deposit of a coin, allow you to play a little game, or watch a mechanism do something, and in the end you'd get an arcade card or a piece of candy or whatever.
This card is unsigned, but the style of those babies seem to be the work of Fontaine Fox. The widow is less 'Foxy', so I'm not going to claim to be sure.
The card is undated, but I can't imagine Fox would have been looking for extra work like this much past the 1910s.
Labels: Wish You Were Here