Saturday, November 06, 2021
Herriman Saturday: Febuary 28 1910
February 28 1910 -- The Chicago White Sox are on their way to sunny southern California, playing practice games against the local teams along the way. The ChiSox will arrive days after expected due to a number of weather delays. Herriman will be proven very wrong about the local PCL teams.
The Angels will trounce the the Sox 13 to 3 on the 6th, and the Vernon Tigers acquitted themselves very well, winning their game 8-3 and hitting the Sox pitchers like they were bush leaguers. Which they may have been since they only got to play the Sox's second squad team.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, November 05, 2021
Obscurity of the Day: The Pixeys
After a decade as the Chicago Tribune's resident children's storyteller, William Donahey's beloved Teenie Weenies Sunday feature was unceremoniously bumped from the Tribune's Sunday comics section. The story behind this is that the Tribune decided that Donahey's creation, which had generally run as a large panel cartoon with text story, would be better marketed in syndication as a comic strip. So the feature, which had mostly run in the magazine or women's section of the Sunday paper, was moved to the comics section and began a transformation into strip form.
Donahey intensely disliked the idea of making the Teenie Weenies into a comic strip; he thought they were lowbrow. Because he held the rights to the feature, after he had drawn it in comic strip form for awhile he put his foot down and said he'd had it. Being the copyright holder, he decided that he would concentrate on other venues for his Teenie Weenies, and would no longer produce it for the Tribune. It's departure opened up a slot in the comics section for a Sunday version of Little Orphan Annie, so silver lining there..
Surprisingly, the Chicago Tribune did not give Donahey the bum's rush after he took away this valued feature. While Donahey disappeared from the paper for a short while, he soon came back with a series of illustrated children's stories (not featuring the Teenie Weenies), and created a Sunday-only comic strip titled The Pixeys.
While the title certainly gives the impression that Donahey was going to do a feature similar to The Teenie Weenies, that's not at all what he'd come up with. The strip was about a middle-class family, and the gags were ... well I won't say grown-up, but they certainly weren't geared to Donahey's usually audience of little kids. The strip was very genteel and low-key and the art was nice enough but with little flair. The response to it was a collective yawn, but at least one reader really took exception. The May 10 1925 issue of the New York Daily News (sister paper to the Trib) printed this scathing letter from a reader:
Why bore your Sunday public by printing such namby-pamby, empty, meaningless, supposed-to-be comics as "The Pixeys" by William Donahey? It sounds as though his great-grandmother wrote the stupid story which accompanies the pictures. The "Teenie Weenies" were all right for the kiddies but, ye gods -- WHY "The Pixeys"?
Ouch! The Pixeys was, not surprisingly, short-lived. It ran from January 11 to August 23 1925.
Donahey pretty much disappeared from the newspapers after that, concentrating his efforts on marketing his Teenie Weenies in book form and licensing them as toys, candies and such. He also illustrated some books for other authors. He returned his Teenie Weenies to the Tribune as a comic strip for a short stint in 1933-34, then disappeared again until 1941. Finally that time the Teenie Weenies made a permanent home, now in their familiar panel and text story format, and ran there for the next thirty years.
Wednesday, November 03, 2021
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Adolph Schus
Born on New York’s upper east side ... lived in Wembly, a suburb of London, where he spent a good deal of his childhood. The zeppelin raids on London during the first world war, sent the family back to America. Except for a year on the continent, during which time he art-edited a publication published in Paris for Americans abroad. He has been residing in New York. Married a Rochestarian in 1938 and their son [sic; daughter] was born in 1943. Just before the blessed event they bought a home in Harmon-on-the-Hudson, where Schus will continue to do cartoons for the country’s leading magazines.
… Lariar’s training began in the New York School of Fine and Applied Art. For the first six months he was on commercial illustration, then switched to cartooning. After graduation he started out with two buddies, Jack Arthur, now a school teacher in the New York system, and Adolph Schus, now a designer in fabric house.The trio set up a cartoon agency in a flat in the 80’s in New York, sold vignettes to College Life, for which the editor wrote two-line captions. They also got in America's Humor magazine, primarily because it couldn’t pay as much as Life or Judge, says Lariar. Arthur, the oldest of the three (he was 21) would contact various outlets and say he represented a dozen different artists, which Lariar, Arthur and Schus tried to prove. One of their “artists” was named Baron de Shebago, who drew a full page of zanies.In 1927, Lariar went to Paris on a scholarship to the school of dynamic symmetry. He was accompanied by Arthur. Later, the third musketeer, Schus, joined them. They went into the same routine in Paris, and did a big business with British magazines and Fleetway House, then one of the big magazine publishing houses of the world. Much of their work was for The Looker-On, which folded but paid off—fortunately for the sake of their fares back home. They did work, too, for Boulevardier, a Paris publication operated by Erskine Gwynn, an American.Come Home for DepressionThe trio caromed back to New York in October, 1929, a few days after the boom had burst. [Passenger lists at Ancestry.com said Schus returned with his parents on August 20, 1929. His birth date was recorded as June 4, 1908. Lariar returned September 4, 1929. Arthur has not been found.]“To make a living, we did everything,” says Lariar. “We had a service for printers, drew cartoons for calendars, played messenger and did some of the first work for the slicks.”The boys hit upon a deal that brought home the bacon when they did a series of cartoon postcards, designed to save Boy Scouts time in writing home to mother. They sold over a million of them in a direct-mail campaign.Flushed with success, they then embarked on a venture that sank them. In Paris, Lariar had picked up a book reproducing the etchings of a Rembrandt exposition. The plates were excellent, and they had sold many of them to friends back home without any other effort than razoring them out of the book. Reproduction by a photographic process was expensive, and they moved in trade as slowly as coal buckets from a hardware merchant’s shelves in the summer time.“I still see them in shops around town,” remarks Lariar sadly. “They’re very good, too.”So the combine broke up …
The Home Owners Corporation sold a plot of approximately two acres improved with a nine-room residence and garage on Penfield avenue, in the Harmon section, Croton-on-Hudson, to Adolph Schus, an illustrator, through Arnold Krimont of Croton. The residence overlooks the Hudson River.
One of First Homes in Harmon Sold to Couple from PeekskillSale of an eight-room house at the end of Penfield Avenue in Croton designed in 1910 by Stanford White, has been sold by Mrs. Sonya Schus to Dr. and Mrs. Philip H. Smith Jr., formerly of Peekskill, announced Harold H. Hunt of Croton, broker in the transaction.The residence, southern colonial in style, is located on a wooded plot that overlooks the Duck Pond and the Hudson River. There is a bridge entrance to the hall and there are four fireplaces in the house, Mr. Hunt points out.Mr. and Mrs. Alfred S. Dashiell, now of Franklin Avenue, leased the house from Mrs. Mary Reid, widow of the original owner, before a period prior to its sale to Mrs. Schus and her late husband, Adolph Schus, a well-known cartoonist for many years before his death, the border said.Dr Smith, employed by IBM, now is occupying the house with his wife. Mrs. Schus, dental hygienist at CET school, has moved to Yonkers. Her daughter, Stephanie, was one of the graduates to speak at CHHS commencement exercises Saturday.The house sold by Mrs. Schus to Dr. Smith was one of the first to be built in the Harmon development, according to Mr. Hunt. The architect, the late Mr. White, was a partner in the firm of McKim, Mead and White, designers of Columbia University, Pennsylvania Station and other Manhattan buildings.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, November 01, 2021
Obscurity of the Day: The Topps
Adolph Schus had some success as a second string gag cartoonist; his work appeared in many national publications. But when he agreed to supply a Sunday feature to the ill-fated George Matthew Adams Service preprint section, he showed that whatever skills he had did not translate to that format. His strip was The Topps, accompanied by topper Stupe McLupe, and it is an embarrassment of bad writing and unappealing art. Is it possible that a decent gag cartoonist could be so completely unable to transfer his expertise to this closely affiliated form? Or was Schus just so uninterested in the gig that he put no effort into it? Well, whichever it is, The Topps is eminently and happily forgettable. It was one of the features that ran for the whole short life of the comics section, July 5 1935* to April 4 1936**.
* Source: Northport Jornal
** Source: Snyder County Tribune
"Stupe McLupe" has a contest to name his dog in late 1935-early 1936.Eventually,(8 February 1936)the dog's name is selected and incorporated into the feature's new name, "Stupe McLupe and Scratch."
"The Watchman," (Mattituck NY) is running The Topps as late as 3 February 1938, but as the syndicate identia is removed, it would seem these are reruns. They used some of the other GMA strips, and "Rod Rian" lasted until 17 February.
Yes, I should have mentioned that the GMA Sunday strips went through a bout of reprints in small papers in 1937-38. Most that I find seem to be under the banner of "Comics Feature Magazine", whatever that is.
Sunday, October 31, 2021
Wish You Were Here, from Albert Carmichael
Here is an unsigned and uncredited card, but we know from others in the series that "They Never Come Back" cards were issued by Taylor Pratt Company as series #728, and of course the artist is our old friend, Albert Carmichael.
I like that Carmichael shows us that our subjects have been at quite the energetic couch-tussle by the bobbypins on the floor, some of which took some hair with them as they were removed! My stars.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
Those are a bit of feminine accoutrement of that era, ready to wear curls, mounted on hairpins, called "RATS."
_ Katherine Collins