Saturday, November 20, 2021


Herriman Saturday: March 3 1910


March 3 1910 -- Famed editorial cartoonist Homer Davenport is making the lecture circuit in California, and to ensure he gets plenty of press coverage of his visit he brings with him a rather unusual personal valet -- an Arab who dresses in the traditional garb of his region and who conspicuously prays to Allah in the hotel. If the story is to be believed, Davenport visited some Arab bigwig in the Middle East and was given this servant as a gift. 

Davenport is making news for the messy divorce he's going through, too, but the Examiner finds the Arab servant also worth a photo, a few Herriman vignettes, and some lineage. 

I'm going to guess his personal appearances were sell-outs given his smart manipulation of the press.


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Friday, November 19, 2021


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ralph Reichhold

Ralph George Reichhold was born on November 3, 1894, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, according to his World War I and II draft cards. Who’s Who in America, 1952–1953 said his parents were William Reichhold and Mary Elizabeth Giltenboth. 

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Reichhold was the second of three brothers whose father was a day laborer. The family resided in Pittsburgh at 6726 Hamilton Avenue. 

The 1910 census recorded the family of five as Pittsburgh residents at 543 Lowell Street. 

The 1913 Pittsburgh city directory had two listings for Reichhold: first as an artist, and second as a student with his surname misspelled “Reichold”.

It’s not known where Reichhold had his early education. Who’s Who said Reichhold studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology from 1914 to 1916. 

Editor & Publisher, June 25, 1949, explained how Reichhold got his start with the Pittsburgh Press.
When he was still in knee pants, Ralph like to draw. He used to hang around a drug store, the proprietor of which was an enthusiast of Indian lore. Ralph drew some Indian pictures and the druggist exhibited them in the store. By and by, a man of some influence saw them and suggested that Ralph, all of 18 years old, go see T. R. Williams, then managing editor of the Press.

Ralph did, but it didn’t do much good. The twig was bent, though, and for six months, Mr. Williams had a frequent visitor, a lad with a handful of sketches. Since he couldn’t very well blockade the Press entrance, Mr. Williams, in desperation, hired Ralph at $8 a week.

Ralph plugged away and in eight years was doing a local panel—Rambling With Reichhold—centered around one incident of everyday life. It was a Press feature for nearly 10 years. 
On June 5, 1917, Reichhold signed his World War I draft card. He lived with his parents at the same address. Reichhold was an artist with the Pittsburgh Press. His description was medium height and build, with black hair and brown eyes. The Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, at, said Recihhold served in the Navy from September 6, 1918 to February 8, 1919. His Pennsylvania Veteran’s Compensation Application said Reichhold was in the naval reserve and was stationed at the Wissahickon Barracks. He was not involved in any engagements and honorably discharged on September 30, 1921. 

Who’s Who said Reichhold married Minnie Margaret Elizabeth Scheller on September 14, 1917. The Pittsburgh Press, July 31, 1917, said 
Miss Minnie Margaret Scheller, daughter of Mrs. Laura M. Scheller of the Eastend, has chosen Friday evening, Sept. i4, as the date for her marriage to Ralph George Reichhold, son of Mrs. Mary E. Reichhold, also of the Eastend. The ceremony will be solemnized in Christ Evangelical Lutheran church, Margaretta and Beatty sts., with the rector, Rev. John I. Shaud, officiating, at 8 o’clock. Miss Margaret P. Allan will play the wedding music and the only attendants will be four ushers, Edwin J. Scheller, brother of the bride: Elmer L. Reichhold and Harold W. Reichhold, brothers of the groom, and J. Arthur Allan. A wedding supper for the bridal party and the immediate families will follow the church ceremony. Mr. Reichhold is a member of The Press staff of artists. 
According to the 1920 census, Reichhold and his wife lived in Pittsburgh at 5435 Columbo Street. The newspaper cartoonist owned the house. Ten years later their new home was in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania at 121 Vernon Drive. Reichhold’s oldest son was 9 years old and the youngest 10 months. 

Reichhold’s Radiotoon activity feature ran on Sundays in the Pittsburgh Press during 1927. 

During the 1930s, Reichhold contributed cartoons to Editor & Publisher; samples are here and here

The 1940 census said Reichhold’s address was unchanged. In 1939 he worked 52 weeks and earned five-thousand dollars. 

In 1942 Reichhold signed his World War II draft card and did not serve. 

Editor & Publisher, February 27, 1943, reported Reichhold’s newspaper creation. 
Donnie Dingbat Is Weather Predictor
A year-old half-column bird is the current toast of Pittsburgh news readers.

He is Donnie Dingbat, the Pittsburgh Press weather predictor and commentator extraordinary.

When the war forced the curtailment of weather predictions, Phelps Sample, Press rewrite man, injected topical conversation into his page one daily forecasts. The stories caught on so well that editor E. T. Leech asked editorial cartoonist Ralph Reichhold to create a character to be used as a half column illustration.

Wishing five minutes Donnie Dingbat was born and made his first public appearance in the next edition.
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Reichhold produced the panel, This Is Pittsburgh, for the Chamber of Commerce of Pittsburgh. The panel appeared in Pittsburgh papers during 1948.  

Reichhold advertised his services in Printers’ Ink
For sales promotion, ads, house organs by cartoonist listed in “Who’s Who.” Years experience with national accounts. Write Ralph Reichhold, 121 Vernon Drive, Pittsburgh 16, Pa.
One of Reichhold’s Pittsburgh Press cartoons drew the attention of Presbyterian Life, October 30, 1954;  Presbyterian Survey, June 1955;  and Editor & Publisher, February 5, 1955. 

Reichhold passed away son January 2, 1989, in Dover, Delaware. He was laid to rest at Epworth Methodist Cemetery. Editor & Publisher, January 14, 1989, said 
Ralph G. Reichhold, 94, retired artist and writer for the Pittsburgh Press, died Jan. 2 in the Courtland Manor Nursing Home, Dover, Del. He had retired in 1955 and moved to Rehoboth Beach, Del., after a 42-year career at the paper. Reichhold created a cartoon character, “Donald [sic] Dingbat,” a small bird which appeared with the daily weather forecasts for 37 years. He also drew a panel comic and editorial cartoons.

Further Viewing
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
Life, November 28, 1938: Caricatures of Franklin D. Roosevelt


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Wednesday, November 17, 2021


From the Sub-Basement of the Archives: Radiotoon


If there were a prize for the most cryptic cartoon feature ever, it has to be Radiotoon. Cryptic, that is, until you read the lengthy instructions for decoding the cartoons.

Radiotoon actually looks like someone's conception of radio waves emanating from a hodgepodge of sources, which is pretty cool and quite inscrutable. But all will be revealed, kids, when you listen to Uncle Kay-Bee on the radio. He will give you a list of numbers and if you draw lines between them a cartoon will be revealed. In other words, this is just a connect-the-dots puzzle, but the connections must be made by following the 'radio waves' from number to number. 

Usually the hidden pictures in connect-the-dots puzzles are pretty easy to figure out just by looking at the pattern of dots, but in this case, with all those 'radio waves' obfuscating things, the revealed picture will really be a surprise. Nicely done Ralph Reichhold, creator of this feature. 

Being an activity feature, Radiotoon sadly doesn't qualify for Stripper's Guide, but I couldn't resist showing you this neat feature. It ran in the Pittsburgh Press on Sundays in 1927.


Hello Allan-
I can't find any transcriptions of Unc's instructions, and it'll be quite a wait until they rebroadcast him, so I tried doing the puzzles on my own. But I had to chuck in the towel, as I developed a case of Venn poisoning.
The second picture seems to be a profile of a boy holding a ball. The first seems to be portrait although I cannot make out the features of the face. Maybe a clown?
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Monday, November 15, 2021


Obscurity of the Day: The Chubbies


The Brownies, the Ting-Lings and other bands of diminutive troublemakers were popular denizens of the Sunday color sections in the early days of comics. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat tried out their own race of impish wee folk back when their comic section was a homegrown affair. 

There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about DeVoss Driscoll's The Chubbies, a gang of egg-shaped small fry, but they go about their business in the cute and rascally manner that we expect of our little folk. Driscoll, who was drawing pretty much the whole G-D section, took a lot of care with this feature. He cranked up the art to maximum quality, better than his adequate but not outstanding typical fare. He must have been pretty proud of this work because he bothered to copyright the first page to himself, something he did not do with any of his other many series.

The Chubbies might have proved too much work or failed to set the world on fire as hoped, because Driscoll dropped them very quickly. The series only ran from December 25 1904 to February 26 1905.


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Sunday, November 14, 2021


Wish You Were Here, from Percy Crosby


Here's another postcard from Series 580 (or S80) from an unknown publisher. As usual Percy Crosby lets us know with slapdash art that he was not happy about doing this job. This is the second card from the series that concerns doctors and offers a pretty pathetic pun. As I often wonder with these lesser cards, who actually opted to pay a penny for it (other than, obviously, Robbie's Grandma)? 

As usual, I can't help but wonder about those black letters. Can 

        T    Y    E    D    E    L    O    P    I    S

be some sort of anagram? How about "SPOILED YET".


TYEDELOPIS is the medical term for a rash acquired by wearing too much tye dye t-shirts and jeans. This condition affects mainly Hippies, dropouts, and nonbathers.
No, wait a mo- It's the name the in ancient Bacterian language they gave to the city of Atlantis in their epic five-page creation myth; WUDEHELIZIS.
Actually, it's nothing. You keep hoping that ol'Perc' was better than he was, and the filled in letters in his post cards have some intelligent design to them, but it would seem they are always pointless, randomly chosen characters.
His ineptitude is again on display, One might assume the "Doctor" is holding a tin cup, classic equipment of beggery, but the Crosby grasp of perspective might confuse a reader to think the doc is presenting a card.
How does the sign stay on his chest? And of course, yet again, Crosby has a problem with limbs. He couldn't WANT to draw one leg six inches too short, could he? But couldn't he see how it looks, long before he'd ink, color and print it? Either he didn't care or he was a DADAist.
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