Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: Gloria
It's quite ironic that the Associated Press decided to get into the comic strip syndicate game. They put together a fine roster of features but then were too embarrassed to admit that their serious news agency was now in the business of distributing lighthearted fun, so they practically made the whole division a corporate secret.
Julian Ollendorff's Gloria was on the original roster of features when the syndicate debuted on March 17 1930. Ollendorff's fast-paced, bubbly tale of a beautiful girl was the newspaper page equivalent of the popular movies of the day. Lots of snarky, sophisticated dialogue, jet-setting locales, attractive high society people -- it was just what the doctor ordered for a country learning what it means to be in a Great Depression.
Unfortunately, Ollendorff's Gloria was not to last very long. The strip ended after a one-year contract on March 16 1931; evidently either the syndicate was unhappy with it or Ollendorff was ready for greener pastures. The syndicate replaced it with Oh Diana* by Don Flowers, another pretty girl strip with a similar but softer tone. Flowers produced a very fine strip, but I have to give Gloria the nod for having a little more chutzpah to it.
* Originally titled Diana Dane when it debuted.