Friday, July 29, 2022


Obscurity of the Day: Grandma and her Little Black Blossoms


The popular comic strip Foxy Grandpa was about a jolly old codger and his young nephews. The typical plot of the strip was that the nephews would try to pull a trick on Foxy Grandpa, but he'd outsmart them and turn the gag right back on them. 

Like most popular strips, Foxy Grandpa inspired imitators, and today we have one that recasts the characters as black, and grandpa is changed to a grandma. Because it ran as a small quarter-page strip, the gags were simplified such that the kids don't get to plan a trick -- grandma just plays a trick on them unprovoked. Grandma and her Little Black Blossoms ran occasionally in the Boston Globe Sunday comics section from November 1 1903 until January 31 1904*. The creator was James J. Maguinnis, who offered up quite a few forgettable series for the Globe in the 1900s.

* Source: Dave Strickler's Boston Globe index


Hello Allan-
Were the Boston Globe's cartoons syndicated at all in these earlier years? I've understood the tried maybe in the 1930s, but if they did, it was a feeble effort.
Good question. Looking at my own collection, the earliest Billy the Boy Artist I have in another paper is not until 1941. But then for good measure I checked Fatty Spilliker and what should I find but that it was appearing in the Indianapolis Sentinel in 1904.

So pathetic as the effort was, yes, they were shopping their wares around!

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