Wednesday, December 28, 2022


Obscurity of the Day: Topliffe Cartoons


Tom Topliffe was a cartoonist who came and went from the limelight in practically no time at all. His 6-column wide, skinny untitled comic strip was syndicated by NEA, and ran from May 7 to September 18 1918. 

My bet is that Tom Topliffe is not the flash-in-the-pan enigma he appears to be. My guess, based on the art style, is that Mr. Topliffe is really Lawrence Redner working under a pseudonym. Redner was at this time winding down his engagement with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, producing sports cartoons. Many of the Topliffe cartoons are also sports-related. 

In summer 1918 NEA distributed a promotional piece in which Tom Topliffe is pictured. Is this Redner? I dunno because I have no photos of him. But it would take quite a bit of cheek to do a promo like that and show a photo of a pseudonymous artist! Maybe I'm wrong ... ?

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