Saturday, January 15, 2022


Herriman Saturday: March 11 1910


March 11 1910 -- A very strange cartoon by Herriman, odd enough that one wonders if Garge might have had a little TOO much fun at the ballpark before dipping his pen. Or, maybe if we knew the details of that game everything would be perfectly reasonable. I dunno.

The strip is made only more impenetrable by the condition of the paper. Beyond the typical woes of dealing with microfilm, this paper was torn, missing the upper left side, and looked like it had gotten wet, making the ink blot and bleed. Thankfully most of the Examiner material is in better condition than this.


The "Murphy" gag refers to Frank Murphy, a player for the Angels who the previous year (1909) had played in the "Three I" (Illinois-Indiana-Iowa) league. He had batted .300 and had hit 14 triples and 24 doubles the previous season. Murphy, who was 34, only batted .228 for the Angels in 1910, which would be his last season. The "Gill/Finney" gag is somewhat obscure, but there was a player named Roy Gill on the Angels who pitched a few innings in 1910 for them. "Criger" is Elmer Criger, who would bat .147 in 40 games for the Angels in 1910. Elmer Thorsen and Andy Briswalter were to other Angels (who batted .183 and .167, respectively). "Daley" is probably Tom Daley, who would bat .262 (with 831 at-bats). The '10 edition of the Angels was not a very good team.
It looks like the box on the far right was a reference to Alfonse and Gaston, right?
I did locate the account in the Los Angeles Times for March 11, 1910 of this game. The White Sox beat Los Angeles 4-1. This was, apparently, Criger's first appearance as a pitcher for the Angels, and he was "very wild," giving up two walks in the first (hence the curtain gag). Thorsen and Briswalter, the two other players in the gag, were the pitchers that followed Criger in the game for the Angels. Lee Tannehill was the shortstop for the White Sox (he was their starter for most of the oughts), and he made one of the Sox's 4 errors on the day, where he muffed an easy fly in back of third base (hence the ball-through-mitt gag). Murphy got one of the only 4 hits of the day for Angels, and it was a double. There was one player named "Gill" on each of the teams, hence the fish gag.
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Friday, January 14, 2022


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ray Hudson

George Raymond “Ray” Hudson was born on July 31, 1919, in Weedsport, New York, according to his World War II draft card.  In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Hudson was the youngest of four children born to George, a railroad mail clerk, and Florence. 

The 1925 New York state census recorded the Hudson family in Brutus, New York, on South Seneca Street. They have not yet been found in the 1930 census. 

According to the 1940 census the Hudsons resided in Irondequoit, New York since 1935. The address was 113 Coolidge Road. Hudson lived with his parents and maternal grandmother. On October 16, 1940, Hudson signed his World War II draft card. His street address was the same but the town was called Point Pleasant. He was a Michigan State College student. His description was five feet ten inches, 150 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes. 

The Chicago Tribune, February 16, 2012, said Hudson earned money for college by working at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York, in 1937 and 1938. From 1938 to 1942, he attended Denison University, in Granville, Ohio, where he was president of his fraternity and the 1942 graduating class. Hudson served in the Army from 1942 to 1945. He was in a psychological testing unit evaluating airmen for mental fitness to serve overseas. 

After his discharge, Hudson enrolled at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He graduated in 1947. Hudson’s studies included painting, lettering, graphic design and photography. In 1948 Hudson was a partner in an advertising agency. He produced Travelin’ Ted, from September 17, 1950 to March 2, 1952, for the Tribune

Hudson was active in the American Legion and was commander of Legion Post 250 in Hinsdale, Illinois.

Hudson pursued a political career and was elected to the Illinois State Legislature in 1970 and served to the mid-1980s. The Illinois State Senate was Hudson’s next office beginning in 1986 to 1994. 

The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), July 29, 1942, reported Hudson’s marriage. 
Miss Barbara Anderson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Anderson of Chicago, became the bride of G. Raymond Hudson, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hudson of Coolidge Road, July 9 in the Bryn Mawr Community Church in Chicago. A reception was held in the home of the bride’s parents following the ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. Hudson left immediately afterwards for San Antonio, Tex., where Mr. Hudson is affiliated with the Army Air Forces at Kelly Field. Both he and Mrs. Hudson are graduates of Denison University. 
Hudson passed away on February 10, 2012, in Downers Grove, Illinois. 



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Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Obscurity of the Day: Travelin' Ted


Travelin' Ted was a weekly panel cartoon that ran in the Chicago Sunday Tribune's travel section each week from September 17 1950 to March 2 1952. Each episode would offer information about a particular vacation destination, including a special tip from the panel's mascot, Travelin' Ted himself. 

The creator, Ray Hudson, was employed by the Tribune as a designer, and apparently he was responsible for the much of the very attractive graphic content of their Sunday travel sections, supplying art for advertisers who contracted with the paper for ad design services. 

As far as is known, this was Hudson's only foray into newspaper cartooning.


Hello Allan-
Despite Hudson's connexion to the ChiTrib, one sample shows it's copyrighted in his own name. Would this be syndicated, perhaps for small town weeklies?
That might have been in the back of Hudson's mind, since the Trib allowed him to hold copyright, but my sense is that he didn't pursue it too hard. Comics for Sunday travel sections have been tried several times, and as far as I have seen none ever got any real traction, though some were produced for tiny client lists for years.
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Monday, January 10, 2022


Obscurity of the Day: Sambo Remo Rastus Brown is Now a Policeman


Today Clare Briggs is mostly remembered, by those who remember him at all, for his daily series with running titles like When a Feller Needs a Friend, The Days of Real Sport, and Somebody's Always Taking the Joys Out of Life. What is seldom recalled is that in his days at the Chicago Tribune he created a long-running and popular Sunday series titled Danny Dreamer. That was a strip about a kid who's imagination was compared in each episode with considerably different reality.

After about four years milking that plot, Briggs tired of it and shifted the focus to Danny's father, who luckily enough also turned out to have a vivid imagination. Shortly after making that switch, though, Briggs seems to have realized that Senior was too generic of a character for the comics section, so he gave him a wacky black sidekick to liven things up, and dropped the reality vs. imagination schtick in favour of physical comedy with the inevitable racial overtones. 

That sidekick was Sambo Remo Rastus Brown, and he came completely equipped with all the hoary black stereotypes typical of the era. Brown's role in Danny Sr.'s life is never fleshed out, but he seems to live with the Dreamer family, so perhaps he was what was then called a "hired man", sort of the male version of a maid, tasked with all manner of male-oriented work around the house. 

After almost a year of Dreamer Sr. and Brown sharing the spotlight, Briggs decided that Sambo Remo was the only real draw and so he put the whole Dreamer family out to pasture. Since the new star needed to go out on his own, Briggs decided it would be hilarious to have a black man as a policeman. Not that black policemen were totally unknown in this era, but it can be safely assumed that their patrols were generally limited only to black neighborhoods. 

In the new series, with the unwieldy title of Sambo Remo Rastus Brown is Now a Policeman, much of the comedy would come from Sambo Remo interacting with white folk who don't take well to him being a figure of authority. Since you can easily imagine how those gags went, I've decided to instead include the above superb fourth-wall breaking strip that is not at all typical fare for the series. 

Sambo Remo Rastus Brown is Now a Policeman, which I count as a separate series though it has family ties to Danny Dreamer, ran from October 13 1912 to February 23 1913. 

A minor mystery about this series: for some reason Briggs never signed the strip once it gained this new title. It certainly appears to be his work, so I don't know why there would have been such an abrupt change.


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Sunday, January 09, 2022


Wish You Were Here, from Albert Carmichael


Here's a card from Carmichael's "If" series, published by Samson Bros. as Series 262 in 1910. I think this series represents some of Carmichael's best work; he's really getting the hang of things, and maybe Samson paid well enough that he could afford to spend a little extra time refining his drawings on these cards.


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