Saturday, October 08, 2022
Herriman Saturday: April 28 1910
April 28 1910 -- Tonight Naud Junction is putting on a full program of boxing, headlined by an exhibition by none other than Jack Johnson. In actual boxing, though, the top bout is between Frankie Conley and Danny Webster. Conley is defending his world bantamweight title from Webster, the previous holder who lost it to him last December. Webster will be unsuccessful, losing in a newspaper decision.
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, October 07, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: Chestnut Charlie
Merrill Blosser is generally remembered for just one feature -- Freckles and his Friends. While it might seem like creating a popular strip that ran for almost sixty years is plenty of work for one lifetime, Blosser has several additional credits to his name if you look back at his early days at NEA in the 1910s.
One of those credits is for Chestnut Charlie, an unusually skinny strip that was formatted to span the entire width of a newspaper page. It appeared amongst a spate of similar strips, including A Reel of Nonsense.
Chestnut Charlie offered riddle gags that are sometimes preceded by a bit of business that leads up to the riddle, but often just a few panels with not much point to them. Features like this make it plain that Blosser was smart to stick with Freckles and his Friends.
Chestnut Charlie was distributed by NEA, and ran daily from August 4 1916 to May 6 1918*.
*Source: NEA archives at Ohio State University.
The West Viginian,(Fairmont WVa.) has this feature as early as 29 July 1916. (Saturday) It must have been a brand new title because on another page it has small one panel spot box showing a laughing face and drawing one's attention to see the strip on page 2.
This same strip is the first one that ran in the Albany Times-Union too, though on 3 August, so I think you'll agree that with NEA stuff, most papers weren't always kosher about proper running dates.
The WV also ran it until Thursday, 9 May 1918.
Wednesday, October 05, 2022
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Jeff/Geoff Hayes
Books of Carols in Much DemandA few days ago the music committee of the Newburgh Community Service placed over 2,000 Community Christmas carol books in the hands of local dealers, who are selling them at five cents. The demand has been so great that the supply quickly vanished and 2,000 more copies have been secured and are now on sale in the following places: ... Posters made by Joseph Moore and Geoffrey Hayes, artist and cartoonist respectively of the Newburgh Academy will be set up in places selling the carols. ...
Mistake: Honey Hayes is 5 years old. She has flaxen hair, blue eyes, a merry little smile and, in other words, lives right up to her name. The other afternoon, her father, Jeff Hayes, when he got caught up with his art work, took Honey out to the World’s Fair. Some time after darkness had fallen, Honey and her father went into Morris Gest’s Miracle Town. As it does sometimes out on Flushing Meadows, the air had turned cool so, while they watched the midgets go through their routines, Jeff slipped his coat over his daughter’s shoulders. Naturally it drooped a little and changed Honey’s appearance completely. With Honey so clad, they wandered over to the place where, if you wish, you may have your tin-type taken with a midget of your choice. And didn’t a big, husky truck driver come up, look Honey over and pointing at her, declared loudly, “I’ll have my picture taken with that one!”
Jeff Hayes, Home Town Youth, Makes Good in Cartoon WorkIf you know the authors of your favorite comic strips, you’ve no doubt come across the name of Jeff Hayes and wondered why it sounds familiar. The explanation is simply that Jeff is a hometown boy who made good.In the early part of March a picture of the cartoonist, sponsoring a brand of pipes, was printed in the New. One of Jeff’s school chums here recognized the picture and promptly proceeded to get into touch with him. Shortly afterward a letter from Jeff made its way back to Newburgh, in which he modestly summed up his career since graduation from High School in 1922.Jeff writes: “After I finished high school I came to New York and went to the Art Students’ League tor a year, but didn’t learn too much. Then I got a job in the ad—art department of New York Journal, where I stayed for 12 years. From there I went to King Features and next New York News. Finally about six years ago I came to the Bell Syndicate as a staff artist.”Among the cartoonist’s most popular comic strips is “Adamson’s Adventures”, sometimes known as “Silent Sam”, and “Witty Kitty.” He also does a Christmas strip and Christmas shopping comics. Seems to be quite versatile this hometown In a further discussion of the boy!‘Never Could Dance’Then of course came time for reminiscing. “Sure, I remember Aladorf’s—and I’ll bet that any girl I danced with remembers it too—I never could dance.” Jeff wrote, “When I think back, what a lot of names pop up—Bill Fink, Andy Calyer, Hicks Bellinger, Ike McKeever.” No doubt he could have gone on for pages.To bring things up to date he talks of his wife Jo and his daughter. Accompanying descriptive paragraphs of the two women in his life, he included sketches of the family of three. His wife, he explained, is his model for the girls in his lectures and his daughter is the little girl in the Christmas strips.Jeff concluded his letter with best wishes to old friends in Newburgh and a promise to visit the town sometime in the future.
Daughter Wants to Be ‘Chip’ Off Old BlockJeff Hayes, cartoonist, paid a visit to The Seattle Times, one of some 100 newspapers across the nation carrying his quip-a-day cartoon, “Chip.” Hayes let drop a little secret of his trade.“Most every comic-strip character changes (in appearance),” Hayes declared, “but the changes are made so gradually that the reader doesn’t notice them.“For instance, if you would look back in newspaper files to the time when I started ‘Chip’ nearly three years ago, it might startle you to see how different he looked then.“As the cartoonist gets to know his character, he changes him, but not rapidly so that the reader would notice.”Career Began in N.Y.Hayes began cartooning some 30 years ago on The New York Journal-American, and became successful enough in the big city to move to a small town. He now lives in Tauton, Mass.“I spent years as a ‘stooge’ before starting a character of my own,” Hayes said. ‘Stooge,’ Hayes explained, is cartoonists’ parlance for a perhaps well-paid but anonymous wretch who draws for one of the established artists. His stuff never appears over his own signature.“A cartoonist has got to draw something he knows. Now I’d never been to China with the Air Force, or off on a space ship or reared by apes in the jungles of Africa. But I did know something about kids.‘Chip’ Was Started“So I started ‘Chip.’…At first, I did some of my own selling, walking in on managing editors, and pulling ‘Chip’ out of my briefcase.”Hayes visited Seattle en route home from a month-long U.S.O. tour of isolated Army and Air Force bases in Alaska. He was part of a 12-person party sent out by the National Cartoonists’ Society. The group did chalk-talk routines.Hayes was accompanied by his 20-year-old daughter, Honey, a runner-up in a recent “Miss Massachusetts” contest.Honey, a student at Durfee Tech, in Fall River, Mass., wants to be a cartoonist like her dad.
Jeff Hayes, Cartoonist, in HospitalCartoonist Jeff Hayes, who is a native of Newburgh, is a patient in Pondville Hospital at Norfolk, Mass.Mr. Hayes and his wife, Josephine, reside at 31 Lillian Terrace in Taunton, Mass. Their daughter, Mrs. June Regina (Honey) also lives in Taunton with her husband and two daughters, June and Mary.Mr. Hayes, a 1922 graduate of Newburgh Free Academy, was born in Newburgh June 8, 1903. His parents were the late Thomas and Mary Daly Hayes.He went to New York City to attend the Art Students League and was the author of a number of comic strips, including “Chips” which appeared in The Evening News at one time.He has two sisters in Newburgh, Miss Helen and Miss Mildred Hayes, at 67 Courtney Avenue.Before his illness, Mr. Hayes, his daughter and their poodle “Pierre” conducted a Saturday morning television show in Taunton.
Jeff Hayes, Cartoonist, Dies at 62Jeff Hayes, 62, a native of Newburgh died in Rose Hawthorne Home, Fall River, Mass., on Thursday (March 10, 1966.)Mr. Hayes, a well-known cartoonist, was born in Newburgh June 8, 1903, son of the late Thomas and Mary Daly Hayes. He was a 1922 graduate of Newburgh Free Academy.He attended the Art Students League in New York City and was author of the comic strip “Chips.” He and his daughter and their pet poodle were featured on a television show in Taunton, Mass., before his illness.His home was at 31 Lillian Ter. in Taunton.Surviving are his widow, Josephine; a daughter, Mrs. June Regina Calvey; two grandchildren, June and Mary Calvey; all in Taunton; and two sisters, Miss Helen and Miss Mildred Hayes of Newburgh.Funeral arrangements have not been completed.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, October 03, 2022
Obscurity of the Day: Chip
Jeff Hayes was already a veteran of several strips by 1952, though none were of much consequence. Several were closed-end Christmas strips, just giving Hayes a little time in the spotlight when not handling bullpen work.
But in the early 50s, when the so-called 'space-saver' strips came into vogue (Peanuts was from that genre) Hayes took the idea to it's logical conclusion -- how few panels constitute a strip? Why, two of course. How small can those panels be? Well, if you're not going to have two ridiculously skinny panels, the realistic minimum is two columns wide.
So he created Chip in that format, and even played up the idea that it could also be used in a stack, taking up just one column. The strip was about a little kid -- another burgeoning topic for features at this time -- and in its very diminutive size pretty much just offered up jokebook material. But I have to give Hayes credit; he didn't open up a copy of 1000 Jokes and start doing switches starting on page one. He had a real affinity for good jokes, and came up with little two panel 'he-said-she said' gags that offer a lot more smiles than groans. I'm not saying he was producing comedy gold, but it's funny often enough that I would have been sure to give it a glance in my daily papers in 1952.
Chip was accepted for syndication by Consolidated News Features, a small syndicate that was gobbled up by the North American Newspaper Alliance in 1930, but whose imprint was used on a few features well into the 1970s. The strip debuted on March 3 1952*. If the promo piece from E&P is any indication, Hayes did most of the selling of the feature himself, which is a good thing because I don't think that syndicate had much if any of a sales force by the 1950s.
Chip ran in a respectable if not spectacular list of client papers, but eventually as more papers tired of it, and Hayes wasn't out continually selling it, the client list shrivelled. By the time Hayes unexpectedly died at age 62 in March 1966, he was producing Chip for a pretty small client list. His feature outlived him, probably ending April 9 1966**.
* Source: Oakland Tribune
** Source: Paterson News
Sunday, October 02, 2022
Wish You Were Here, from J.R. Williams
Another example of the J.R. Williams postcards issued by Standley-May Inc., this one coded as Series 2, #W529.
Labels: Wish You Were Here
I appreciate it much more now than then.