Saturday, November 18, 2023
One Shot Wonders: One Thing That Sticks in Danny Long's Noodle by Will Sperry
Way back in 2012 Cole Johnson sent me this strip that he clipped out of the San Francisco Bulletin of January 20 1912. He wondered if this was a one-shot cartoon or part of a series starring this Danny Long fellow.
I never looked into the matter until recently, but then I noticed that the Bulletin is now available at newspapers.com. Well, as it turns out, Danny Long isn't a cartoon character at all, but rather the manager of the San Francisco Seals. Thus the gag makes perfect sense, and additional review of the paper reveals that Will Sperry was their sports cartoonist, apparently just in 1911-12 based on a quick perusal.
Sperry's early cartoons for the Bulletin are nothing to write home about, but by 1912 he had quickly developed into a pretty darn fine cartoonist as evidenced by our sample. What happened to Mr. Sperry, then? Well, I'm no expert at tracking but I found a few tidbits. Seems he went to Europe when World War I broke out and served valorously in relief of Belgium, being cited for bravery on several occasions. When the U.S entered the war, he took a commission with the expeditionary force. When the war ended he elected not to come back to the States but rather to live in France. After that I lose track of him. I wonder if he got back into art over there in Europe once his war hero days were over?
Labels: One-Shot Wonders