Sunday, November 05, 2023


Wish You Were Here, from Jimmy Swinnerton


Another from Hearst's Li'l Arsonist series, this Little Jimmy card has the rare feature of offering a real surprise when the secret portion of the picture is revealed. That's because the parrot in the birdcage is a complete non sequitur. In the original gag, which ran in the September 9 1906 episode of Little Jimmy, the grinning kid in the nightshirt is not there, and Jimmy is getting his finger nipped by the parrot. Here the parrot does not seem to be making a lunch of Jimmy's digit, but merely flapping its wings around. Maybe Jimmy is supposed to be ornithophobic?


The Grinning kid, It would seem is supposed to be Pinky. I don't think Swinnerton ever touched a pen to this artwork.
All three characters are by Swinnerton, they just got re-arranged by someone else. That someone had their funnybone cut off in a grisly pressroom accident. Kept on by Hearst, the emotionally and physically maimed worker was put in charge of heat transfer postcards, where he did what little he could to bring the Hearst empire to its knees by sabotaging their expensive postcard campaign. I think there was a horror movie made about the incident in the mid-80s, but it never got a distribution deal.
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