Saturday, February 18, 2023


Herriman Saturday: May 17 1910


May 17 1910 -- The boxing world has not come to a standstill while awaiting the Fight of the Century. Lew Powell and George Memsic are set to meet in the ring on the 21st. It's not a championship fight, but Memsic and Powell are both famous enough fighters that there's plenty of interest. 

As Herriman's cartoon shows, many luminaries are in town to see the fight, including promoter Tom McCarey, fighters like Jeff Perry and England's Owen Moran, and actor DeWitt Van Court.


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Friday, February 17, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Aldo Rubano

Aldo Theodore Rubano was born on March 31, 1917, in the Bronx, New York, according to the New York, New York Birth Index at Rubano’s full name was on his World War II draft card. His parents were Charles Rubano and Agate/Agatina Marina who married on June 25, 1916 in Manhattan. 

On September 12, 1918, Rubano’s father signed his World War I draft card. His address was 747 East 183rd Street in the Bronx. 

In 1920 United States Census, Rubano, his parents and sister, Norma, lived at the same address. Rubano’s father was a self-employed pharmacist. 

The 1925 New York state census said the Rubano family lived in the Bronx at 609 Oak Tree Place. This address would be Rubano’s home into the 1950s. 

On October 16, 1940, Rubano signed his World War II draft card. He was unemployed and described as five feet seven inches, 147 pounds, with brown eyes and hair. 

Information about Rubano’s art training has not been found. Around 1942, Rubano’s comic book career began with work at the Iger and Eisner Studios. Rubano’s employment was interrupted when he enlisted on May 22, 1943. History of the 398th Infantry Regiment in World War II (1947) said Rubano served in Company F and was awarded a Bronze Star. According to The Story of the Century (1946), Rubano was awarded the Bronze Star for action in Bitche, France. (The book has cartoons by Mad artist Bob Clarke.)

Editor and Publisher, March 1, 1947, announced the launch of the New York Post Syndicate’s Illustrated Classics series which was produced by the Gilberton Company. Rubano was one of four artists named. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was adapted by writer Harry G. Miller and Rubano and ran from August 17 to September 7, 1947. The comic book version was published in 1948. Rubano’s art was praised in The Mark Twain Encyclopedia (1993). 

The Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, December 22, 1953, published Rubano’s patent application for “Mounting for Easels”. 

The 1957 Manhattan, New York city directory listed Rubano at 341 West 47th Street. In 1959 He was at 30 West 48th Street.

Rubano’s letter and photograph of Elizabeth Taylor appeared in Life, October 27 1961. 

Rubano contributed illustrations to the Catholic magazine, Sign, including May 1965, July 1966 and March 1973.

Rubano’s patent application for a “Tennis Score Keeper” was published in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, May 25, 1982. 

Rubano passed away on December 6, 1989, in Manhattan, New York City. He was laid to rest at Old Saint Raymond’s Cemetery


For "On October 16, 1940, Rubano signed his World War I draft card." read: "On October 16, 1940, Rubano signed his World War II draft card."
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Wednesday, February 15, 2023


Mystery Strip: The March of Science


Here's a strip that seems like it ought not to be mysterious. The March of Science was apparently a weekly strip offering of Science Service, with my only examples (above) from mid-1937. Now I will grant you that Science Service isn't exactly King Features, but they were a well-respected smaller syndicate that specialized in distributing science news and offering columns and inforgraphics on scientific subjects. Yes, a strip is a little off their regular radar, but it seems like a natural for them, and with their other material pretty popular, you'd think this strip would have attracted some clients.

However, beyond the two examples above, found in a small Virginia weekly paper, I cannot find any other evidence that this feature ever existed. Nothing on, nothing in E&P. Technically I can list a feature with as little as two known examples, but I would like to hold out for better data on this feature that SEEMS like it ought to be slightly less rare than teeth on a chicken. 

If you have any examples of this feature in your collection, or can run some online searches at other archives, please let me know if you find anything!


A search of "John L. Hudson" + science reveals that The Asbury Park Press carried the comic daily from May to August 1936.
A further search on newspapers(dot)com for "John L. Hudson" + cartoonist reveals an April 1989 obituary from AP about his newspaper career of more than 45 years.
"Hudson started his career at the Columbus Citizen in 1924, then worked at The Toledo Blade and the Cleveland News."
This official page of the org behind Science Service establishes a connection with the United Feature Syndicate. Perhaps that route holds some answers?
A search for "John I. Hudson" + science brings up The Central New Jersey Home News of Auguast and September 1936 (with a photo of Hudson in the August 29 edition).
Thanks DD, I just knew that the strip had to be out there and I was just unable to track it down. Nice sleuthing! --Allan
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Monday, February 13, 2023


Obscurity of the Day: Looie the Bowler


Before daily comics became a metronomic list of the same titles every day of the year in your paper, you never knew from day to day what might show up. There were still series, but a given series might go on for a few days, a few weeks, or for years. It all depended on the series. Take Looie the Bowler for instance. The idea of a guy who speaks broken English and can make amazing trick bowling shots is great fun, but it has a very limited natural lifespan. And that was just fine in 1909 when cartoonists were freer to come up with new concepts and drop old ones once the humour had been wrung out.  We've lost so much by tying our great cartoonists down, slaving over the same set of characters in the same situations year after year after year. Imagine what they could come up with if they had the freedom to jump around among subjects and characters to their hearts' content! 

But I digress. Looie the Bowler ran on occasional weekdays from January 25 to June 11 1909, penned by that workhorse of the New York Evening World, Ferd Long. Ferd was a tremendously funny guy, but evidently never quite got the hang of logical panel placement (see upper sample).


Oh ja ja! I luffs dot Looie schtrip! Mebbe dot Griffy cartoonerist could haff him fisit der Zippy vorld! Looie needs un retoin to der cartooner famous! I luffs der vay dot der prominence citimizens giffs him der prize. Bowlingk iss importerent in dot burg, ja?
I've carped before about balloon order, but the first strip adds to reversed balloons a baffling panel order. When I first read the strip I read the three panels at the left first followed by the tall panels, then the two panels on the right.

I presume the proper order is (1-2) the two small panels at upper left (3-4) the tall panels in the middle (5) the upper right panel (6) the lower left panel and (7) the lower right panel.

It doesn't help that the one pin left standing, the one Looie knocks down to make his spare, isn't shown in (5)...or is it a printing error and that blemish is where the pin was supposed to be?
Before Hershey's Kisses there were Hobson's Kisses. Hobson blocked a ship channel in the Spanish war and became a heroic inducer of swoons in the fair sex. He later went on to lobby for fanatical drug prohibition laws and his image lost some of its former gloss. LIBtranslator
Vot's mit der churman agcents, yet? Dot's kultorrral abprobratiom, Dod Gast It! Donnervetters!
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Sunday, February 12, 2023


Wish You Were Here, from Dwig


Here's a card from Dwig's School Days series, aka Raphael Tuck Series 170, which seems to have been produced sometime between 1907 and 1910. These Tuck cards are top-notch productions with embossing and metallic ink, both features I cannot reproduce for you effectively on your screen.


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