Saturday, April 08, 2023


Herriman Saturday: May 23 1910


May 23 1910 -- Halley's Comet has passed Earth, and Herriman reminds us that the REALLY big event of 1910 is still to come.


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Friday, April 07, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Ed Verdier

Edward Edmond or Edmund Verdier was born on March 27, 1896 or 1897, in San Francisco, California. The 1900 United States Census and his World War I draft card had the year 1896. Verdier’s World War II draft card and Social Security Death Index said 1897. 

In the 1900 census, Verdier was the only child of Edward and Louise, both French natives. The family was San Francisco residents at 410 Fifth Avenue. They lived near the Presidio which was north of the main earthquake and fire disaster area. It’s not clear if Verdier’s mother was injured during the April 18, 1906 earthquake. The San Francisco Call, October 29, 1906, published her death notice. 
Verdier—In this city, October 27, 1906, Louise, beloved wife of Edward Verdier, and loving mother of Edward Edmund Verdier, a native of Paris, France, aged 38 years and 7 months.

Friends are respectfully invited to attend the requiem mass at the chapel of the Little Sisters of the Poor, corner of Lake street and Fourth avenue, tomorrow (Monday), at 10 a. m. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery, Oakland. Please omit flowers.
The 1910 census said Verdier’s father, an embroidery designer, had remarried. The family lived in San Francisco at 2394 Pine Street. 

I believe Verdier was at the sport tournament reported in the San Francisco Call, January 23, 1910. 

St. Nicholas, March 1910, listed Verdier in the drawings category. 

On June 5, 1917, Verdier signed his World War I draft card. His address at 2235 Leavenworth Street was crossed out and updated to 329 El Camino Real, Burlingame, California. He was a window trimmer. Verdier was described as five feet eight inches, slender build with gray eyes and black hair. His veteran’s file said he served in the Navy and enlisted on November 26, 1917. He was discharged on September 30, 1921. He was listed in the 1922 Report of the Selective Service Administration of California

A family tree at said Verdier married Marie Legallet. The 1920 census counted them in Oakland, California at 4256 Piedmont Avenue. Verdier was a cartoonist. Their marriage would end divorce. 

The 1921 and 1923 San Francisco city directories listed Verdier as a showcard writer at 830 Market Street. He resided in Oakland. The 1924 Oakland city directory said Verdier was an architect. His address was 2547 Fruitvale Avenue in Berkeley, California. 

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Verdier was one of several artist to draw Embarrassing Moments for King Features Syndicate. Verdier contributed from November 30, 1925 to January 1927. Verdier’s Little Annie Rooney debuted on January 10, 1927. His last strip appeared on July 20, 1929. Vision problems caused Verdier to withdraw from the series which was continued by artists Ben Batsford, Darrell McClure and Nicholas Afonsky for King Features. 

At some point, Verdier moved to New York City. 

The Fourth Estate, September 17, 1927, mentioned Verdier’s summer retreat. 
Chic Young, who draws “Dumb Dora”, and Ed Verdier of “Little Annie Rooney” fame, have returned to New York City after a pleasant summer at their mountain studio, Greenwood Lake.
Editor & Publisher, April 14, 1928, said Verdier was one of guests at the George McManus farewell luncheon at the Warwick Hotel in New York City. (An annotated photograph is here.) 

On September 25, 1928, Verdier returned alone from France. The passenger list had his address as Friar’s Club, 10 West 48th Street, New York. 

What’s in the New York Evening Journal (1928) included a profile of Verdier with Wellington as his middle name. 

Verdier has not yet been found in the 1930 census. 

Verdier produced material for the Central Press Association. The Swifty strip ran from October 13, 1930 to July 18, 1931. Verdier, as Verd, also made a number of how-to-draw panels that appeared in the Berkeley Daily Gazette, October 28, 1930, October 29, 1930, and October 30, 1930




Apparently Verdier spent some time in California. A passenger list said he departed Los Angeles on January 19, 1936 and arrived in the port of New York on February 3. Verdier’s address was the Hotel Marseilles in New York City. 

On March 27, 1936, Verdier married Ruth Manley in Manhattan. The Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska), March 30, 1936, said 
Couple Weds in New York Chapel
Mrs. Ruth Lindburg Manley of New York, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Lindburg, was married in New York Friday to Edward E. Verdier of Kew Gardens, L. I. The lines were read by Justice Thomas J. Barry in the city chapel. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Verdier of San Francisco.

On September 23, 1936, they returned to New York from Europe. Their home address was 9 Kew Gardens Road, in Kew Gardens, New York. 
Ruth’s family name is Lindburg not Rundburg.

In 1937, Verdier contributed to the Chirps and Chuckles Sunday panel from King Features.

According to the 1940 census, after 1935 Verdier moved to Los Angeles, California at 460 East Channel Road. He was a writer. 

Eugene Register-Guard (Oregon), December 28, 1941, said 
Script Writer Is Ex-Newspaper Man
Ed Verdier, who did the screen play for “The Bride Wore Crutches,” fast-moving 20th Century-Fox comedy-melodrama about gangsters, which is coming Wednesday to the State theater, is a newspaper alumnus.

Some years back, Verdier did the continuity for and also drew “Little Annie Rooney,” one of the country’s most successful comic strips. Eye-weakness knocked him out of the newspaper business and he turned to radio, writing continuity for some of the “thriller” programs among which is listed “Dick Tracy.”
Verdier had four Hollywood film writing credits

On February 15, 1942, Verdier signed his World War II draft card. His address was unchanged. Verdier was self-employed. Curiously, he named his first wife as the contact person. Verdier’s description was six feet, 210 pounds with brown eyes and gray hair. 

In 1948, Ziff-Davis published Verdier’s The Sun and the Barrow. A review in the Flint Journal (Michigan), February 22, 1948, said in part
Edward Verdier is a versatile man. When failing eyesight forced him to abandon painting, he turned to writing, and “The Sun and the Barrow” (Ziff-Davis) is his first novel. It is the story of the rise of a young artist and the many women who influence him.

Paul Landreau found out when he was a young boy, he had artistic abilities but it was not until he had left his home town, San Francisco, and traveled across the Continent to New York City that he could seriously devote time to his painting. …

… There are times when Verdier’s writing shows much promise. When he is describing his early life in San Francisco, he is good. His description of the despair of the people afflicted by the earthquake is much the best part of the book. …
Verdier has not yet been found in the 1950 census. The 1950 and 1962 voter registrations, at, said he was a Democrat at the same address. 

Verdier passed away on October 8, 1976, in Los Angeles, California. 

Further Reading and Viewing
Lambiek Comiclopedia
Stripper’s Guide


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Wednesday, April 05, 2023


Obscurity of the Day, Revisited: Broadway


I covered the photo comic strip Broadway way back in 2010, offering dear departed Jay Maeder the bully pulpit since my knowledge of the strip was on a par with a caveman's expertise at operating a microwave. But that was then and this is now. 

Now we have the New York Daily News available in digitized form, so I can give you the actual running dates, which are February 5 1927 to December 15 1936. I can also tell you that Mark Hellinger's "staging" of the strip -- I assume that meant he took the pictures and wrote the gags, or at least wrote down the gags these comedy actors passed along to him -- from the inception through December 28 1929, when he jumped ship to the New York Mirror

After Hellinger the strip was never bylined. The style of the strip changed a bit, with drawn backgrounds always now used instead of often staging the photos in front of real backdrops. These drawn backgrounds, very simple line drawings, were also never credited. 

We do, however, have some probable writing credits based on the E&P listings for the strip. In 1930 and 1933 Sidney Skolsky was credited. He was the theatre columnist of the Daily News, as had been Hellinger, so that makes sense. In 1932 the strip was credited to Jack Chapman. Since I'm guessing he's NOT the 11 year old airplane pilot who made headlines that year, I don't know who that might be. In other years the E&P listing for Broadway did not offer a credit. By the way, even though Broadway was available as a syndicated strip, I've never seen it anywhere but the Daily News.

The other reason we're revisiting the strip is that Doug Skinner very kindly sent me the above trove of scans from his paper copies of the Daily News, so we get a darn sight better look at the strip than via the 2010 post's microfilm photocopies. Doug has a very interesting and eclectic blog called The Ullage Group. Go check it out and say hi. Thanks Doug!


Hello Allan-
Funny they preferred to use Clark & McCollough seperately! It would seem to me that maybe "Broadway" was to gothamcentric to use anywhere else, or that it's just to wierd looking to do any syndicating.
Hello, Allan! My guess is that Jack Chapman was John Chapman, who wrote theater reviews for the "Daily News," as well as the column "Mainly About Manhattan."

And behold Clark & McCullough without their usual costumes!

Doug Skinner
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Monday, April 03, 2023


Selling It: The Liber T. Loane Family


Wars are bloody, that's for sure, and they're bloody expensive, too. And one of the ways that governments pay for their little exercises in world domination is by making their own citizens foot the bill. They start by jacking up taxes, which is a good ploy, but that doesn't really give them access to savings, just income. And there's a LOT of money being wasted on stuff other than bullets and bandages, just whiling away the time in bank accounts and the stock market. 

Governments that are a little shy of outright demanding that money often go with plan B, making citizens feel like heels if they don't pony up those savings to the government of their own free will. To make it most palatable, governments issue bonds that eventually pay a small dividend, assuming they manage to win the war. 

Hmm. This is reading more like a rant than a blogpost so far. Let's try this...

In 1919, after World War I ended, governments still had huge bills pending for rebuilding. Even the U.S., never the home turf to the war, had soldiers to bring home, armed forces to rebuild, an economy to revitalize, and refugees to feed and clothe. Therefore, the 1919 U.S. Victory Loan (the ones during wartime were termed Liberty Loans) admonished citizens to dig deep one more time in aid of the nation. Newspapers were always important venues for the appeals to patriotism that formed the advertising for these fund drives. Famous illustrators and cartoonists were often called upon to lend their abilities to these drives. 

In World War II comic strips and comic panels were often used for these drives, but I can't recall any comic strip used during World War I by the government to sell bonds, except for this one unearthed by Mark Johnson, The Liber T. Loane Family. The strip was penned by Harold B. Lentz, who later made a name for himself illustrating children's books, especially well-remembered for those of the pop-up variety.

Looking at the various digitized papers that used the series, it appears that there were eighteen installments, and the earliest users started it in April 1919*. Others used it later that year, and its running often coincides with a local push to sell bonds, often with lots of hoopla, speeches and entertainment in the town square and such.

Thanks to Mark Johnson for the sample strip!


* The earliest start date I found was April 4 1919 (mid-week) by the Wilmington Daily News.


This strip needs an out-of-control robot.
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Sunday, April 02, 2023


Wish You Were Here, from Fred Opper


Here's a Maud the Mule card from the Hearst freebies we've dubbed the Li'l Arsonist series. This card shows a rare scene in which the appearance of the firecrackers will actually constitute an actual surprise for the user. That is, in addition to the surprise that you can burn your house down holding a piece of thin cardboard up to the gas jet.


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