Saturday, May 06, 2023


Herriman Saturday: May 26 1910


May 26 1910 -- Pretty obvious gag here, Jim Jeffries has finished his big rejuvenating meal, and he's now ready for a "large black." What bothers me about the cartoon (other than its smug race-based gag) is that Herriman had a superb ear for slang, but this is distinctly tinny. If we're talking about coffee, I never heard of ordering a "large black" to get a cuppa joe. Or maybe he's referring to some other period end of meal delicacy I've never heard of?


"Café Fistiana", read in reverse on the window, is a nice touch, though.
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Friday, May 05, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Frank Little

Frank Patrick Little was born on April 30, 1907, in Savanna, Georgia, according to his World War II draft card. 

The 1910 United States Census said Little, his parents, William and Helen, and older brother, Robert, were Jacksonville, Florida residents at 12 East Church Street. His father was a scenic artist and his mother an actress. 

The Little family has not yet been found in the 1920 census. At some point they moved to New York City. 

The 1925 New York state census recorded Little, his father, step-mother, Nellie, and brother in Brooklyn at 73 Fort Greene Place. Little’s father’s occupation was painting artist. His brother worked as a scenic artist. 

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Little studied at the Art Students League. 

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Little drew three series for the Paramount Newspaper Feature Service. Spike and Sam ran from July 12 to September 6, 1928; Hard-Hearted Hanna from July 19 to September 6, 1928; and Sweet Adeline from September 16, 1927 to November 30, 1928. Little continued the series Flaming Youth which was created by Jack Ward, a vaudeville performer and cartoonist who later worked as an animation storywriter. Flaming Youth was also known as Drugstore Cowboys. Paramount Newspaper Feature Service also distributed Sam Iger’s The Gang, Larry Silverman’s In Jungle Land, Geoff Hayes’ After the Honeymoon, Gus Standard’s Ham and Beans, and Louise Hirsch’s Charlie Chirps and Tessie Tish

According to the 1930 census, Little and his father were commercial artists. Little, his parents and uncle lived in Sunnyside, Queens, New York at 4330 40th Street. 

The Charleston Evening Post (South Carolina), April 14, 1936, said Little and Mary Ethel Rodrigues obtained a marriage license. Three days later the Evening Post, in a captioned photograph, said 
Who before her marriage yesterday morning in St. Mary’s church was Miss Mary E. Rodrigues, of this city. Mr. and Mrs. Little will reside in New York, where Mr. Little is connected with the Ted Eshugh [sic] Animated Cartoon studios.
Little worked for the Ted Esbaugh Studios

The 1940 census said Little had a two-year-old daughter, Mary. They were Manhattan residents at 507 West 147th Street. Little was a cartoonist in the motion picture industry. His highest level of education was the third year of high school. In 1939, he earned $1,820. 

On October 16, 1940, Little signed his World War II draft card. At some point his previous address was updated to 428 West 204th Street in Manhattan. Little worked for Paul Terry in New Rochelle, New York. 

Most of Little’s comic book work was in the 1940s and 1950s. He contributed three stories in All Your Comics, 1944: Karrots, Karrots, and “Red” Kamphor

Little had copyright entries for Lily Lion—Lucky Leo (1933), Pipsi Rose Dee (1943), and It’s News to Youse (1947). 

Little’s address was 428 West 204th Street in the 1950 census. He was a proprietor in the art industry. His second daughter, Patricia, was nine years old.

Little passed away on April 16, 1997. The Social Security Death Index said his last residence was the Bronx. Little obtained his Social Security number in Michigan. 

Further Reading and Viewing
Lambiek Comiclopedia
Internet Movie Database
Heritage Auctions, Frank Little original art here and here
Find a Grave, William Robert Little Jr.


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Thursday, May 04, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Jack Ward

John A. “Jack” Ward was born on May 2, 1888, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania according to his World War I draft card. 

In the 1900 United States Census, Ward was the sixth of nine children born to James, a wallpaper printer, and Alice. They lived in Philadelphia at 1008 South 24th Street. Ward had three brothers and five sisters: Joseph and William were vocalists; James a watchmaker, and Alice a paper box-maker. 

In the mid-1900s, Ward entered vaudeville. So far, the earliest mention of Ward was in the Woodbury Daily Times (New Jersey), September 12, 1907, in the next to last paragraph (below). He teamed up with Eddie Weber

Baltimore Sun 2/2/1908

Variety 2/20/1909

Ward has not yet been found in the 1910 census. His parents were still in Philadelphia. 

Colorado Springs Gazette 9/11/1910

Variety 9/27/1912

Billboard, August 8, 1914, said “Ward and Weber have dissolved partnership. Eddie Weber will work with Capitola De Wolfe.” Ward was quickly back on his feet when he partnered with Edna Northlane, whose mother was the chaperone. They were listed in Variety, August 28, 1914, for an appearance at the Majestic Theater in Houston, Texas. The San Antonio Light, September 6, 1914, said
... Edna Northlane and Jack Ward in an “Impromptu Duo” present a merry hodge midge of songs, dances and patter, and the late song hit, “Within the Law.” Miss Northlane make a decided impression upon her audiences. A clever, bright and exceedingly well dressed couple, they savor of society entertainers of the de luxe order.
San Antonio Light 9/6/1914

Grand Forks Daily Herald 3/28/1915

At some point, Ward married Northlane who got her start in show business around 1910. Northlane would partner with Adele Ferguson. 

Oregon Daily Journal 10/30/1912

On June 5, 1917, Ward signed his World War I draft card. His address was 158 North Dewey in Philadelphia. His occupation was vaudeville artist. Ward was described as medium height and build, with blue eyes and brown hair. 

A 1919 Army Transport Service Passenger List said Ward was a corporal in Company B of the 314th Infantry. He sailed from France. Ward said his home was the Hotel Princeton at 116 West 4th Street in Manhattan, New York City. 

The New York Clipper, December 3, 1919, said
The vaudeville team of Northlane and Ward, having returned from entertaining soldiers overseas, will split temporarily. Jack Ward will do a single and Edna Northlane, in private life Mrs. Jack Ward, will not work this season. Ward will offer singing, dancing and character bits in his act.
The 1920 census counted Ward and his wife in Manhattan at 132 West 45th Street. The building was filled with various performers and musicians. 

Variety 1/3/1924

Omaha Sunday Bee 6/8/1924

According to the 1925 New York state census, Ward, his wife and five-year-old daughter Edna were Brooklyn residents at 5101 20th Avenue. He and his wife’s occupations were actor and actress. 

Ward’s The High-Kicking Kellys debuted in the second half of October 1924. (Old Fulton New York Post Cards has an incomplete run of Vaudeville News. Missing are all of 1924 and the first six months of 1926.) Its first anniversary was reported in Vaudeville News, October 23, 1925. 
The “High Kicking Kellys,” whose funny antics in Jack Ward’s cartoon strip on this page each week have brought merriment to countless thousands, are now a year old. For 52 consecutive weeks they have delighted Vaudeville News readers, and for that reason a few “inside” facts about them may be of interest.

Of course the Kellys do not exist in reality. It is just a cartoon, created for laughing purposes only and the creator and cartoonist is Jack Ward of the team of Northlane and Ward, now playing the Keith-Albee Circuit. Ward has worked with Edna Northlane (known as the Mary Pickford of Vaudeville) for the past twelve years. For eight years he worked with Eddie Weber (now Weber & Ridnor) in an act known as Ward & Weber.

Old friends of Ward, knowing that he was raised in the show business, are curious to know how he became a cartoonist. The creator of the High Kicking Kellys acquired his cartooning education right off the make-up shelf. In 1920 he took up a correspondence school course in cartooning which required three years to complete. Another year was devoted to the study of commercial art. He never studied anywhere excepting in a dressing room between shows. Thanks to present-day conditions most dressing rooms arc well lighted, well ventilated and are ideal for studying. Ward was not alone in his studying as evidenced by the accompanying photo of Baby Edna Lorraine Ward, who is 4 1/2 years of age and weighs 38 pounds. She has been “brought up” on the stage and is living proof of the fact that vaudeville artists are laboring under healthful conditions.

With the assistance and advice of the editor of The Vaudeville News and Mr. McClure, manager of Associated Newspapers, as well as Ed Ripley, sport cartoonist of the New York Telegram, Ward’s work in The Vaudeville News has been closely watched and coached and is now considered equal in originality, humor and technique to any comedy strip before the public today.

The Kellys are a year old and if you have followed them you will admit they have gone through some terrible experiences for their age. 

But “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

The series ended January 8, 1927. 

Vaudeville News 7/3/1925

Vaudeville News 7/10/1925

Vaudeville News 7/17/1925

Vaudeville News 1/1/1927

Vaudeville News 1/8/1927

For the Paramount Newspaper Feature Service, Ward wrote Flaming Youth which ran from July 22 to September 9, 1927, according to American Newspaper Comics (2012). (Paramount Newspaper Feature Service also distributed Sam Iger’s The Gang, Larry Silverman’s In Jungle Land, Geoff HayesAfter the Honeymoon, Gus Standard’s Ham and Beans, Frank Little’s Spike and Sam, and Louise Hirsch’s Charlie Chirps and Tessie Tish.) The strip was signed Jack Ward but drawn by another artist. The signature and style are completely different than The High-Kicking Kellys. The double crossbar on the J makes the letter look like an F. 

My guess is Frank Little was the artist because when the series was reprinted he got the byline. 

The Wave (Rockaway Beach, NY) 12/5/1929

The Wave (Rockaway Beach, NY) 12/26/1929

The Wave (Rockaway Beach, NY) 1/9/1930

The Wave (Rockaway Beach, NY) 1/16/1930

Ward’s entry into animation was reported in Film Daily, February 23, 1930. 
Jack Ward, comedian and dancer for the past 20 years on the Keith and Loew vaudeville circuits with Northlane & Ward and later with Ward & Weber, has been signed for an indefinite engagement with the Aesop Fable dept. of the Van Beuren Corp. 
Billboard, October 17, 1931, said “Edna Northlane and Jack Ward are returning to vaude in a new act after being away for a couple of years, in which Ward worked for animated cartoon films.”

The 1930 recorded Ward at the same Brooklyn address. The actor had a second daughter, two-year-old Maryolive. 

At some point, Ward joined Fleischer Studios. He was mentioned, in the Christmas dinner article, of the February 1936 in-house publication, Animated News

In the 1940 census, Ward, his wife and youngest daughter lived in Miami, Florida at 2144 SW 3rd Avenue. His occupation was writer. Ward’s highest level of education was the second year of high school. 

Ward’s dancing was mentioned in two books. Popeye: An Illustrated Cultural History, 2nd Edition (2004) said 
... If dance steps or a special funny walk were needed for a cartoon character to perform, the veteran former star vaudevillian dancer, Jack Ward, was called in. Jack would go through the routine, freezing occasionally for the animator to make quick pencil sketches to be later transposed into the cartoon character’s action. …
Science Fiction America: Essays on SF Cinema (2015) said 
... The other outstanding attribute of this musical cartoon is the dancing. Both Gordon Sheehan and animator Dave Tendlar remembered the talents of writer, cartoonist, and former vaudeville dancer Jack Ward. Tendlar said, “He could draw. He drew all the [dance] steps for us. He drew everything out. The positions of the feet. He was a professional dancer. He drew out all the steps in very great detail, and we could follow the feet movements that he drew. He was not an animator. He worked in the Story Department. In his early days, he and his wife were vaudeville actors; they danced.”
The Art and Inventions of Max Fleischer: American Animation Pioneer (2017) published a photograph of Ward and others napping. 

Fleischer Studios folded in 1942 and was renamed Famous Studios by Paramount Pictures.

The 1950 census said Ward, his wife and two daughters lived in Manhattan at 300 49th Street. His occupation was “Take Care of Apartment” without pay. 

Ward passed away January 11, 1956. An obituary appeared in Variety, February 8, 1956. 
Jack Ward, onetime musical comedy and vaude performer, died Jan. 11 in New York. Starting his theatrical career at the age of 14, he later was dance director for the late George M. Cohan in a number of shows presented by the production team of Cohan & Harris.

But although Ward frequently trouped in musicals for the Shuberts and other producers he was better known for his work in vaude. In the latter medium he teamed with his wife, Edna, in a turn known as Northlane & Ward and also was a member of the act of Ward & Weber.

After serving in World War I, Ward rejoined Miss Northlane to appear in the George M. Cohan Over There Theatre League and on the major circuits of yesteryear. A cartoonist as well as a dancer, he drew a strip called the “High Kicking Kellys” in the Vaudeville News and was long associated in various capacities with the Van Beuren Studio and Max Fleischer Studio.

Surviving besides his wife are two daughters and five sisters. One daughter, Edna L., is a member of Lane & Ward.
Ward’s wife passed away February 2, 1981. They were laid to rest in Kensico Cemetery


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Wednesday, May 03, 2023


Comics of the Paramount News Features Service: Flaming Youth

Today we come to a particularly knotty mess to unravel from PNF, Flaming Youth. This strip was another anchor strip for the syndicate, starting (as best we can tell) on July 22 1927* and ending on an undetermined date in 1928. The term "flaming youth" was popular slang in the 1920s, describing the hard-partying, hard-drinking, sexually liberated young people who were emblematic of the Roaring '20s decade. This strip offered run of the mill gags that were getting pretty creaky even by 1927. 

The strip began under the direction of Jack Ward, who signed for awhile in 1927, and then switched over to Frank P. Little, who often signed just with his initials. Both creators leaned heavily on the standard-bearer for flapper art, John Held, Jr, but Ward was the better artist of the two.. Here's some by Jack Ward:

And here's some by Frank P. Little:

So you're wondering why many of the strips above use the title Drugstore Cowboys and are bylined by Gus Standard? Well, so did I for a long time. But I finally figured it out. After the initial PNF run, as is not untypical, the title of the strip was changed. Okay, so that explains Drugstore Cowboys, but what about Gus Standard? Gus Standard had nothing to do with Flaming Youth, but he did do the art for awhile on another PNF strip, Hamm and Beans (which we'll cover soon). What happened was that when the reprint era began, not only did they change the name of Flaming Youth to Drugstore Cowboys, but they lumped Hamm and Beans under the same title, and gave the byline for the whole mess to Gus Standard. Make sense? Well of course not, but that's what happened. 

A final mystery is that we find two additional creators apprearing in the Drugstore Cowboys reprint run, Reginald Greenwood and Pete Hayes. I've never seen these creators in the original Flaming Youth run, but since one of the gags is about the Charleston dance craze, that puts them in the right time frame. Here are three by Greenwood, who was at least by comparison with the others at PNF, quite an impressive artist:


Finally, here's the one and only Pete Hayes strip I've found (Alex has managed to find one more, which will be in his Ink-Slinger Profile):

Next posts will be Ink-Slinger Profiles of Ward, Little, Greenwood, and Hayes, then we'll pick up with Hamm and Beans.

* Source: Jeffrey Lindenblatt


The first Greenwood strip is the most realistic-style backflip I have ever seen.
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Tuesday, May 02, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Larry Silverman

Lawrence Walter “Larry” Silverman was born on February 28, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York, according to his birth certificate and World War II draft card. 

In the 1910 United States Census, Silverman was the only child of Henry, a lawyer, and Gertrude. His father was born in Austria and his mother in England. They were Brooklyn residents at 1416 Eastern Parkway. 

Silverman attended Public School No. 156 which was less than half-a-mile from his home. Silverman was an honor roll student who was mentioned in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 19, 1915 and May 21, 1918

On September 12, 1918, Silverman’s father signed his World War I draft card. His address was 38 Glemore Avenue in Brooklyn. Silverman’s father was a lawyer for New York City and worked at the Municipal Building. 

The 1920 census counted Silverman, his parents and sister, Phyllis, in the Bronx at 847 Manida Street. 

The 1925 New York state census said the Silverman family of five lived in the Bronx at 2015 University Avenue. 

Information about Silverman’s art training has not been found. His earliest professional work may have been the comic strip, In Jungle Land aka In Jungle Town aka Jungletown Fables, for the Paramount Newspaper Feature Service which distributed Sam Iger’s The Gang, Louise Hirsch’s Tessie Tish and Charlie Chirps, Geoff HayesAfter the Honeymoon, Gus Standard’s Ham and Beans, Jack Ward’s Flaming Youth, and Frank Little’s Spike and Sam. In Jungle Land had a byline for Whitey and art signed either “Whitey”, “Lane” or “Larry Silverman”. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said In Jungle Land ran from September 16, 1927 to July 5, 1928.

According to the 1930 census, Silverman was a student. The name of the school is not known. He lived with his parents and sister, Phyllis, in Manhattan at 898 West End Avenue. 

The Film Daily, May 31, 1933, said “Larry Silverman, one of the Harman-Ising animators, also is in New York enjoying a vacation after having signed a new contract.” 

Silverman’s Making ’em Move was mentioned in a 1939 issue of The Camera. The New York Sun, May 24, 1941, published an article about the New York 8mm Motion Picture Club meeting at the Hotel Pennsylvania and said “... ‘Making ’em Move,’ by Larry Silverman, was a well planned color story of the making of animated cartoons ...”

Silverman and his parents were Manhattan residents in the 1940 census. The trio’s address 246 West End Avenue. Silverman was a cartoonist at Terrytoons, Inc. His highest level of education was a year of college. He worked 52 weeks and earned $4,000 in 1939. 

On October 16, 1940, Silverman signed his World War II draft card. At a later date, his address was updated to 35 Clinton Place, New Rochelle, New York. Silverman was described as five feet seven inches, 132 pounds, with brown eyes and hair. Another notation said he married on April 1, 1941. 

The New York, New York Marriage License Index, at, said he and Eleanor Newhouse obtained in the Bronx, on March 29, 1941, marriage license number 2677. 

The 1947 New Rochelle, New York city directory listed Silverman as a cartoonist who lived at 35 Clinton Place, apartment 5E. Silverman’s art also appeared in comic books. (see Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999)

In 1947, Silverman participated in the strike at Terrytoons. Motion Picture Daily, June 13, 1949, named the new officers of the Screen Cartoonists. 
Zander President of Screen Cartoonists
Jack Zander has been elected president of the Screen Cartoonists, Local 1461, it was announced here at the weekend. Other officers elected were: Morey Reden, vice-president; Larry Silverman, treasurer; Charlotte Tuggle, recording secretary; Gene Sogioka, financial secretary; Irving Spector, conductor; Jim Logan, warden. Trustees are Tex Henson, Ruth Kuss and Gloria Green. Pepe Ruiz is business agent.
The Silverman’s address was the same in the 1950 census. Silverman had two daughters, Joanne and Jaclyn. He was a cartoonist at Famous Studios Moving Pictures

American Newspaper Comics said the creative team of writer, Tom Johnson, and artists, Steve Muffatti and Silverman, used the pseudonym Al Buck to produced Little Audrey from December 18, 1950 to 1951. 

Art Direction, May 1958, mentioned Silverman as the animator of a 10-second TV commercial. 

The Los Angeles Times, February 3, 1995, said Silverman moved to California in 1964 to work for Disney animation studios. He also worked at Hanna Barbera. He retired in 1984 and moved to Camarillo. 

Silverman passed away on January 30, 1995 in Camarillo.


Nice post! I wrote about Larry Silverman here:
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Monday, May 01, 2023


Comics of the Paramount News Feature Service: In Jungle Land

 In Jungle Land was one of those strips in which animals stand in for humans, mainly because they're easier to draw. A monkey was the star most often, but others jungle animals made appearannces, plus the occasional African humans, portrayed in the typical unfortunate manner. In Jungle Land was one of the mainstays of the PNF Service, with my best guess at original running dates being September 16 1927* through July 5 1928**, though there is evidence to the contrary, which we'll get to momentarily. 

The strip was bylined by "Whitey" from beginning to end, both in the original run and in the many years worth of reprints. I have no idea who this might be, and there's a pretty good chance that it was a house name. That's because though the byline never changed, those who actually signed the strips certainly did. 

We started out pretty reasonably for a strip bylined "Whitey", because the strips too were signed with the same moniker:

But even then there was evidence that 'Whitey' was a pseudonym, because the signer in one instance actually managed to misspell their own name, as "Whiety". 

Starting on Devcember 15 1927, a new signer appeared, someone named "Lane". Here are some samples:

"Lane" made it almost to the believed end of the original run, last signing on June 21 1928. "Whitey" strips rounded out the run on July 5. 

But that's not the end of the story. As with most PNF strips, In Jungle Land had a long life in reprints. The odd thing is that in the various reprint runs we can find examples of strips signed by "Pud" and by Larry Silverman, the only non-nickname to ever sign the strip. Here's a sample by "Pud":

And here are some by Larry Silverman:

So why didn't we see these folks in the original run? That would seem to mean the original run was longer than we have been able to document, or that these extra strips were just extras, thrown in for the reprint run for some reason. What seems pretty remarkable to me is that all the strips seem to be drawn in pretty well the exact same style. It really makes me wonder if "Whitey", "Lane", "Pud" and Larry Silverman are all the same person.

Oh, and if you're wondering why I keep calling the strip In Jungle Land when the strips above are plainly titled Jungletown Fables, that's because the strip was renamed pretty consistently to that in the reprint run, and my samples are all from those runs. I've also seen In Jungle Town on occasion, but that's an outlier. 

Tomorrow, an Ink-Slinger Profile of the only In Jungle Land artist to sign something other than his nickname.

* Source: Norfolk Journal and Guide

** Source: Philadelphia Tribune


There was an animator named Larry Silverman, who would have worked at Terrytoons at the time these strips first came out. In 1930 he briefly moved to West Coast to work at Disney (and later Harman and Ising before returning to New York).

The samples shown here has a strong animation vibe from the time period, especially for Terrytoons.
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