Saturday, May 13, 2023


Herriman Saturday: May 27 1910


May 27 1910 -- In a momentary respite from Fight of the Century cartoons, Herriman travels to Venice to look in on the training camps of Owen Moran and Frankie Burns, who are set to meet in the ring in August.


Comments: Post a Comment

Thursday, May 11, 2023


Comics of the Paramount News Feature Service: All the Rest

 We've now covered all the longest running strips from PNF, but there were others. Some of these outliers we've documented to run at the beginnings of the syndicate, in summer 1927, others have been documented running at the supposed end, in summer - fall 1928. One thing is certain -- the running dates we can cite for them are merely those we've found in the vanishingly few papers documented to have run the syndicate, and it is safe to say that those dates we've documented are not the last word. 

My wild guess is that the strips we'll discuss today were probably all originally produced and originally distributed at the beginning of the syndicate's short lifespan. Why the syndicate would have lost a whole crop of strips after a short run I have no idea, and that problem may mean that I'm totally wrong. Or maybe these strips are actually part at the beginning and part at the end -- a few creators dropping out after seeing that the syndicate was not a paying proposition, and others coming in at the end trying to save the sinking ship. 

An odd feature of these strips is that they did not appear in the later reprint era. Maybe there were just too few episodes to bother, I dunno. Many of the strips at the end of the run may have actually been in the first reprint run -- most of them can be found with that mysterious Rialto N.F. syndicate stamp.

So for what it's worth, here are the rest of the PNF strips. For some I cannot even offer you samples; they were documented years ago on microfilm where photocopies were not available. 

Big Benny

This strip is documented by Jeffrey Lindenblatt to have run July 22 to August 19 1927 in an unknown paper. That's a mere five week run, but we do actually have four very blurry samples, rerun in 1928 with that Rialto N.F. stamp. The strip is about a boxer and his manager, and was credited to someone named "Burchit". Despite the unusual name, I cannot find any other trace of this artist:

Fat Burns

Documented by Jeffrey Lindenblatt to have run July 22 to September 9 1927, this one is by Frank Ward, which makes me wonder if this is the same person as Jack Ward of Flaming Youth (or a brother?). Here is the only sample I've been able to track down:

Hard-Hearted Hanna

This strip can only be documented at the end of the syndicate's life, running from July 19 to September 6 1928 in the Philadelphia Tribune. This strip is credited to Frank Little, also of the Flaming Youth strip; why our sample strip, a 1930 reprint, is credited to "St. Elmor" I have no idea. This is the only sample I could dig up which is one of the rare examples where the characters were shaded to appear black, for publication in a black paper::

Jo-Jo The Hop

Here's a strip with a title that would have raised eyebrows. A 'hop' or 'hophead' was slang for a drug addict. However, our strip is about a hotel bellhop, also known (I gather) by the shorter term 'hop'. Jeffrey Lindenblatt found this one running at the beginning of the syndicate, from July 22 to August 19 1927. The creator, who is only known as 'Howard', is probably the best artist at the syndicate. His work seems to be inspired by Rea Irvin or Gluyas Williams, and you can't go far wrong with them as your inspiration!


This strip was discussed in the post about The Gang, as a possible part of that series. But it is by a different creator, has a different look, and other than having the main character named Mickey, really no particular resemblance. For that reason, I generally assume it is a separate series. Jeffrey Lindenblatt documented a run of just three weeks, from August 26 to September 9 1927, with a byline to 'Ned'. I, on the other hand, can find the two samples shown below, but they are credited to Dick Kennedy. Which makes for an even more tangled web, because we know of a different series by Dick Kennedy, The Whole Dam Family:

Spike and Sam

And now we come to the dregs of the PNF, strips for which I can offer not even a single bad microfilm copy. Spike and Sam was documented only at the end of the syndicate's life, running July 12 to September 6 1928 in the Philadelphia Tribune. It was credited to Frank Little, who also worked on Hard-Hearted Hanna and Flaming Youth

Sweet Adeline

This one was documented by Jeffrey Lindenblatt, running September 16 to November 30 1927, but missing a significant number of weeks during that run. It's another Frank Little strip. 

The Whole Dam Family

Not surprising that it's hard to find this one in many papers; the gag of a family with the surname 'Dam' is off-colour adjacent, and was already a very old gag by the mid-20s. This one was credited to Dick Kennedy. Jeffrey Lindenblatt documented this one running August 26 to September 9 1927, just three strips. 


And that about does it for the Paramount News Feature Service. Just another in the long list of hole-in-the-wall syndicates that was born with the certainty that weekly papers were underserved and constitiuted a cash cow just waiting for a smart entrepreneur to milk it. 

It goes without saying -- but I'll say it anyway -- if you find any run of PNF material or other records that add to our information on this syndicate, we'd love to hear from you!


Comments: Post a Comment

Wednesday, May 10, 2023


The Comics of Paramount News Feature Service: Hamm and Beans

Hamm and Beans is a buddy strip featuring a skinny tall fellow (Beans) and his short, fat pal, Hamm. For whatever reason, Hamm often got short-shrift in the strip, leaving Beans to appear alone. The strip was mostly about dating, and pretty much tilled the same fields as PNF's Flaming Youth strip, which we covered earlier, but in this case with consistent characters.

Based on our best sources, the strip began on September 16 1927* and ended on June 28 1928**. The strip was bylined by Gus Standard throughout the run, but some later strips were signed by "Vin". Here are some signed by Standard:

And here's a selection by "Vin":

As you can see, there's not a tremendous difference in style between Gus Standard and "Vin". The "Vin" strips, though, I have only seen in the reprint runs of the strip, so maybe I failed to notice the signature change in the original runs I've checked, or there is a longer original run than what I've seen. 

As discussed in the Flaming Youth post, both it and Hamm and Beans were combined under the umbrella title of Drugstore Cowboys for the reprint runs.

* Source: Norfolk Jounral and Guide

** Source: Philadelphia Tribune

Comments: Post a Comment

Tuesday, May 09, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Pete Hayes

Peter Joseph “Pete” Hayes was born on March 1, 1902, Brooklyn, New York, according to his World War II draft card. 

The 1905 New York state census said Hayes was the third of four children born to Timothy, an Irish immigrant, and Elizabeth. They were Brooklyn residents at 206 Bridge Street. In the 1910 United States Census, the Hayes family lived at 281 Gold Street in Brooklyn. Hayes father was a compounder of liquor. The 1915 New York state census recorded a new address, 184 Duffield Street, for the Hayes family. 

According to the 1920 census, Hayes was a newspaper artist. He lived with his parents and siblings at 359 Jay Street in Brooklyn. Information about his art training has not been found.

Hayes drew an unknown number of strips for Sam Iger’s Paramount Newspaper Feature Service. Hayes’ strips were reprinted in the Drugstore Cowboys series. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said the Paramount Newspaper Feature Service also distributed Iger’s The Gang, Larry Silverman’s In Jungle Land, Geoff Hayes’ After the Honeymoon, Gus Standard’s Ham and Beans, Louise Hirsch’s Charlie Chirps and Tessie Tish, Jack Ward’s Flaming Youth, and Frank Little’s Spike and Sam

Roanoke Rapids Herald (NC) 2/23/1933

Roanoke Rapids Herald (NC) 3/9/1933

The 1930 census counted Hayes, his parents and siblings in Brooklyn at 162 Wyckoff Street. Hayes was a newspaper cartoonist. His father passed away on February 12, 1938. 

The 1940 census said Hayes worked at the Journal-American newspaper where he earned $2,000 in 1939. His highest level of education was the 7th grade. Hayes lived with his widow mother at 137 Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. 

On February 16, 1942, Hayes signed his World War II draft card. His address was the same. Hayes worked in the art department of the New York Journal-American. He was described as five feet ten inches, 140 pounds, with hazel eyes and brown hair. 

It’s not clear what became of Hayes. There was a “Peter Hays” who passed away on January 3, 1947 in Brooklyn. The 1950 census counted a “Peter Hayes” who was about the same age, single and born in New York but employed as a longshoreman who lived in Manhattan at 264 West 19th Street.


Comments: Post a Comment

Monday, May 08, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Reginald Greenwood

Reginald Eric Greenwood was born on December 31, 1899, in Elkin, North Carolina, according to his North Carolina World War I service card and World War II draft card which had his full name. 

The 1900 United States Census said five-month-old Greenwood was the only child of Claude, a merchant, and Annie who lived with her parents in Knobs, North Carolina. 

The 1910 census said Greenwood, his parents and sister, Sadie, were Knobs residents on Main Street. His father was the manager at a pin factory. The household included Greenwood’s aunt and cousin. 

According to Greenwood’s North Carolina World War I service card, he enlisted at Columbus, Ohio on July 30, 1916. He was a musician who served with the 23rd and 50th Infantries. His ranks were musician third class, February 1, 1917; musician second class, July 1, 1918; private first class, May 12, 1919; and corporal, April 6, 1920. Greenwood was honorably discharged on July 29, 1920. He did not serve overseas. 

In the 1920 census, Greenwood was a Manhattan, New York City resident at 400 West 57th Street. His occupation was artist.

The New York, New York Marriage License Index, at, said Greenwood and Beatrice Tallon obtained, in Manhattan, marriage license number 34065 on December 11, 1925. In Queens, they were married on December 31 which was his birthday. The Newtown Register (New York), January 30, 1926, reported the wedding. 
Mis Beatrice Sutcliffe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Sutcliffe, 37-60 Ninety-fifth street Elmhurst, an artist’s model, and Reginald E. Greenwood of Elkin, N. C., a Manhattan artist, were married recently by Supreme Court Judge Burt Jay Humphrey.

The couple are now on an extended trip through the southern states.

The bride was given in marriage by her brother, Edwin J. Sutcliffe, and Miss Elizabeth Papashone was bridesmaid. Seventy five guests attended the reception that followed the ceremony.
Greenwood contributed (probably in the late 1920s) an unknown number of strips to Sam Iger’s Paramount Newspaper Feature Service. His strips were reprinted in the Drugstore Cowboys series which also had art by Pete Hayes. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said the Paramount Newspaper Feature Service also distributed Iger’s The Gang, Larry Silverman’s In Jungle Land, Geoff Hayes’ After the Honeymoon, Gus Standard’s Hamm and Beans, Louise Hirsch’s Charlie Chirps and Tessie Tish, Jack Ward’s Flaming Youth, and Frank Little’s Spike and Sam

Galien River Gazette (Three Oaks, MI) 101/10/1940

The 1930 census counted illustrator Greenwood, his wife, twelve-year-old step-son Robert, and mother-in-law Evelyn Sutcliffe, in St. Albans, Queens, New York at 115-20 209th Street. 

Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists said Greenwood contributed to several pulp publications. 

The 1940 census said Greenwood was divorced and a self-employed commercial artist. His highest level of education was the third year of college. He lived in St. Albans at 191-13 114th Drive. 

On February 15, 1942, Greenwood signed his World War II draft card. His address was the same. Greenwood worked for the newspaper syndicate United Feature Service. He was described as five feet ten inches, 180 pounds, with gray eyes and brown hair. 

United Feature Service signed Greenwood to take over Jack Sparling’s Hap Hopper, Washington Correspondent. Greenwood produced just week’s worth of dailies which were published June 7 to 12, 1943. 

Greenwood passed away on May 25, 1943, in Manhattan. His wife (they had separated) provided information for the death certificate. His occupation was a newspaper artist who lived at 344 East 48th Street. He died at St. Vincent’s Hospital. 

The Charlotte Observer, (North Carolina), May 29, 1943, published an obituary. 
Elkin Funeral for N. Y. Man
Reginald E. Greenwood, Cartoonist of King Syndicate to Be Buried at Old Home 
Elkin, May 28.—Funeral services for Reginald E. Greenwood, 43, native of Elkin, who died Tuesday in a New York hospital of a heart illness will be conducted at the First Baptist church of Elkin Saturday afternoon by Rev. Grover C. Graham and Rev. Stephen Morrisett. Burial will be made in Hollywood cemetery.

He was a son of the late Claude Greenwood, prominent merchant and manufacturer and Mrs. Annie Booth Greenwood, now of Landrum S. C. 

Mr. Greenwood, a talented cartoonist, had been in New York many years and was associated with King syndicate in recent years. 

He was formerly a member of Elkin First Baptist church and it was his request that his body be brought to Elkin for final rites. 

The only immediate survivors are his mother and one sister, Mrs. John King of Statesville. Friends of his boyhood to serve as pallbearers are W. M. Allen, George Royall, J. O. Bivins, Edworth Harris, Hugh Royall, Grady Harris, Robert Kirkman, and Earl C. James.
An obituary, with errors, appeared in Editor & Publisher, June 12, 1943. 
Reggie Greenwood, Cartoonist, Dies 
Reginald Greenwood, newspaper artist for many years, died of a heart attack at St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York, on May 25, after a two weeks’ illness. At the time of his death he was a staff artist for the New York Journal-American, and also had been engaged to draw the “Hap Hopper” strip for United Feature Syndicate. He had drawn a week’s strip when he was stricken. 

Greenwood was born in Landrum, S. C., [sic] the son of a newspaperman [sic]. He served as an officer in the Second Division during World War I, and was wounded in action. Following the war he served with the Recruiting Service on Governors island, N. Y., and was a major when he left the service. Later he made a tour of the world, and his travels gave him a good background for his work when he resumed his art career in New York.
The birthplace is incorrect and Greenwood’s father was a merchant. His reported military service differs significantly from his North Carolina service card report. 

Greenwood was laid to rest at Hollywood Cemetery


Comments: Post a Comment

Sunday, May 07, 2023


Wish You Were Here, from Cobb Shinn


Here's a postcard by Cobb Shinn, one of the very ugly cards he produced in great quantity during the postcard boom of the 1900s-10s. This one doesn't credit a maker, and was postally used in 1911. I have lots of Shinn cards, but I think I'll keep most of them to myself, unless there are some dissenting opinions out there. Do you like this postcard? I guess maybe if you thought of it as a statement in modern art, or something ...


It's hideous, but it's great. Please post more of them.
I agree with the poster above! I'd love to see these - and I do like it actually as it is interesting in its weirdness.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]