Saturday, June 17, 2023


Herriman Saturday: May 30 1910


Oakland and Vernon played a double-header yesterday and Herriman recounts some of the sights of the day. The games were evenly divided, in both cases the winning team was highlighted by an excellent pitching performance.


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Friday, June 16, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Bob Powell


Bob Powell was born Stanley Robert Pawlowski on October 6, 1916, in Buffalo, New York, according to the New York State Birth Index (at and his World War II Draft card. 

The 1920 United States Census recorded Powell and his parents, Stanley and Jacqueline, in Buffalo at 330 Gibson Street. His father was a bank cashier.

In the 1925 New York state census, the family were Buffalo residents at 158 North Parade Avenue. Powell’s father worked in the restaurant business.

According to the 1930 census, their address was unchanged. Powell’s father was an automobile salesman. Powell attended East High School and was in the art club.

1931 Orient yearbook

After graduating high school, Powell enrolled at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated in 1938. He was in Pictorial Illustration III. Below his photograph, the Prattonia yearbook said
Powell, S. Robert, “Bob.” 158 N. Parade Ave., Buffalo, N. Y. “A biped without feathers. Makes surdity a blessing with his exotic notes when pleased—makes loneliness bearable at all times.”
Powell and his mother were counted in the 1940 census at 40 Burkhard Avenue in Williston Park, Nassau County, New York. His parents had divorced. Cartoonist Powell earned $1,000 in 1939. 

On October 16, 1940, Powell signed his World War II draft card and legally changed his name. His employer was Will Eisner. Powell was described as five feet ten inches, 200 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair. The New York Times said Powell was a navigator in the Army Air Force.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Power contributed Mister Mystic to Eisner’s Spirit Sunday comic book which was syndicated by the Register and Tribune. Powell drew the series from June 2, 1940 to May 14, 1944, with Fred Guardineer filling in from October 10 to 24, 1943. Powell’s Secret Agent D-13, ran from March 3 to August 11, 1940. The Sunday strip art was adapted from the comic book pages. Powell’s comic book credits are here

On April 20, 1941, Powell married Florence Dzimian. The marriage was reported in the Brooklyn Eagle, April 22 and Buffalo Evening News, April 23.

Brooklyn Eagle

Buffalo Evening News

The 1950 census said the Powell family resided at 58 Marcellus in Williston Park. Powell had two sons, Robert and John. 

On September 30, 1961, Powell married Bettina (Hollis) Caron in Huntington, New York. 

American Newspaper Comics said Powell took over the Bat Masterson comic strip from Howard Nostrand who started the series on September 13, 1959 for Columbia Features. Powell produced the daily from December 7, 1959 to June 25, 1960, and the Sunday from December 27, 1959 to 1960. Ed Herron was the writer. For the Bell-McClure Syndicate, Powell drew Teena a Go Go from August 14, 1966 to February 18, 1967. Bessie Little was the writer. 

Powell illustrated the 1967 book, Skiing Guidebook; Basic Ski Technique for Boys and Girls

Powell passed away on October 1, 1967, in Huntington, New York. (The dates at the Social Security Death Index are incorrect.) An obituary appeared in The New York Times, October 3.

Powell was laid to rest at Furnace Village Cemetery

Powell’s father passed away on April 2, 1950 in Buffalo, New York. On August 15, 1972, Powell’s mother passed away in Buffalo.


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Wednesday, June 14, 2023


Toppers: Youse is a Viper


Barney Google's main topper, Parlor, Bedroom and Sink Starring Bunky, spawned a new catchphrase, stemming from the disparagement Bunky regularly used on evil Fagin, "Youse is a viper!" Billy DeBeck loved creating new catchphrases, one might even say he was a bit obsessed with it, and when this one started catching on he evidently chafed at not being able to find reason to use it in the Sunday page more often. 

Simple solution to that problem. Add a panel cartoon topper in which the catchphrase can be said in big bold lettering every doggone week. The topper panel Youse is a Viper debuted on May 15 1932, and lasted over two years, finally ending on August 19 1934*. Satisfied that he had called out every viper around, DeBeck dropped it to start a new feature, Knee-Hi Knoodles.

* Source: Start and end dates from Detroit Free Press.


Stuff Smith recorded a pop song called "If Youse a Viper" in 1936. The song is about marijuana smoking, and "viper" is said to be slang for pot smoker. Fats Waller covered the song a few years later, but I first learned if from a Martin, Bogan, and Armstrong record.
That topper seems to be titled “ Bunky”, not “if youse a viper” as you write. It also does not make sense. We’re viewing a man-child radio star’s search for his mother that abruptly ends in a different character shouting the phrase at the ceiling.
I meant “ youse is a viper”, obviously.
Jim -- The "Youse is a Viper" is a separate panel cartoon, not associated with the rest of the topper strip, "Parlor, Bedroom and Sink Starring Bunky". DeBeck did not do a good job here in differentiating that there were two separate features (or three if you count the main Barney Google strip).

I was confused about that at first as well. Then I realized the last panel was stand-alone.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: James Stewart

James Stewart was born on February 12, 1885, in Glasgow, Scotland, according to his World War I and II draft cards. On March 28, 1914, Stewart, a draughtsman, was aboard the steamship Cameronia when it departed Glasgow. He arrived in the port of New York on April 7. His final destination was Chicago, Illinois, where he had friend, David Carlyle. Information about Stewart’s art training has not been found.

The Cook County, Illinois Marriages Index, at, said Stewart married Catherine Mutter in Chicago on April 23, 1915.

The Inland Printer, 6/1915

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Stewart produced Jimmy Dodge-a-Job and the Little Folks of Tumbledown Town, which ran in the New York Herald from February 3 to August 11, 1918. 

New York Herald, 3/15/1918

Signatures on draft card and strip

(Despite the same surname and somewhat similar art style, Stewart, who immigrated in 1914, did not produce Economical Bertie which appeared in the Chicago Tribune beginning in 1908. The 1910 census had an illustrator named William Stewart, a Chicago resident, who may have drawn the strip. Little else is known about him.)

On September 12, 1918, Stewart signed his World War I draft card. His address in Chicago was 1821 Ester Avenue. Stewart was a newspaper artist with the Chicago Daily News. He was described as medium height and build with dark brown hair and brown eyes. 

The 1920 census recorded newspaper artist Stewart and his Scottish wife in Chicago at 2024 Lunt Avenue. 

According to the 1930 census, Stewart was an artist at a publishing company. He and his wife resided in Chicago at 7121 Hillsdale. 

In the 1940 census, Stewart and his wife were counted in Evanston, Illinois at 901 Maple Avenue. Stewart was newspaper artist. 

During World War II, Stewart signed his draft card on April 27, 1942. He was self-employed and resided at 6964 North Seeley Avenue in Chicago. Sometime later a note was attached to the draft card with his new address, 120 Crescent Road, Toronto, Canada. 

What became of Stewart and his wife is unknown. 


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Monday, June 12, 2023


Obscurity of the Day: Jimmy Dodge-a-Job and the Little Folks of Tumbledown Town


When someone produces a comic strip of such magnificence as Jimmy Dodge-a-Job you want to know more about him. But this strip is by a mysterious cartoonist by the name of James Stewart -- try typing that name into a search engine and you've got a few hundred million links to peruse at your leisure. 

All I know about the fellow is that he did this lovely strip for the New York Herald in 1918, and that I am willing to bet heavily he is also the cartoonist behind the Chicago Tribune strip Economical Bertie of almost a decade earlier, which was signed only 'Stewart'. While the styles of the two strips are very different, the signatures are a pretty good match, and a cartoonist of this caliber could certainly adapt his style to the material. But what this master penman did other than these two short-lived strips is a mystery, and one that someone should try to solve -- my meager attempt being anything but Sherlockian by any means.

Anyhoo, Jimmy Dodge-a-Job (my laziness prohibits me from typing that full title) ran in the New York Herald from February 3 to August 11 1918*. The plot is a direct and near-exact rip-off of Slim Jim and the Force, but who cares? This strip isn't about the plot, it's about drinking in that magnificent art and layout *sigh*. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Alex Jay offers us an Ink-Slinger Profile on his best guess to the actual identity of Mr. James Stewart. Spoiler alert: this Stewart is not the artist on Economical Bertie.

* Source: Ken Barker's New York Herald index in StripScene #20.


WOW! I sure hope that you can somehow find more of this person's art!
I am reminded of George Carlson, but Katherine is right -
you need to show us more (all!) of Jimmy Dodge-a-Job.
Here's a 1915 illustration by Stewart, originally from the Chicago Herald:

Does he appear in any Who's Who in American Art, or such?

Gorgeous art. The ghost on top reminds e of Mysterious Pete in the Kin-Der-Kids.
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Sunday, June 11, 2023


Wish You Were Here, from Rube Goldberg


Here's an entry from the Samson Brothers Series #212, Rube Goldberg's Ancient Order of the Glass House.


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