Saturday, July 08, 2023


Herriman Saturday: June 4 1910


June 4 1910 -- A bittersweet announcement goes with this post. As we come to June 1910 in our complete reprinting of Herriman's LA Examiner cartoons, we have reached his final month with the paper. Yes, believe it or not, Herriman won't be at the Examiner for the Fight of the Century on July 4. Instead he'll be in New York starting a little strip called The Family Upstairs before the month is out, and finally carving out his exalted place in the history of newspaper cartooning.

This Stripper's Guide series has been running since June 2 2007, believe it or not. It has taken us a decade and a half to chronicle all of Herriman's (major) cartoons for the Examiner from 1906 to 1910, roughly three times as long as it took Herriman to produce them. 

There are now just three cartoons left. Be here for all of 'em!

As for the cartoon above, obviously it is yet another take on the upcoming Fight of the Century. This one highlights not just Johnson's mission to retain the title, but also taking a sidelong glance at his skin tone preference in girlfriends (who definitely did NOT need to be tied to a mast to be with him).


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Friday, July 07, 2023


Obscurity of the Day: Adventures of Handsome Hawtrey and Faithful Fritz


The great Walt McDougall was a fixture of the front page of the Philadelphia North American's comic section for eight years, from 1901-1908. He would occasionally be asked to illustrate a series like Peck's Bad Boy, but in general his own comics never had a continuing character or title -- his pages were about whatever happened to tickle his funnybone that week. To every rule there must be an exception, though, and today we shine the spotlight on Adventures of Handsome Hawtry and Faithful Fritz, a series McDougall produced in place of his weekly untitled page from June 16 to October 27 1907*. 

The strip features a pair of ne'er-do-wells who each week steal something, or cook up a scheme, that inevitably backfires. There's nothing particularly creative about it, and I doubt that readers were too miffed when McDougall switched back to his usual weekly one-shot gags. 

A note about the listing for this feature in my book -- somehow an error snuck in (surely the only one!) and I gave the wrong end date. The dates reported here are certified grade A corn-fed verities, though, guaranteed to hold up in court against even the most blistering cross-examination.

* Source: Philadelphia North American, which is missing the June 16 section, but start date verified by Washington Times.


Hello Allan-
I have the dope on the 16 June 1907 NA section:
(They invent a tattle-tale talking machine)
Willie's Lightning Bass Reel was a Wonder (by Crane)
Pa's Nightmare---'tis a whopper, for sure (By Artigue)
Madge the Magician's Daughter Her Bulldog puts a pronounced kink in the Dragon's tail By W.O.Wilson
Little "Growling Bird" in Windego Land By Crichton
("O-Kay Wissing the Herring and a scarecrow scare Little Bear.)
Thanks Mark for filling in that missing PNA date for my records. How are you fixed for 1908? I have a half-dozen missing sections from the microfilm. --Allan
it's possible- I have everything except for;

1908- 23 February, 6 December

1909- 25 April, 9 May

1913- 2 March

Unless this matches your list,let me know.
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Thursday, July 06, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Hy Mayer

Henry “Hy” Mayer was born in Worms-on-Rhine, Germany, on July 18, 1868, according to passport applications and profiles in several books. The American Jewish Year Book, Volume 6 (1904), said Mayer’s parents were Hermann Mayer, Sr., and Helene Loeb.

Who’s Who in America (1908) said Mayer was educated “in England and Germany” where he graduated from the Gymnasium, Worms, in 1886. He “entered business life in England” and came to the U.S., through Mexico and Texas, in 1886. However, Who’s Who in New York City and State (1907) said Mayer “went to Mexico in 1885”. The Jewish Encyclopedia said “In 1885 he went to Mexico, and subsequently to Texas. There he discovered his ability to draw, and developed his talent without the aid of a teacher. Mayer next went to Cincinnati and thence to Chicago, where he began his career as caricaturist and illustrator.” Information at said Mayer arrived in New York on August 31, 1885. He was aboard the Cunard steamship Servia from Liverpool, England.

Mayer was naturalized on August 30, 1890 in Chicago, Illinois. 

Mayer was profiled in Godey’s Magazine, January 1897. Mayer’s whereabouts were described as follows: 
…Mr. Mayer graduated from the Gymnasium at Worms at the age of sixteen. he went from there to England and held a clerkship in a broker’s office. Finding little suited to his taste, he came over seas to Cincinnati and drew for a comic paper there, called Sam the Scaramouch, which went the way of most comic papers, good and bad, into the sardine-packed limbo of “discontinued” publications. Thence Mr. Mayer went to Mexico and soon to Texas, where he became a clerk again, this time in a general store, where, as he catalogues it, he “sold coal-oil, beer, ‘pants,’ molasses, rails, and other household furnishing.”

Chicago next called him, by way of Cincinnati, and he drew for another ephemerid  Light, and for various newspapers…
According to Mayer’s 1920 passport application, he resided in “El Paso, Chicago, Cincinnati & New York” and “was naturalized as a citizen of the U.S. before the Superior Court of Cook County at Chicago, Illinois, on the 30th day of August, 1890”.

Mayer’s first passport was issued September 1, 1890. On the application, Chicago resident Mayer said he was an artist and journalist. Mayer picked up his passport in New York City. Mayer lived in Chicago when he received his a passport on August 14, 1893. Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in New York City and State said Mayer resided in New York City beginning in 1893.

Mayer’s home in New York City was 53 Wast 59th Street when the illustrator obtained a passport on February 26, 1896. 

The Columbian (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania), January 14, 1897, reported the upcoming debut of “The Sunday Press Jester” by the Philadelphia Press newspaper. Mayer produced a color cartoon for the front page.

The New York Evening Telegram, April 7, 1897, reviewed Mayer’s gallery show.

Mr. Henry Mayer is also, in a way, a student of Americanism. His drawings now on exhibition at Keppel’s gallery, in East Sixteenth street, seldom fail, whether consciously or unconsciously, to preserve the traces of at least one parent race in his most characteristically American skits.

But Mr. Mayer is a humorist, a caricaturist sometimes, with a wonderful facility of ludicrous invention, and at times a feeling for character and a skill in its delineation that almost suggests Forain’s acrid ironies. At other times his humor has a Rabelaisian touch.

The present exhibition of Mr. Mayer’s work covers a number of years and is made up chiefly of designs that have first made their appearance in the various comic weeklies. Several of them have been seen in the Evening Telegram. In the greater number of instances they seem to have lost nothing by reduction, but even one who has followed Mr. Mayer’s work through the humorous publications of the day can gain an increased regard for his attainments in his particular field by the massing of his work in a single gallery.
The exhibition was also reviewed in the New York Sun.

A month later, Mayer received a passport. The Manhattanite’s address was 55 West 59th Street.

The Chicago Tribune, June 14, 1899, reported that Mayer, artist Albert B. Wenzell and another American were attacked the previous evening in Paris by a group of Nationalists. The trio refused to shout “Vive l’Armee” as demand by the Nationalists. Mayer was knocked to the ground by a walking stick. The Americans and a Nationalist were arrested. The Americans were released when they threatened to demand help from Ambassador Porter. 

Who’s Who in America said Mayer contributed illustrations to Fliegende Blaetter (Munich), Figaro IllustreLe Rire (Paris), Black and WhitePick-Me-UpPall-MallPunch (London), LifeJudge and TruthHarper’sCenturyCollier’sLeslie’s, the New York Times, and New York Herald.

The Critic, October 1900, published five caricatures by Mayer.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Mayer produced several comic series in the early 1900s. For the New York World, Mayer drew The Plunk FamilyBrother and I and Sandman, and one Charley Hist the Detective. World Color Printing distributed Mayer’s Professor Presto, Master of MagicBobbie Binks, and Main Street. Mayer contributed two short series to the New York HeraldZoological Kindergarten and Will O’ Dreams and the Sandman. The McClure Syndicate handled Mayer’s Adventures of a Japanese Doll.

Mayer’s books include The Autobiography of a Monkey (1897), In Laughland (1899), Fantasies in Ha! Ha! (1900), A Trip to Toyland (1900), Adventures of a Japanese Doll (1901), and Alphabet of Little People (1901). 

Mayer’s work was examined in Brush and Pencil, June 1901, and The New Era, February 1904.

Mayer produced 100 drawings for Rupert Hughes’ 1904 book The Real New York

The 1904 American Jewish Year Book listed Mayer’s address as 30 West 24th, New York.

Mayer was in the American Art Annual, Volume 6 (1908): “Mayer, Henry (‘Hy Mayer’), 55 West 33d St., New York, NY (I.[llustrator]) Born Worms-on-Rhine, Germany, July 18, 1868. Specialty, cartoons.”

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, self-employed illustrator Mayer resided in Manhattan at 55 West 33rd Street. 

In 1913 Mayer played vaudeville and was on the first bill at the Palace Theatre.

According to Who’s Who in Animated Cartoons (2006), Mayer went into animation in 1913. His assistant was Otto Messmer. However, in Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress, Sara Duke wrote “Credit goes to Mayer as the innovator of the ‘hand in motion’ drawing technique, by which cartoons are drafted under the eye of a camera. An active practitioner in the field of animation, he produced over fifty Travelaughs and drew Animated Weekly shorts (1909–16).”

Moving Picture World, 10/13/1917

Mayer’s appreciation of Phil May appeared Munsey’s Magazine, January 1914.

During World War I, Mayer sold Liberty BondsOne of his animated cartoons was sent to overseas allies.

A profile and photograph of Mayer was printed in the Great Falls Daily Tribune (Montana), August 29, 1920.

Exhibitors Trade Review, February 25, 1922, reported the transfer of distribution rights to Mayer’s Travelaughs.

Exhibitors Trade Review, 2/25/1922

World Biography, Volume 2 (1948) said Mayer married Alice McKenna in January 1924. On May 30, 1924, Mayer and his wife Alice returned from a trip to Europe. Mayer’s address on the passenger list was The Lambs, 130 West 44th Street, New York, New York. 
According to the 1930 census, Mayer was 55 years old when he married Alice. The following year Mayer, his wife and stepson John visited Europe. They departed Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York November 20, 1925. The same address was recorded for this trip and another in 1927.

A 1928 passenger list said Mayer lived in South Norwalk, Connecticut at 300 Flax Hill Road which was the same address in the 1930 census. Passenger lists and the census listed Mayer’s stepson with the Mayer surname.

The 1940 census recorded retired illustrator Mayer and his 45-year-old wife at the same location in South Norwalk. Mayer’s stepson was recorded as Jack McKenna, a laundry truck driver, who was married with one child and resided in Norwalk at a different address.

The 1950 census counted 81-year-old Mayer and his wife at Flax Hill Road in Norwalk, Connecticut. He was a self-employed artist and painter. 

Mayer passed away September 27, 1954, at his home in South Norwalk. His death was reported the following day in The New York Times and Meriden Record

(An earlier version was posted in 2017.)


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Wednesday, July 05, 2023


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Linda Walter

Linda Walter was born Ethelynde M. Stimpson on January 19, 1918, in Union County, New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Birth Index at Her marriage license had Roselle Park as the birthplace. The initial M might be her mother’s maiden name, McCotter. 

The 1920 United States Census said Walter was the second of three children born to William and Ethelynde. The family were residents in New Castle, New York, at 79 Manchester Terrace. Her English father was a supervisor at a telephone company. 

In the 1930 census, the Stimpson family of six lived in Cranford, New Jersey at 215 Retford Avenue. 

Famous Artists & Writers (1949), profiled Walter and her husband and said 
… Let’s take them one at a time. Linda was born Linda Stimpson in Cranford, N.J., where she went to school and became the Big Activity Girl. She had to turn down college scholarships in art and music on graduation, and became a business girl. Building up to private secretary to the president of an insurance agency (the Walters are the kind of people who automatically shoot to the top), she quit to go with the Butterick Pattern Co. as assistant to the company’s head designer. 

“In between Butterick and Saks Fifth Avenue,” the dark-haired, charming Linda says, “I met and married Jerry. He was writing advertising copy for Batten, Barton, Dustine and Osborn. I did likewise for Saks, until one day I just quit to take up cartooning seriously.”
According to the 1940 census, Walter was a secretary at a welding company. Her address was unchanged. 

Six months after the census enumeration, Ethelynde M. Stimpson and Harold Frank Walter obtained a Manhattan marriage license on October 3, 1940. They married two days later. 

On October 16, 1940, Walter’s husband signed his World War II draft card. His address was 731 Coleman Place in Westfield, New Jersey (his parents’ home). The address was updated, on July 1, 1941, to 332 East 47th Street in New York City. 

Two 1942 issues of New Horizons mentioned her gag cartoons. 

page 42
Most appropriate reference was a cartoon drawn for The Saturday Evening Post by Linda Walter, whose caption pointed up the air-mindedness of the younger generation (see cut). 
page 70
Last month on page 10, New Horizons proudly displayed Linda Walter’s becoming cartoon reprinted from one of the Saturday Evening Post’s April, ’42 issues. The cartoon depicted three youthful figures, one of whom is saying to the others: “Mayflower—Phooey…our uncle came over on the Clipper!” 
Here is a list of some of Walter’s cartoons in The Saturday Evening Post
April 4, 1942
March 18, 1944
June 3, 1944
June 24, 1944
July 8, 1944
August 12, 1944
August 26, 1944
September 2, 1944
September 9, 1944
September 16, 1944
November 20, 1944
Laugh It Off: Cartoons from The Saturday Evening Post (1944)

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said the couple created Susie Q. Smith which ran from 1945 to November 28, 1959. On March 4, 1946, they added Jellybean Jones which ended on January 14, 1950. 

The Walters were Woodstock, New York residents and mentioned in the Kingston Daily Freeman.

July 16, 1947
Linda Walter, Woodstock, who, with her husband, Jerry Walter produces the widely-distributed cartoon series, Susie Q. Smith.
June 23, 1948, opening at the Woodstock Playhouse
The group exhibition by Woodstock’s cartoonists created much interest. Those represented in the in the lobby of the Playhouse are John H. Streibel, creator of the Dixie Dugan strip. Carl Hubbell, Jerry and Linda Walter; Jay Allan. David B. Huffine, and Edmund Good. Good formerly did Scorchy Smith, the Associated Press strip, but is now known for Breeze Lawson in the Sky Sheriff.
June 11, 1951
Expressions of appreciation were given to Mrs. Linda Walter, who has been teaching dancing and ballroom deportment at the school.
September 26, 1951
At the recent annual meeting of the Woodstock Guild of Craftsmen the following officers for the coming year were elected: ...Anita Stallforth and Linda Walter, house committee ...
December 20, 1951
Illustrators’ Exhibit Is Scheduled Friday
Woodstock, Dec. 20—An Illustrators’ Exhibit will open Friday, Dec. 21, at the S S Sea Horse, with a reception from 6 to 8 p. m. Hot hors d’oeuvres will be served by C. J. McCarthy. The paintings, drawings and sketches of the following illustrators will be shown: Ethel Adams, Jay Allen, Charles W. Chambers, Heine Drucklieb, Harvey Emerich, Anton Otto Fischer, George Green, Gerald Green, Karl Hubbell. Dave Huffine, William H. MacReady, C. J. McCarthy, John McClellan, Joseph Morgan, John Pike, Pamela Ravenel, John Striebel, Dudley G. Summers, Harry Temple, Mark Von Arenberg and Jerry and Linda Walter.
August 18, 1954, benefit for the Woodstock Recreation Field
Silk Screen Tags
A colorful feature of the carnival will be the silk screened admission tags, designed by 18 famous artists, autographed and available for 25 cents apiece. Each one a collector’s item, entire sets may be purchased. The artists who are now working on the tags are as follows: James Turnbull, Howard Mandel, John Pike, Edmond Good, Karl [sic] Hubbell, Anton Refregier, Linda Walter, Dave Hufflne, Ethel Magafan, Edward Chavez, Miska Petersham, Lucil Blanch, Phoebe Towbin, Marianne Appel Mecklem, Reginald Wilson, Jay Allen, Edward L. Chase and John Striebel.
The Evening News (North Tonawanda, New York), July 3, 1953, announced the addition of Susie Q. Smith to its comics page and said about the creators: 
Jerry and Linda Walter are an attractive young couple who can pinch-hit for each other in turning out the feature. Jerry normally dreams up the gags and Linda does the art work, but they can switch about when the occasion demands.

Married shortly before Pearl Harbor, the Walters worked for an advertising agency before Mr. Walters [sic] became a navigator for the Atlantic Transport Command. After the war, they dreamed up Susie and have had a highly popular gal on their hands ever since.

Susie Q. Smith also appeared in comic books published by Magazine Enterprises and Dell

American Newspaper Comics said the couple produced The Lively Ones for Newsday Specials. The series ran from May 17, 1965 to February 11, 1967. 

At some point the couple divorced. Her ex-husband passed away on November 7, 2007. (He had remarried to Clarice O’Hara Warner whose husband passed away in 1988.) 

Walter passed away on March 28, 2009. Her last known residence was Lake Hill, Ulster County, New York, which is about fives miles/8 kilometers west of Woodstock. 

The Times-Union, (Albany, New York), December 8, 2017, published the article “Woodstock Artists Cemetery good place to ponder art’s power” and said 
... Look over there—the gravestone for Ethel Magafan Currie, American landscape painter. And there—actor Joseph Leon, Dr. Blackstock from “Sophie’s Choice.” And another—poet and cartoonist Linda Walter, who created “Susie Q. Smith” with her husband, Jerry. ... 
She was laid to rest in July 2023. 

(An earlier profile was posted in 2018.) 


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Tuesday, July 04, 2023


Independence Day Special


I first posted this page on July 4 2011, but I thought it was time to repost it with a key to the characters.That may seem like a simplistic addition, but since World Color Printing's comic section at the time was mostly just a collection of very similar 'bad kid' comics, and the artwork of the bullpenners was pretty basic, it took me some time to figure out. Below is the 'keyed' version. For the record, here are the creators of each strip:

Dreamy Dave by C.H. Wellington 

Mr. Pest Book Agent by Dink Shannon

Cousin Bud by Johnny Gruelle

Grandma's Girl by C.H. Wellington

Peter Barnum Botts by John E. Bernier

Do You Remember Your Kid Days by Ed Goewey 

Sammy Small by Dink Shannon

I have no idea which strip or artist is associated with the pretty girl on the right.

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Monday, July 03, 2023


Obscurity of the Day: Adventures of a Japanese Doll


When the new McClure-syndicated Sunday comic section began in 1901, one of their early high-profile offerings was a complete serialized printing of Henry "Hy" Mayer's children's book, Adventures of a Japanese Doll. The book was published in 1901, and the newspaper series ran from September 1 to October 20 1901. 

It seems to me a bad move for Mayer to allow this newspaper series when his book was sitting in bookstores at the same time, especially with the Christmas season just around the corner. My guess, though, is that Mayer was under contract with McClure for serialization rights, and they ran with it. Current books were often serialized in  those days, and I guess the idea was that the sort of people who would read these serializations in magazines and newspapers probably wouldn't have bought the book anyway, so the author and publisher might as well make a little money off them. It seems like a real questionable business model, but maybe I'm missing something about how the cross-marketing worked. 

In any case, Adventures of a Japanese Doll as printed in the McClure comic sections was a very text heavy feature, which means it really only gets an honorary mention in our Stripper's Guide listings -- if it appeared anywhere other than a comics section we'd probably pass on it. The illustrations are certainly lovely, and the text, not at all the sort of thing we're used to seeing from Hy Mayer, is sweet if a little cloying. It is certainly a nice change for the turn of the century comics pages to offer foreigners any respect, and this feature goes beyond that into a deep and knowledgeable reverence for Japanese culture. Too bad this sort of viewpoint failed to catch on and quash the racial stereotyping and outright racism of many comics of the day.


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Sunday, July 02, 2023


Wish You Were Here, from Cobb Shinn


Last time I ran a Cobb Shinn card I asked whether you wanted to see more of these pretty awful things. Only got one vote, from a masochist who said they wanted more. So, being a democratic society with low voter turnout, this is what you get -- more Cobb Shinn. 

Life lesson: VOTE!

This card is undated and no manufacturer is credited, but it was postally used in 1910. 


Thank you!
"I love bad art, and I vote."
I also like this one and vote for more!
Cobb Shinn, new fan fave cartoonist a hundred-some years late.

I'll start running worse and worse Shinns until you all beg for it to stop. That'll learn ya.

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