Saturday, January 20, 2024


One-Shot Wonders: A Pair by Barnes, 1913


Here's a good example of why I feel one-shots are important to the study of newspaper comics history. A fellow named Barnes (I. Barnes? T. Barnes?) produced a boatload of these little weekday strips, all one-shots, for NEA in 1912-13. He's not represented in my book because he never settled down to producing a consistent series. He wasn't a tremendous gag-writer, but he had a nice clean style and a good sense of staging.


I admit I was baffled by the first strip because I was trying to read it as a continuity. When I re-read the title I realized it was actually three individual examples of that old early-20th century theme, "Men will be emasculated if women get the vote."

Didn't help that the balloons are reversed in all the panels.
I was going to suggest that Barnes should have submitted his cartoons for translation in Yiddish-language newspapers where people read right to left (or another language like that, such as Hebrew or Arabic).

But in the third panel of the first strip ("Aw move on! Your blockin' the sidewalk!"), he also managed to put the answer above the question.
Post a Comment

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

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]