Saturday, February 17, 2024
One-Shot Wonders: Speaking of Easter Customs by Art Young, 1893
Here we have a back cover of the Chicago Inter-Ocean's Illustrated Supplement, the very first newspaper to print colour using high-speed presses.
This Art Young page is from the Easter number of the supplement, published April 2 1893, and offers up some interesting Easter customs from around the world. I had never heard of "matching" (upper right), but I think he's perhaps talking about the Bulgarian custom of tapping Easter eggs together until one cracks. I don't find a reference to this tradition being called "matching", though, so maybe I'm guessing wrong?
Labels: One-Shot Wonders
my name is Claudio Marchiori and I’m writing from Bordighera, Italy. I am the President of the Salone Internazionale dell’Umorismo and I am looking for info regarding Bill who won a prize in Bordighera in 1970. https://www.saloneumorismo.com/en/1970-23rd-edition-of-the-international-exhibition-of-humor
He designed the poster for the following year:
As I am writing a book on the Salone I am looking for info regarding those who won a prize and designed the poster. Unfortunately I could find very few info on him and I wonder if you could help me as it seems that you were in contact in 1917.
I appreciate any info you may share and look forward to your reply
All the best and greetings from Bordighera…
Salone Internazionale Umorismo
If you provide me an email I can send you some info. See blog sidebar for my emailing info.
Friday, February 16, 2024
Rolfe Mason or Rolfe Memison. (We eventually got that squared away, but only sorta). Today we won't worry about Rolfe M. and his fluid surname.
Brenda Breeze debuted as a Sunday-only feature for NEA in 1939, offering gags about a shapely blonde model. Being NEA, provider of Puritan fun to the button-down small-town papers, Brenda was a paragon of virtue and only showed off her cheesecake figure because, well, she was a model, after all. The girl was utterly chaste, the gags were reliably squeaky clean, and shame on you male readers if you ogled her. Later on Brenda changed careers and became a secretary so that modesty could be the firm policy at all times. It didn't seem to slow down the boss from chasing her around the desk practically every Sunday from then on, though.
When Brenda Breeze debuted she was formatted as a half-page or tabloid strip. It wasn't until 1943 when NEA bowed to the need for a third-page version and so added a one-tier topper. The original topper was quite unusual, but that's a story for another day. No, today we're concerned with the third and final topper for Brenda Breeze, Otis. Otis debuted on May 7 1944 and ran with Brenda Breeze right up to the bitter end of the main strip on October 21 1962*. Not that there were many papers printing the topper by that time, but old habits die hard.
Otis was a bird. Maybe a parrot? Maybe a crow? Gosh I really don't know. In any case he engaged in mostly pantomime gags, though I have caught the little dickens with a word balloon on rare occasions. I've also found Brenda herslf appearing as an unpaid extra in the occasional strip. The strip was perfecly fine, what more can you say? It reliably delivered a smile-inducing gag, providing you weren't old enough to have seen the gag done before. In other words, it appealed best to the under-10 set.
* Source: All dates from NEA archives at Ohio State University.
On the other hand, Flapper Fanny was quite often dressed in a few strategically placed squares of Kleenex, so I guess point taken.
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Odin Burvik
Believes in FairiesCharlie Plumb believes in fairies, but he hasn’t a corner on this believing business because Mabel Burwick does too. “Do you believe in fairies?” She asks, “I do. I envy no one, not even Cinderella or Aladdin.“Actually I am the happiest person I have ever known and it was through drawing that such friends came to me!“You and your school deserve everlasting thanks for. Helping me discover the golden Aladdin’s lamp which needed but a little elbow grease and rubbing to bring me friends and happiness.”Miss Burwick has gone ahead so rapidly that it is almost possible to believe that she did have a fairy godmother watching over her. She was art editor of the Breeze, a school weekly which won first place over fifty others at Stanford University. She has illustrated a text book on design and has done excellent work in the greeting card field.She is now traveling in Europe with a friend made by her art ability. Doesn’t that almost take your breath away?
…When the writer decided to turn finally to other matters, he had as assistant a determined young woman with an interesting Norwegian name, Odin Burvik. She could herring-bone up a hill on skiis as fast as he could roll down them, and she had one burning, devastatingly difficult ambition: to become a comic artist.Knowing the stress and strain of strip-producing, the author decided to try her determination and gave her the most difficult assignments he could. “You can’t be sick; no holidays,” he said. She wonders now how she ever survived; but she learned so much in a single year as assistant, that when the big chance came in the spring of 1944, the Associated Press agreed to try her out. She won, and soon she was in full charge of “Dickie,” matching his bubbling energy with with the sense of life which gives her style its own special distinction.
…the Associated Press hired me to take over Dickie Dare. I went to see Coulton Waugh and his wife, Odin. Waugh was writing and doing a lot of the art, and his wife worked on it for a while, signing it ‘Odin.’ Her brother lettered. Gradually, both Coulton and Odin wanted to taper off…doing the strip so they could paint, and I took over. Odin’s brother continued to letter it, but he didn’t live near me, so I decided to take that over….
Odin Waugh is wed to Hubert BuchananOdin Waugh of Jackson Avenue, New Windsor, and Hubert Buchanan of Pueblo, Colorado, were married September 13 at the the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in New Windsor.Over 100 friends and relatives attended the ceremony. The couple was received at a social hour after the ceremony in the Church hall.After a trip to Torremolinos, Spain, the couple will reside at 209 West 19th St., in Pueblo, Colo.Mrs. Waugh-Buchanan is a well-known local artist. Buchanan is retired from the New York Life Insurance Co. and also is an artist. He is president of the Pueblo Art Center in Colo.
…The author would like especially to thank his research assistant, Robert Burwick, whose wide knowledge of the subject and sharp intelligence proved invaluable during the several years of hard work which went into the book….
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, February 12, 2024
Obscurity of the Day: Jungo
According to attorney John Duncan and syndicate president Arthur Lafave, what the newspaper world needed in 1954 was a funny strip to relieve the sameness and drama of all the story strips. What they produced as the miracle antidote to this sorry state was Jungo, a strip about a super-strong but very friendly ape who lives in the world of humanity. Why a gorilla, you ask? Duncan had a ready answer. Because in a zoo the gorillas "get the most response from the public."
Armed wih this unassailable logic the syndicate and a lawyer who really wanted to be a cartoonist loosed Jungo on an unsuspecting world. Duncan produced a strip that was unrelentingly cheerful, casting the ape as a do-gooder whose enormous strength sometimes works out well, other times causes unintended mayhem.
It's a perfectly decent idea, I suppose, except that Duncan immediately falls into a rut of about three basic gags, none of which is exactly holleringly funny. And Jungo the ape, not being one of those talking varieties native to Disney, has a one-note personality that wears thin very quickly. Duncan did provide Jungo with a human family to play against, and that could have offered a little more variety to the jokes. But Duncan seemed rather uninterested in them and they were not often seen. Maybe he was afraid he'd be classified as one of those awful story strips if some humans spent a lot of time jawboning in his strip. I dunno.
Jungo debuted on February 8 1954* as a Sunday and daily strip, and the Lafave syndicate did manage to get it placed in a number of good-sized papers. But when the features editors saw that Jungo was an ape of limited comedic abilities the papers started jumping ship pretty quickly. The latest I am aware of Jungo running is February 27 1955**, just a little over a year after its debut.
* Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal
** Source: Cleveland News
As cartoon strips about talking apes go, Rudy is far superior to Jungo.
Sunday, February 11, 2024
Wish You Were Here from Buster Brown
Here's a card from Tuck's Buster Brown Valentine Series 8. You'll note that they don't even bother to forge Outcault's signature on this one, so far off model it is. This particular one wasn't posted, but others in the series in my collection are postmarked 1909.
Labels: Wish You Were Here