Saturday, September 20, 2008
Mayor Harper's hydrous adventures continue with the On Tour strips of April 24 and 25. Only one left to go in this series, see you next week. Now I must leave for St. Pete to watch the Tampa Rays clinch their playoff berth. Go Rays!
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, September 19, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: The Potts
In 1957 Arthur Lafave decided to give the strip a go in the U.S. market and the daily first appeared in a short list of papers on June 3 1957 through his Lafave Newspaper Features. Despite the small client list and the not inconsiderable work of translating the 'Aussie-isms' for an American audience, Lafave took it up a notch by additionally offering the Sunday page starting September 29 of that year. Like most foreign strips, The Potts did not find a particularly enthusiastic audience here. In 1961 Lafave tried stirring the pot by renaming the U.S. version Uncle Dick but it didn't help. The strip was last offered here by Lafave in 1962 as the syndicate ittself was winding down after the death of its founder.
The strip was offered once again to the U.S. market by Creators Syndicate in 1999-2003 but I have yet to find a single paper that ran the strip.
I've searched the web to find out if The Potts has survived Jim Russell's death in 2001 with no luck. Was the strip handed over to someone new? Was Creators syndicating reprints or new material? Has anyone seen The Potts running in the U.S. from Creators?
Anyway it was good to see that he was appreciated.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Sherlock Holmes, Jr.
Sherlock Holmes Jr. enjoyed quite a long run in the Sunday section of the Chicago Tribune. It first appeared October 13 1912 and ran until May 31 1914. You may be wondering why I refer to the strip as Sherlock Holmes Jr. when the sample above is plainly titled Pussyfoot Sam. Reason is that Smith changed the name of his strip to the title of our sample on January 25 1914, probably at the behest of Arthur Conan Doyle's lawyers.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
News of Yore: The Piffle Family Read The Paper
EDIT 3/29/11: Alex Jay sends samples from the Syracuse Evening Telegram which pretty much conclusively prove that Hon and Dearie and The Piffle Family are names for the same feature; title change seems to have been around November 1922. There was probably no gap in the runs.
Labels: News of Yore
According to Jeffrey Lindenblatt who indexed the NY Evening Journal the strips stopped and started there on the dates discussed. Could very well be that some other Hearst paper did run it in the interim, or maybe Freddie The Sheik, running at this time, somehow figures into it. Unfortunately Hearst papers in general are very hard to get on microfilm.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Robin Malone
Although Bob Lubbers' Robin Malone never really succeeded as a newspaper strip, these days it's considered something of a minor classic.
The strip followed the adventures of a buxom rich gal in a story of romance and intrigue. The dailies did most of the storytelling while the Sundays, as you can see above, became a playground in which Lubber's graphic imagination could run wild.
The art, quite derivative of the Al Capp inspired style that Lubbers had introduced in Long Sam, tends to give the impression that the strip was more lighthearted than it usually was. My guess is that this element held the strip back; at least I have always found it a bit jarring to read a dramatic continuity with art this 'cartoony'. On the other hand, Lubbers might have been trying to fake out newspaper readers, few of whom were interested in following adventure strips by the 1960s. Between that and the lovingly drawn chesty babes perhaps Lubbers figured he was improving his odds.
Robin Malone was offered by NEA but I get the impression it may not have been included with their standard package but rather as an additional cost extra. At least it appeared in so many fewer papers than the rest of the NEA line-up that this seems to be a possible conclusion. NEA did that sort of thing every once in awhile, rarely if ever with much success.
Maurice Horn claims in his World Encyclopedia of Comics that the strip only ran a year. However in actuality Robin Malone ran daily from March 20 1967 to March 14 1970, the Sunday from March 19 1967 to March 8 1970. According to Ron Goulart, always a far more reliable source, the writing was farmed out to Paul S. Newman for the first six months, and Stu Hample thereafter.
Lubbers' use of color, on the two examples you posted here, is really striking. Some of the NEA strips of the '50s and '60s are surprisingly good, given that those were the end times for quality newspaper comics...
Monday, September 15, 2008
Obscurity of the Day: Fish Stories
Ed A. Goewey wasn't willing to rise to quite that level of weirdness, but his fish series is plenty odd in its own right. I call the series Fish Stories even though the strip never really had a running title. In such cases I just do the best I can to supply a title that might be found by someone looking through my Stripper's Guide listings.
Goewey drew this series for the World Color Printing sections from June 5 to December 18 1904. It ran in tandem with his other more conventional continuing series, Handy Andy the Man of Good Intentions which we covered on a post back on April 10.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Order Jim Ivey's new book Cartoons I Liked at Lulu.com or order direct from Ivey and get the book autographed with a free original sketch.
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics