Today's Hiatus preview: obscure comics. I say that knowing it will pain some people - these aren't obscure! They're well-known to people who study these things obsessively!

Like Scoop, these are old forgotten comics. Of course, 99% of comics are old forgotten comics. Only a few big names survive, and they’re unkillable. You can’t cancel Garfield. You can’t get rid of Blondie. There’s nothing you can do about Hi & Lois. Newspapers just don’t want the bother. It’s easier to redo Mt. Rushmore.

1. Bill O’Malley did cartoons for a Catholic publication, and did strips for the secular market as well.

The dismay on the faces of the parishioners is understandable, since it means that their pastor can hear their thoughts. Or they have been trying to convert him to the Church of Satan for years, and have just realized it’s been for naught.

2. Remember him? Of course you do.

Our old friends Jerry and Mr. Givney, first introduced to you almost 20 years ago. Was it 20 years? Something like that. There will be a batch of Jerry on the Job strips coming down the road, detailing an actual plot. Yes, Jerry started to have story arcs, complete with flip-takes all over the place.

3. No, you won’t get a lot of editorial cartoons. This one’s interesting for a few reasons:

First of all, it’s 1918, and the convention of the John Q Public is already a cliche, as I infer from the “Old.”

Also, it was John W public. It’s the artist that matters here - H. T. Webster, who did Casper Milquetoast. I’ve about 35 examples of his 20s strips to come. And not just him . . .

4. Gluyas Williams as well. A New Yorker staple.

“The World at its Worst” was perhaps his answer to Webster’s “Life’s Darkest Moments,” which brings us to . . .




5. “When a Feller Needs a Friend.”

It’s one of those horrible moments that aren’t really but are somewhat mortifying or unpleasant for a while. The picture above was taken from a collection, and that’s not what I’ll be showing you. Instead, it’ll be the 1917 strips of Clare Briggs, whose work ran in the New York Herald for years. I’m trying to figure out how influential he was. I’m trying to figure out a lot of stuff about this era.

6. Probably not next year but 2020: the interminable poker jokes of Jean Knott:

A single panel comic that ran forever and did nothing but describe card-playing scenarios.


7. Then there’s stuff like this. From 1922, the Duffs.

I have about 15 of them, cleaned up from the damaged original source. They don’t deserve it.

8. The autobiography of the fellow who grew up in this house mentioned this: getting the carbon sticks for drawing. Or mischief.

Students of the Genre might have noticed something. Here's another:

The distinctive sig! It's 1933, a year away from the feature that would make him famous.

In 1932, Caniff moved to New York City to accept an artist job with the Features Service of the Associated Press. He did general assignment art for several months, drawing the comic strips Dickie Dare and The Gay Thirties,[4] then inherited a panel cartoon named Mister Gilfeather in September 1932 when Al Capp quit the feature. Caniff continued Gilfeather until the spring of 1933, when it was retired in favor of a generic comedy panel cartoon called The Gay Thirties, which he produced until he left AP in the autumn of 1934. 

Gilfeather was pretty generic on its own.

That's a taste of what's to come - and I haven't even mentioned that I have assembled the definitive, complete Mr. Coffee Nerves collection.

What you see above is 2% of the stuff I have ready to roll.

Tomorrow - well, you JUMPED AHEAD ALREADY DIDN'T YOU. Sigh.

What - you didn't? Thanks! You will be rewarded.


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