A week of relief from all the usual stuff, for reasons. What have we today?

From 1920, a remarkably ornate Sunday strip.

They're revenue officers, which means this will be about the everyday struggles of making booze under a disapproving government regime.

The style of this strip is heavy, deliberate, and baroque. She's wide but doesn't seem to have mass or weight. Same thing with the table.

Look at the candle-holder on the right. No weight. It just floats.

The womenfolk are complaining about certain staples going missing. Now why would that be?

It might be the 20s, but these fellows are refugees from an earlier age.

Well, they're making hooch in the barn. Time passes . . .

Let's get the animals hammered!

Good news! They've made a successful intoxicant.

Oboy! Now we can get drunk!



The rooster seems as if he'll make it, no? Well, best run to a professional whose lack of visual signifiers will have to be communicated in some other way:

But it was too late and they all died! Horribly! Ha ha

No, they were fine.

Shall we have another? Why not!

This one's about love instead of liquor.

The moon was very large in those days.

The women are always hired from other styles of illustration.

A cliche of the era: the dim room in the background, always set off by drapes.

I don't think they're all ladies of the night.

Those eyes. It was a style for a while.

Odd how the sign of a fight - the X bandage - has already been applied.

An odd thing for men in the full flush of love to fight about:

At some point no one will know what those things on their necks might possibly be.


The moon returns, horribly large, soaking the world with its lunatic light:

Yes, it makes sense to beat him with tandem vigor:

In case you didn't know, a helpful tag and arrow:

They've only themselves to blame, these disfigured swains.

About the artist:

Alvan Cordell "Hap" Hadley was an American artist specializing in pen and ink representations of popular subjects. He created posters for various films, including Buster Keaton's The General (1926) and Charlie Chaplin's The Circus (1928), as well as promotional posters for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and billboards for Roy Rogers.

He died in 1976.







This week will expand beyond Borden and Post, but for today we're still looking at . . .

Rice Krinkles were Post’s answer to Rice Krispees. How to make them stand out? Pennywise:


The Circus theme would eventually be dropped for a new mascot: So-Hi.

So-Hi is Oriental in every possible way: Lines for eyes; bowl-cut hair; pigtail; boards for shoes; accompanied by gongs and cymbals. The toy rickshaw was probably not as much fun as the ad suggests - the wheels wouldn’t turn at all in this situation. The light plastic toy would just fall off the table as the weight dropped.

So-Hi would make it into the color era, as we see in this bit of brain-twisting: the Rice Krinkles are in the Mustang yet the Mustang is in the Rice Krinkles! Confucius say both can be true, if one understands the nature of reality

Cheapest damn giveaway of the year. I mean, even when the kid holds the thing up with delight it’s obvious it’s just a piece of junk. At least now you know why Hot Wheels were so popular when they arrived: they had weight. They were made of real metal, just like real cars!

Next, the inevitable modness.

“What’s that groovy sound, Manfred?”

mrbreakfast.com puts the year at 1970, and that seems absolutely right. The Flexi disk wasn’t particularly durable, but it was a novelty unlike any other. Somehow that supple piece of plastic on the back of a box (or inserted into a magazine) summoned sounds from the needle.

Which brings us to the Mellow Milkman.

I’m not saying that the previous examples were high art, or even good ads, but the depths of the Rice Krinkle campaign might have been Good Milkman Vs. Doom McGloom:

If you’re wondering, the milkman’s name was Manfred.

He was groovy, hence his balloons would be groovy, too.

This stuff just gives me the hives. It makes me feel 12 and uncertain and unhip, even though I looked like one of the kids in the commercial. Maybe that was the problem.

Discussion of the rebranded Krinkle typography, here. The typeface was actually called Fat Albert. Such were the times. Hey hey hey.

That was a catch-phrase, you know.

Hey hey hey.

Now two ways to chip in!

"What cereal delights await us tommorow?" you ask. Well . . . maybe it won't be cereal at all. You'll just have to show up.



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