Obscurity of the Day: Joco And Jack

If I haven’t mentioned it before, and I’m sure I have, I really love the World Color Printing syndicate. I even made a special trip to St Louis a few years ago to research the history of the company. Didn’t find out a great deal. One thing I did learn was why they lost interest in their syndication business in the 1920s (it really nose-dived). Turns out they got the contract to print The Sporting News, a national weekly sports newspaper. The windfall of that contract seems to have ended their interest in providing a low cost Sunday comic section to small papers.

Anyway, today we have one of their earlier efforts. Joco And Jack started, as best I can tell from cross-referencing partial Sunday sections, on July 10, 1904. It was drawn by H.C. Greening. This seems to be the only installment he did, as the next known example is from July 24th, and the mantle has been passed to Ed Goewey. Goewey created new episodes on a semi-regular basis until September 11th. Then, on October 2nd we get another artist change, this time to someone signing themselves something like ‘Jarrant’. The signature is all but illegible and I could be way off on that name. Goewey returns on November 13th, and the last known episode of the strip runs on December 25th.

Our sample today is the first installment from July 10th.

Obscurity of the Day: Generals Who Became President

Since 1904 the NEA syndicate (NEA stands for Newspaper Enterprise Association) has provided a daily package of features for newspapers. Along with their regular menu of comics, columns, editorials, news stories and photos, they often add special bonus items for their subscribing newspapers. One of their popular bonuses used to be short run closed-end comic strips. Often these strips commemorated a holiday (NEA still distributes a special Christmas series each year), others graphically discussed hot topics in the news, or tales from history.

These specials had their heyday in the 40s and 50s, when NEA was issuing them quite often, as much as three or four per year. Here we see the first episode of Generals Who Became President, a graphical history of, well, what the title says. This was a particularly short series, running just seven episodes from 1/12 – 1/19/1953. Most such special offerings lasted 2-4 weeks. This series was timed to run the week before the presidential inauguration of one Dwight Eisenhower. Art was by Ed Kudlaty, story by Ray Ellis.

Surprisingly enough, many subscribing papers did not run these specials, making them very tough to document for Stripper’s Guide. Ironically, the newer ones are the toughest to find. Even the otherwise excellent NEA archives housed at Ohio State University’s Cartoon Research Library has few of these special strips represented.

Obscurity of the Day: Jeanie


Now here’s a real treasure. For reasons I can’t fathom it never appeared in many papers during its run, and has been ignored or undiscovered by fans since.

Jeanie started as a ‘filler’ strip in the New York Herald-Tribune. During most of the 40s and 50s, the H-T ran a series of sixth-page strips as fillers when the page layout required. Usually this happened when they ran a page with a half-page strip and a third-page ad. The extra space would be taken by a one-tier filler.

Most of these ‘filler’ strips are eminently forgettable, but there are some notable exceptions. Perhaps the most interesting was Harvey Kurtzman’s Silver Linings. But Jeanie is no slouch, either, with lusciously crisp art by Gill Fox, and snappy story by Selma Diamond. Diamond was a noted comedy writer and later a character actor. She’s best remembered for her role on the sitcom Night Court. A short bio can be found here.

The strip started its run on 8/26/1951. Jeanie was eventually recognized as being far too good to remain an occasional filler strip, and was graduated to a full-fledge regular Sunday strip plus a daily in April 1952. As we already know, the syndication market was unaccountably uninterested in the well-drawn and well-written adventures of an often scantily clad gorgeous babe. Lack of syndication sales was probably the reason that Gill Fox dropped out in March 1953, to be replaced by Leon Win (a pseudonym?). Win’s artwork looked like a very rushed version of Fox, and for all I know, may actually be just that. In any case, the drop-off in art quality certainly didn’t help the strip’s syndication chances, and it ended on 9/27/1953.

Obscurity of the Day: Hollywood Johnnie

You gotta love the title of this strip. So evocative of the 40s. However, the original solicitations for the feature called it Hollywood Merry-Go-Round, and when it began running on 11/26/45, the title panel to the Sunday had the area where you see “Johnnie” in our sample blanked out. My guess is that the original title turned out to already be copyrighted and some last minute changes had to be made.

The title character was a small-time Hollywood agent, and his character swerves around between con artist and saint. Writer Renny McEvoy seemed a bit stuck for finding a direction in the storyline. The art by Jim Pabian, on the other hand, was excellent.

Poor Johnnie lost his star billing in April 1947 when the title was changed to Screen Girl. Apparently the title change wasn’t enough to generate interest in the strip, and it ended on November 4, 1948.

Note in the sample the rare topper Movie Struck. Very few strips that began after World War II bothered with this convention of an earlier era.

Mystery Strips of E&P – “C” Listings

Time for another letter of the mystery strips. If you don’t know what this is about, look down about 5 posts for an explanation (I gotta figure out how to use those permalinks one of these days). EDIT – figured it out, here’s the link.

C.B. Gordon – Mark Der Marderosian – Dickson-Bennett – weekly strip – 1981-82
Cactus Gal – Jack O’Brien – Nationwide Features – daily panel – 1949-50 [Charles Thompson supplies proof that Nationwide was a producer of advertising strips; not eligible for SG listing]
Campaign Button – Kearney Egerton – Interocean Press Syndicate – daily panel – 1972
Campus Laughter – Pedro Moreno – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily panel – 1979-84
Can It Be Done? – Ray Gross – self-syndicated – daily panel – 1934-39 [Found! by Robert Brooke in Boynton Index]
Can You Imagine – Art Radebaugh – General Features – daily panel – 1947
The Candy Man – Bill Murray – Minority Features – weekly – 1981-present
Cap’n Kadd – Pat Anderson – self-syndicated – weekly strip – 1970-75
Cap’n Knot – Howard Swift – Russell Enterprises – daily strip – 1968-69
Capitaine Bonvent – P.J. Kuhn – Douglas Whiting Ltd – daily strip – 1965-69
Capital Carnival – Gerald A. Bennett – Dickson-Bennett – weekly strip – 1979
Capital Hills – Jack Anderson and Mort Gerberg – United Feature – daily and Sunday strip – 1982
Captain Wings – Flowers – Editors Press Service – daily and Sunday strip – 1946-47
Captain Skid – Richard Benavidez – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily – 1988
Captain Cockle – Peter Garvey – Transworld News Service – daily panel – 1976
Captain Flame – Pat Boyette, Bruce Darrow, Don Sherwood – Al Smith Service – weekly strip – 1954-58 (Found! by John Adcock in Horry County News)
Captain Flight – Ray Tobin, Bob Robson – Allied Features – daily strip – 1945-46
Captain Freedom – Farrell – Allied Features – Sunday – 1941
Cargo Smith, Navy Seal – Bill Barry – Adventure Features – daily and Sunday strip – 1996-97
Caricatoons – Buzz Gambill – self-syndicated – weekly panel – 1995-present
Carol Day – David Wright – Piccadilly Press – daily strip – 1966-69 (looking for proof that it ran in US)
Cars And Stars – Ray McNamara – Christy Walsh Syndicate – weekly panel – 1926 [Alex Jay found this — it’s a photo and column feature, not a cartoon of any kind, so miscategorized by E&P]
The Cartoon Bug – John Gallagher – Chicago Tribune-NY News Syndicate – weekly strip – 1970-74
Cartoon Comedy Club – John Shepherd – self-syndicated – weekly strip – 1994-95
Castles In The Sand – Henrik Rehr – At Large Features – daily strip – 2001-02
Catesby – William Ferguson – Chicago Tribune-NY News Syndicate – Sunday strip – 1952-53 [found by Todd Hillmer – thanks Todd!]
Caught In The Act – Horace Knight – Chicago Tribune-NY News Syndicate – thrice per week panel – 1956
Chameleon – Al Wiseman – Altair Inc. – daily strip – 1973
Channel Jockeys – Phil Evans and Jim Asher – Wheller-Evans – daily strip – 1977-78
The Chargers – Ross Bunch – Grand Prix Features – daily strip – 1971-78
Charley – Nathan Diggs – Amadou Features – weekly panel – 1973
Charley Sez – David Brown – self-syndicated – daily strip – 1974-75
Charley The Chump – Jim Navoni – Wheeler-Nicholson – daily strip – 1926
Cheerful Earful – Hazel Duncan – Fortune Features – weekly panel – 1948
Chester – William Hatch and Tony Ortiz – Feature Service – daily strip – 1991-2002
Chickita – Ed Hechtman – Dickson-Bennett – daily panel – 1984
Chip’s Place – L. Stuchkus – Dickson Bennett – daily strip – 1980-81
Chris The Li’l Martian – Pedro Moreno – Transworld News Service – daily strip – 1976-82, 1993-94
Christina Anders – Robert Acomb – Chicago Sun-Times – daily strip – 1950 (turns out to just be an alternate name for “Jack and Judy in Bibleland”)
Christopher Strong – Bill Scott and Jim Seed – Register & Tribune Syndicate – daily and Sunday strip – 1950
Chubby – Guy Hooks – Agnes Kelleher – daily panel – 1937
Chuck And Sally Ann – Rhoda Burton – Allied Features – daily strip – 1979
Church Chuckles – Charles Cartwright – Chicago Tribune/Al Smith Service – weekly panel – 1959-97 [Found! by Alex Jay in Wichita Times]
The Circle – Aaron Kerns – Universal Press Syndicate – daily strip – 1970
Citizen George – George Wolfe – Al Smith Service – weekly panel – 1970-73
Citizen Senior – Dave Berg – Whitegate Features – daily – 1989-93
Clancy Boys – Dan Cortor – Dickson-Bennett – daily panel – 1983-84
Classic Stories – uncredited – Ledger Syndicate – daily strip – 1950
Classie Addie – Ellen Conner and Lorene Rutherford – Agnes Kelleher – daily panel – 1939
Classified Chuckles – Morrie Turner – Register & Tribune Syndicate – daily panel – 1967-69
Claude Hopper – Lorna Caviness – R-GAB Features – daily panel – 1980-82
Clean Ups – Richard Johnson – Richmond Syndicate – weekly panel – 1976
Clem’s Best – Clem Scalzitti – Dickson-Bennett – daily panel – 1981
Click – Gordon Shepard – World News Syndicate – daily panel – 1973
Clipper – L.F. Van Zelm – Globe Syndicate – daily strip – 1950
Clipper Williams On Courage Island – Dick Calkins – National Newspaper Syndicate – daily and Sunday strip – 1937-38
Close-Ups – Hinderer and Leitner – Wade Allen Syndicate – daily panel – 1968
Coby’s Corner – Dick Smith – self-syndicated – weekly strip – 1991-93
Codgie – H.F. Voorhees – National Newspaper Syndicate – daily strip – 1924
Coffee-Oddities – C.M. Payne – self-syndicated – weekly strip – 1938
Colonel Hush – Theodore Scheel – Queen Features – weekly strip – 1939
Colonel Cracker – Lloyd James Williams – Thompson Service – daily panel – 1931-33
The Colonials – Richards and Wetherholy – Gordon Langley Hall News Service – daily and Sunday strip – 1967
Color Blind – Orrin Brewster – Creators Syndicate – daily and Sunday strip – 1999 FOUND! by Charles Brubaker; thanks Charles!
Comet Bill – uncredited – Press Alliance – weekly strip – 1940
Comigraph – W.F. Peters – Publishers Feature Service – weekly panel – 1946-49
Concrete Jungle – Dale Patterson – Copley News Service – weekly panel – 1982 FOUND! by D.D. Degg in Oswego County Messenger
Condemonium – Lee Martin – McNaught Syndicate – daily panel – 1981
Congressman Dripp – Ben Youman – Federated Press – weekly panel – 1946-56
Consolidated Enormous – Bob Zahn – Feature Associates – weekly – 1980
Cookie Pushers – Buford Tune – EAS – weekly strip – 1930-34
Cooking With Gags – Bob Archer – Royal News Syndicate – weekly panel – 1949
Copp Twins – D. Orme – Jolyon Features – daily strip – 1939
Copy Boy/Copy Cub – Homer Fey – Western Newspaper Union – weekly panel – 1947-50
Copycats – Robert Ranger – Transworld News Service – daily strip – 1978
Cornflakes – Nellis Johnson – Superior Features – weekly strip – 1978-81
Cosgrove – Martin Duffy – Transworld News Service – daily panel – 1976-78
Cosmic Critters – Jim George – Dispatch Features – daily strip – 1966
Count of Monte Cristo – Jack Cortez – Eisner-Iger Associates – weekly strip – 1938-40
Coupons – Bob Vojtko – Pat Anderson Features – daily panel – 1976
Courthouse Square – John Jarvis – Community Press Service – 1973,76,78,81-82,2001-present
Cowboy Joe – Joe Buresch – Unique Features – daily strip – 1938
The Cowboy – Gloria Jacquart – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily – 1987-89
Cranberry Cafe – Tom Roy – Creators Syndicate – daily and Sunday strip – 2000
Crazy Quilt – Courtney Dunkel – Independent Features – weekly panel – 1965
Crazy Zoo – Hsaio Yen Chung – Sparks Syndication – weekly – 1991
Cringely – Al Fagaly and Harry Shorten – McClure Syndicate – Sunday strip – 1946
Critters – Jerry Cardona – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily panel – 1980-84
The Critters – Gene Patterson – Allied Features – daily panel – 1969-71
Croaker (aka Crocker?) – John Jarvis – Community Press Service – weekly panel – 1983-2002
Crosby’s Country Cousins – Joe Buresch and Abe Crosby – Crosby Newspaper Syndicate – daily strip – 1938-42
Cross Bones – Bob Ashley – Chicago Tribune-NY News Syndicate – daily and Sunday strip – 1974
Cross-Cuts – L.L. Cross – Fact Features – weekly panel – 1936-38
Crosscut – Morrie Brickman – National Newspaper Syndicate – daily panel – 1957-62 [turns out to be continuation of “Do It Yourself” — thanks D.D. Degg for the info!]
Crowe’s Feats – J.D. Crowe – Copley News Service – weekly strip – 1986-88
Crowley Chronicle – Pat Crowley – Copley News Service – weekly strip – 1987-94
Cuff & Rubin – Curt Brando – American International Syndicate – daily strip – 1993-94
Curior-Rarezas – John Harvey – Inter-American Syndicate – daily panel – 1934
Curious Creatures – Richard Addison – King Features – daily panel – 1930-31 [Found! in Boston American]
Curious Facts – C.J. Petersen – Matz Unique Features – daily strip – 1935
Curley’s Cranes – Roger Curley – Allied Features – daily – 1972
Cy Cylinder – Bob Moore – Nationwide Features – Sunday panel – 1949-50 [Charles Thompson supplies proof that Nationwide was a producer of advertising strips; not eligible for SG listing]
Cybil Action – Dibble and Hatch – Feature Service – daily – 1991-92
Cynth Hiddle – Wing – Johnson Features – daily panel – 1925
Cyril – Bob Battle – Transworld Features – daily strip – 1952-55

Obscurity of the Day: Mrs. Fret-Not


Mrs. Fret-Not is a delightfully funny strip that had a short but entertaining run; March 24 – August 16, 1913. The feature, and the one shown above is an excellent example, must be read in light of the era in which it appeared to be fully appreciated. The idea of an upstanding married woman being an accomplished card-sharp was, in these rather uptight post-Victorian years, scandalously wicked. This strip might have actually been worthy of a spit-take over a few breakfast tables in 1913.

The strip was distributed by Associated Newspapers, and that syndicate is eminently worthy of an extended discussion, but I’ll leave that for another day. Today I want to focus on the cartoonist of this feature, a fellow by the name of Williams.

Now I know this signature as well as if it was tattooed on my forehead, because I love the guy’s work. What I can’t remember is how I came up with the notion that his slightly more complete moniker is O.P. Williams. I don’t recall his signature ever being anything more than just ‘Williams’, and I don’t recall a byline to that effect on any of his strips. However, that’s how I have him listed, so I presume I discovered it in some way.

Anyway, his most memorable work was back in the mid-oughts when he took over the position once held by Winsor McCay at the Cincinnati Enquirer. Along with another fine cartoonist who has been lost to history, Apworth Adams, these two made Enquirer readers miss the great McCay a little bit less. If they didn’t have quite the level of native ability of the master, they made up for it with imaginative concepts, good art and funny gags.

Williams seems to have been quite the gypsy. He first shows up on the comics pages in Boston, at first with the Herald in 1904, then doing strips for the Post and Globe. He then had his stint in Cincinnati in 1908-09, then returned to Boston again. Here he did a lot of work for the Post, and through them got syndicated with Associated Newspapers. In 1915 he shows up in Philadelphia working for the North American. Then he disappears for over a decade, only to reappear once last time in New York, doing a short-lived strip for the Evening Graphic.

Does anyone have additional information on O.P. Williams?

Obscurity of the Day: The Nearsighted Mister Magoo


Some animated cartoon characters have made successful transitions to the newspaper comic page. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, of course, and later Yogi Bear and The Flintstones, have all be syndication success stories.

Unfortunately syndicate suits often see those successes as based purely on the popularity of the characters in their native medium. The truth, of course, is that to be a success the newspaper version must stay true to the character and have good gags. The toughest part, though, is to judiciously modify the character for the new medium.

For instance, one of the surefire bits of business for Donald Duck on screen are his insane tantrums. Frenetic action, though, does not translate well to the comic page, so Al Taliaferro made a very important tweak to Donald’s character. Instead of tantrums Donald in the newspaper became a master of the slow burn and a hilarious Jack Benny-like doubletake. The tantrums still make an occasional appearance, but they tend to be the springboards for gags, they’re not relied on to be the punchline.

No such deep thought seems to have gone into the translation of Mister Magoo, whose cartoonist(s) were uncredited (Pete Alvarado is mentioned in one reference). The gags are mostly repetitive and unimaginative. The gag in our sample is so lame that it is barely recognizeable, and Magoo’s speech in the last panel is out of character and, more importantly, hits like a lead balloon. Worse yet, the storyline depends on Magoo having good eyesight – good enough to recognize that there’s a bunch of tourists in his car from across the parking lot. Sheesh!

The Nearsighted Mister Magoo was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune-NY News Syndicate, and I don’t recall seeing it appear anywhere other than their papers. It ran 12/5/1964 – 5/8/1966.

Obscurity of the Day – The “In” Kids


Taking a break from the E&P mystery strip listings…

Here’s a real rare one by Pat Boyer. It ran from November 6, 1967 to January 27, 1968 as a daily in the Washington Post. The Post also ran the Sunday but only a few times. If it ran longer elsewhere I haven’t been able to locate it. It was syndicated by Publishers-Hall Syndicate.

This is one of those attempts to be mod and ‘with it’, notable for being an early entry in that late 1960s-early 70s genre that continued with features like Laugh-In and Peter Max’s Meditation.

This is Pat Boyer’s only syndicated credit that I know of. Since I find his/her characters to look vaguely unsettling and menacing (those eyes! ) this doesn’t seem too surprising.

Mystery Strips of E&P – “B” Listings

Here are the mystery strip B listings. Read yesterday’s post to see what this whole mess is about.

I’m going to stop with B for a few days to see what sort of response comes in. Putting together a letter’s worth of listings takes anywhere from 2 – 6 hours, so it’s a major time investment. I’d like to see if the investment has any dividends…

Babs & Aldo – Buddy Valentine – King Features – daily/Sunday strip – 2003 (found! ran in Deseret Morning News – thanks to Charles Brubaker)
Baby Bee – Garcia – RDR Syndicate – daily panel – 1983
Baby Lynn – Tony Marchese – Trans-World – weekly panel – 1978
Bac Talk – Bob Howard – self-syndicated – weekly strip – 1973
Bachelor Bill – Bill O’Malley – Independent Features – daily panel – 1965
Bachelor Party – Adam Miller – Creators Syndicate – daily panel – 2002-03
Bachelors – George Castillo – United Cartoonists – daily strip – 1988
Back Home – Homer Box – Editors Copy Syndicate – weekly strip – 1986-present
Backfire! – George Leeds and Henry Riddick – Family Features – daily panel – 1948-49
Bad Example – Carlton Winford – self-syndicated – daily panel – 1971
Bad Libs – Ronald Boerem – Danny Ball Productions – weekly strip – 1978-79
The Baffles – Mahoney – National Weekly Newspaper Service – weekly panel – 1956-62 (found! in Soda Springs (ID) Sun)
The Bag Line – H.F.Voorhees – Dille – weekly panel – 1925
Ballads Of Classified Clara – Clarence W. Payne – CP Syndicate – daily panel – 1936
Balloonatics – Ernest Hix – Bell Syndicate – daily panel – 1948
Balloonatiks – Mark Gandy and Fred Goodman – Animagic – daily strip – 1996-97
Baloney – Martin Duffy – Trans-World – daily panel – 1976-78
Bannister Babies – Constance Bannister – Columbia Features – thrice weekly panel – 1972
Barbs & Brickbats – Allen and Owen Richardson – Dickson Features – weekly panel – 1979
Bargain Daze – Harley Schwadron – Davy Associates – weekly panel – 1990-present
Barkis And Family – Crockett Johnson – George Matthew Adams – daily panel – 1955 (FOUND! in Oakland Tribune)
Barklay – Laing – Interpress – daily strip – 1973
Barnacle – Alexander Monroe – Singer – weekly strip – 1978
Barnacle And His Friends – Alex Moore – Oceanic Press Service – weekly panel – 1983-95
Barnstormers – Frank Tabor – Trans-World – daily panel – 1976-81
The Barnyard Gate – Sarge O’Neill – Southern – daily strip – 1970-78
Baron Nobux – Jack Thomas – Queen Features – daily strip – 1939
Barring None – Burck – Chicago Times – daily panel – 1941
Barry Finn – Tarpe Mills – Watkins Syndicate (Brooklyn Eagle) – weekly strip – 1939
Basic Nature – Dick Lancaster – Continental – weekly panel – 1995
Batch – Marty Bartels and Bill Lane – Chicago Sun-Times – daily strip – 1994-95
Baz And Company – Mike Higgs – News America – daily panel – 1993
Be A Detective – Bruce Patterson – Matz Features – daily strip – 1937
Be A Sport – Jim Janeway – American International – daily strip – 1992-94
Beaker – Leonard Bruce – Leoleen Durck Creations – daily strip – 1991-92
Beat This – Tip Brady – McClure Syndicate – daily panel – 1958
Beau Geste – P.C. Wren – Register & Tribune Syndicate – daily strip – 1933-34 (never mind — turns out this is an alternate title for Flying To Fame)
Beau Peep – Andrew Christine and Roger Kettle – The Syndicate – daily strip – 1987-90
Beauregard – Jack Davis – McClure Syndicate – daily strip – 1961 (Ger Apeldoom says the strip didn’t sell, ran in a humor magazine instead)
Beautiful! – Charles Bowen and Barbara Jones – Allied Features – daily panel – 1977-86
Beautyettes – Aldine Swank – Associated Features – daily panel – 1935
Becky – Frank Tabor – Anderson Features – weekly strip – 1970
Becky’s Senior – Evans Krehbiel – Weekly Features – daily strip – 1986-89
Bee Smart – John Prinkey – Other Dimensions – daily strip – 1971-79
The Beehive – editors of Childlife – Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate – Sunday strip – 1957-61
Beep-Beep – Robert Leduc – Service Offset de Presse – daily and Sunday panel – 1968-71
Begger – Ken Muse – Dickson-Bennett – weekly strip – 1982
Belly Laughs – Sarge O’Neill – Southern Cartoon Syndicate – daily strip – 1970-73
Benny Kukoe – T.J. Garlan – Thompson Service – daily – 1932
Berenstain Bears – Stan & Jan Berenstain – King Features – daily panel – 1982
Berserkers of the 21st Century – Bob Tuna – Lew Little Enterprises – daily and Sunday strip – 1998 (creator tells me that the strip has so far appeared online only)
Bert ‘n’ Gert – Jack Levin – General Features – daily strip – 1954 (found! turns out to be continuation of “Hands ‘n’ Faces”)
Best Years – Ed Heckman – American International Syndicate – daily strip – 1992-94
Best of Church Humor – Jack Hamm – Religious Drawings Inc – Sunday – 1960 (not the same as Church Humor from the 1970s)
Best Of Press – L. Hughes – Editors Copy Syndicate – weekly panel – 1976
Bettey And Her Pals – William Miller – Unique Features – daily panel – 1945
Betty Blurbs – J.C. Beesley – King Features – daily panel – 1929-30 (FOUND! in Lethbridge Herald)
Betty Botch and Bob Botch (listed separately) – Mel Millar – Pat Anderson Features – weekly panel – 1972-75
Betty Brighteyes – Bill Seidcheck – General Features – weekly strip – 1937-42
Betty Lee – Ralph Matz – Matz Features – daily strip – 1935-38
Between Us Girls – Ashton Wing – Allied Feature – daily panel – 1964-69
Bi-Focals – Rith Marcus – McNaught Syndicate – daily and Sunday panel – 1977
Bible Stories in Color – La Sorgente – Spadea Syndicate – weekly strip – 1973-75
Bible Story – Glen Cassel – American International – daily strip – 1990-94
Bible Today – M. Roget – Mark Morgan Inc – weekly panel – 1970-72
Bibs – Mickey Jai and Martin Kormic – Dickson Bennett – daily panel – 1982
Big Boss & Company – Richard Davies – Community Features – weekly panel – 1980
Big Boy – Ferd Himme – Lowery Cartoon Corp – weekly panel – 1932
Big Brother – Clem Scalzetti – Dickson-Bennett – weekly strip – 1980-82
Big Feet – Pedro Moreno – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily panel – 1979-85
Big Flat City – Richard Kolkman – self-syndicated – weekly strip – 1994-97 (FOUND! Creator reports it ran in college papers 1988-96)
Big Foot – Robert Beasley – Danny Ball Productions – daily strip – 1979
Big Little Things – Walter Galli and Dick Thomas – Watkins Syndicate – weekly strip – 1936
Big Moments – Ving Fuller – self-syndicated – daily panel – 1950
Big Town Follies – Mike Gray and Bob Moore – Nationwide Features – weekly panel – 1949-50 [Charles Thompson supplies proof that Nationwide was a producer of advertising strips; not eligible for SG listing]
Big World Of Little Things – Alfred O. Shedd – Science Service – weekly panel – 1927
Bigg’s Business – Bob Zahn – Centurion Press and others – daily panel – 1972-79 and 1990-present
Bill And Hazel – Harlan Wade – Transworld News Service – daily panel – 1978
Bill Bunker – Henry Formhals – United Feature – unknown – 1933
Billy And His Dog/Billy The Kid – Lloyd James Williams – self-syndicated – daily strip – 1939-40
Billy The Beaver – James Rodriguez – Comic Art Therapy – daily – 1993-95
Bing And His Buddies – Ed Brennon – General Features – weekly strip – 1937-42
Bizness Peepul – W.O. Evans Jr – Thompson Service – thrice weekly panel – 1933-34
Bizz And Biff – F.H. Cumberworth – Watkins Syndicate – daily strip – 1940
Black Bart – Dick Locher – Winford Co. – daily – 1971
Black Sheep – W.A. Dillard – Columbia Inc – daily strip – 1935
Black And White – Weihrauch – Select Features – daily panel – 1948
Blaze Braden – Paul Morgan – Crown Features – Sunday strip – 1960
Blisters – Jeb Ladouceur and Neel Roth – Transworld News Service – daily strip – 1978
Blockheads – John Gile – Register & Tribune Syndicate – daily panel – 1979
Bloop – Joseph Morton – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily – 1988
Bob Bannon – Prentice Phillips and Ray Tucker – Ray Gross Features – daily panel – 1938
Bob Sledd – Stuart Welsh – McClure Syndicate – daily strip – 1928
Bobby Babysitter – Ron Fritz – American International – daily strip – 1992-94
Bodities – Dr. Kruidenier – Esquire Features – daily panel – 1939
Boids – Peter Garvey – Transworld News Service – daily panel – 1976
Boldo Inc – Steve Moore – Star Group – weekly panel – 1984-85
Bonzer U – Kearney Egerton – LA Times Syndicate – daily strip – 1968
Boomers – Kent Whitaker – Kentoons – thrice weekly panel – 1994-97
The Boomers – William Feld – Stuyvesant Syndicate – weekly strip – 1970
Boosterville – Leonard Bruce and Douglas Nelson – Leoleen-Durck Creations – daily strip – 1985-86
Born Lucky – Bruce Plante – Universal Press – weekly panel – 2001-present (found! verified by creator Bruce Plante)
Bossy The Rooster – R.S. Matz – Unique Features – daily strip – 1946
Botony Boy – David B. Wood – Transworld News Service – weekly strip – 1977-78
The Brain Trust – Jack Roman – Press-Craft Features – weekly panel – 1978
Brain Wave – Ed Wilkens – Transworld News Service – weekly panel – 1978
Brass Tacks – Nick Frising – Allied Features – daily panel – 1978-86
Breaker, Breaker – J.W. Lynch and Mike MacCormack – Copley News Service – daily strip – 1977
Brother Simon And Lucas – Pedro Moreno – Transworld News Service – daily strip – 1976-88, 93-94
Brothers-In-Law – Jacquin – Premier Syndicate – daily strip – 1926 just a messed up listing in E&P — this is an already documented strip by Darrell McClure
Brothers-In-Law – Edward Bryant – self-syndicated – weekly – 1991-92
Buccaneers – Al Ciederman – American International Syndicate – daily strip – 1989
Bucksaw – Randy Muir – American International Syndicate – daily strip – 1987
Bud ‘n’ Bub – Ed Kressy – Publishers Autocaster – weekly strip – 1931 DD Degg found this strip running in Cass City (MI) Chronicle – thanks DD!
Bud Broker – KmC – Feature Associates – daily – 1984
Buffo – Howard Rands – Al Smith Service – weekly strip – 1989-91
Buford – John Marshall – Syndicated Newspaper Services – daily strip – 1982
Buford’s North Forty – Chris Carr – self-syndicated – daily strip – 1986
Bug – Rand Renfore – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily – 1985-87
Bug Movies – Stookie Allen – EAS – weekly strip – 1930-34
Bugwine – Arthur Akers and Dudely Williams – Allied Features – daily strip – 1935
Builders Of America – George (Jimmie) Smith – Transatlantic News Features – ? – 1942
The Bumbles – Al Smith – Al Smith Service – weekly strip – 1982-83
The Bumpalumpkins – Robert J. Alberts – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily – 1987-88
Bumper T. Bumper – Robert Laughlin – Transworld News Service – daily – 1979
Bumpy – C.D. Russell – Famous Features – daily strip – 1925
Bus – Woody Gelman – Solomon & Gelman – daily strip – 1947
Bush League – John Bianchi and Ken Shaw – LA Times Syndicate – daily and Sunday strip – 1975
Bush League Barry – Victor Pazimino – EAS – weekly strip – 1930-34
Business Card – Anne and Gene Bass – Cartoonist & Writers Syndicate – thrice weekly – 1992
Business As Usual – Harley Schwadron – Allied Press International – daily panel – 1980-81
Buster – Aaron Bacall – Transworld News Service – daily strip – 1976-77
Buster And Lester – Virgil Maldonado Jr – United Cartoonist Syndicate – daily – 1986-87
Butter And Eggs – Norcross – Wheeler-Nicholson – daily panel – 1926
Butterball – Bill Danch – Select Features – daily panel – 1957-62
Button’s Bunch – Ford Button – Dickson-Bennett – daily and Sunday strip – 1980-86
Button-Up – Ford Button – R-GAB Features – daily panel – 1980
Button-A-Day – Ed Moore – United Feature – daily panel – 1972-73
Buzz And Biff – F.H. Cumberworth – Watkins Syndicate – daily strip – 1939
Buzzy – Brian White – Watkins Syndicate – daily strip – 1935-36
By George – George Callahan – Dickson-Bennett – daily strip – 1982
By Murphy’s Law – Robert Howell – Journal Syndicate – daily – 1982-86

Mystery Strips of E&P – “A” Listings

Here’s your chance to rescue some obscure strips from the graveyard of undocumented features. As many of you know, Editor & Publisher, the trade journal of the newspaper business, publishes an annual syndicate directory. They’ve published them since 1924, and they are a treasure trove of information. In fact, my friend Dave Strickler has published a book wherein he lists all the features that appeared in those directories (his website is here).

Most of the E&P listings are for standard mainstream features, but they have also listed many additional more obscure stuff over the years. Some are from tiny syndicates (including self-syndicators), others are strips that came from mainstream syndicates but ran only for a short time in few papers. Others are true phantom features – strips that the syndicates tried to sell but failed, amateur cartoonists who deluded themselves into thinking their feature was publishable, and so on. Many listings these days are for strips that run only on the web.

The E&P syndicate directories, then, are a valuable source of information, but full of pitfalls if we just assume that all the features listed actually ran in newspapers. And as most of you know, I’m working on a project called the Stripper’s Guide Index that seeks to document every recurring comic strip and panel cartoon feature that ran in US newspapers. The most important rule that I have for including a feature in Stripper’s Guide is that I have to have seen it for myself actually running in a newspaper. One reason for that rule is the E&P phantom strip listings – some other researchers have fallen into the trap of documenting features based only on that resource with absolutely no additional evidence to support the existence of the feature. I won’t let that happen in Stripper’s Guide.

A reader recently suggested that I should publish more on the blog about features that are a mystery to me, in hopes that you guys will be able to provide information. Of course I’m only too happy to oblige. So today I’m starting a series of posts listing the E&P information on features that I’ve not been able to find running in any newspaper.

Here’s the deal. What I need from you is documentary proof of the feature’s existence. Photocopies or scans of a few sample tearsheets work great (especially if you can provide dates and the name of the paper), but I can also when necessary check out leads, like “sure, I read that one every day in the Splutburg Chronicle back in 1970-71.” On the other hand, please cool it on leads like “that sounds vaguely like something I half-remember from somewhere”.

So what do I offer in return? Undying gratitude of your peers, of course, goes without saying. Credit in Stripper’s Guide for your contribution as well. But let me sweeten the pot. For documentary proof of any feature listed here I will reimburse you with a goodie package of collectible old newspaper tearsheets from my collection. Your goodie package may also include original art, old comic books, reprint books or magazines. Believe me, I’ll make it worth your while. Sound fair? Great. Here we go with the list of mystery strips for the letter “A”. Each listing shows the title, creator(s) credited, the syndicate, the format and the years listed in E&P.

AC In DC – Edwards De Lon – Future Features – daily strip – 1996
AD-LIBerties – Ney Talbot – N.E.W.S. – daily strip – 1949-50
Abe Martin Junior – E.B. Sullivan – Dille – daily panel – 1938-39 (apparently replaced Abe Martin these two years?)
Academy Of Fame – A.S. Curtis – Curtis Features – Sunday strip – 1946-50 (suspect this might just be “Medal Of Honor” under a different title)
Ace Of The Staff – Leon P. Snowe II – Trans World News – daily strip – 1978
Acme Woods – Dyke Williams – Dickson Features – weekly strip – 1980
Ad-A-Line – Henri Arnold – Editors Syndicate – daily panel – 1955 (FOUND! in Great Bend Daily Tribune)
Ad-Ribs – Bob Poet – Richmond Syndicate – daily strip – 1979
Adam Apple’s Adventures – Don Herold – Dille – daily panel – 1932
Adam’s World – Wayne Phillips – Consolidated – thrice-weekly panel – 1974
Addled Ads – Harry Lutke – Chicago Sun-Times – daily panel – 1950-51 (FOUND! in Lowell Sun)
Addles – Shar Durksen – American International – daily panel – 1993-97
Adventure In Nature – Robert Peterson – American International – daily strip – 1988-98
Adventure, Culture And Humor In Proper English – uncredited – Cartoonics – daily and Sunday strip – 1942
Adventures In Death Valley – Stanley Miller – Matz Features – daily strip – 1940 (probably advertising comics?)
Adventures In Wonderland – Bob Pilgrim – Independent Syndicate – daily strip – 1930 (FOUND! by Bill Mullins in the LaCrosse Tribune and Leader Press – thanks Bill!)
Adventures Of Arsene Lupin – Maurice LeBlanc and Georges Bourdin – Service Cooperative de Diffusion d’Articles – daily strip – 1948 (French – did it run in US?)
Adventures Of Melisse – Melisse – Melisse Syndicate – daily panel – 1950
Adventures Of Mister A. Worm – Charles Sarka – F-Bean Syndicate – weekly panel – 1926
Adventures Of Skuddabud – Columba Krebs – Skuddabud Creations – daily strip – 1936-38
Adventures Of Ted And Jed – Raymon Naylor – Feature Sales Syndicate – daily/weekly strip/panel – 1936
Adventures Of Tiny Turtle – Brint Schorer Jr. – Tiny Features – daily strip – 1968-71 (FOUND – turned out to be a coloring and game page – not qualified for SG listing)
Afterworld – Todd Schowalter – Plain Label Press – daily/weekly strip – 1992-94
Agile Man – Rex Walthall – Dickson-Bennett International Features – daily strip – 1981-82
Agony – uncredited – Interpress of London & New York – weekly panel – 1976-81
Ahead Of Time – Ken Muse – Dickson Features – weekly strip – 1980-81
Air Fair – Dick Locher – Winford Company – daily strip – 1971-73
Air-Sub DX – Carl Burgos – Watkins (Brooklyn Eagle) – Sunday strip – 1939
Aladdin McFadden – Jim Lavery – Arthur J. Lafave – daily and Sunday strip – 1937
Aladdin And Company – Jaime Diaz – Ed Marzola & Associates – daily and Sunday strip – 1976
Alan O’Dare – Carl Pfeufer – Smith-Mann – Sunday strip – 1951-54 (probably topper to “Chisholm Kid”)
Albert – Robert Nunn – American International – daily strip – 1992-95
Alexander Gate – Gene Mora and Frank Bolle – McNaught Syndicate – daily and Sunday strip – 1970-71 (EDIT: existence verified by Jeffrey Lindenblatt!)
Alfonso – Romano Garofalo, Regnal Adams, Charles Russo – Dickson Bennett/American International – daily strip – 1982-91 (Alberto Becattini says this is an Italian strip there titled “Mostalfonso”)
Algy – Gene Rowls – Bryl Syndicate – daily strip – 1936
Ali Baba – Ostrup – Select Features – daily panel – 1948
Ali Katt – Walt Trag – unknown syndicate – daily strip – 1958
Alias The Skull – Kevin Miller and David Watkins – Suzerain – Sunday strip – 1993-95
All In America – Tom Ward – Winford Company – daily and Sunday strip – 1972
All In The Family – Bill Murray – Minority Features – weekly strip – 1980-2003
All-American Family – Lesnier – Popular Press Features – weekly panel – 1951
Almighty Dollar – Lo Linkert – Feature Associates – weekly panel – 1980
Along The Rail – John Williams – Community Features – weekly panel – 1980-81
Alpha Ant – Leonard Bruce and the Humane Society – Leoleen-Durck – weekly panel – 1983-88 (presumably a giveaway?)
Amanda y Rocinante – Resurrecion Espinosa and Dorthy Torres – self-syndicated – weekly strip – 1996-present
Amateur Etiquette – Dick Calkins – Dille – daily panel – 1925-30 (FOUND! in Edwardsville Intelligencer – more of an illustrated column, not qualified for SG listing)
Amazing But True – Albert Edward Wiggam – Dille – daily panel – 1931-32 (early name of “Let’s Explore Your Mind”?)
Ambitious Ambrose – Oscar Hitt – Wheeler-Nicholson – daily strip – 1926 (found! in Lowell Sun)
Amby – Dwight Parks – Dille – daily and Sunday strip – 1958 (never ran — see comment by Ger Appeldoorn below – thanks Ger!)
American Scoreboard – Henry Riddick and Antoinette Leeds – Family Features – weekly panel – 1948
Amos The Analyst – Mick Stevens – Lew Little Syndicate – daily panel – 1966-67
Anabel And Rupert – Reub Allen and M.O.Doyle – Columbia Inc. – daily strip – 1935
And Bob Created Woman – David Watkins and Kevin Miller – Suzerain – daily strip – 1993
Andy Lane – Eustace Adams and Dick Brown – United Feature – unknown format/frequency – 1933
Anggie – Dawn Munson – American International – daily strip – 1992-94
Animal Chatter For A Clean Environment – Emil Abrahamian – self-syndicated – 1995-96 (ran in Arab News – ever is US?)
Animals On Parade – John Meissner – self-syndicated – daily panel – 1939
Another Day Another Doll – Henry Gaines Goodman – Beroth Features – daily panel – 1958-61
Anthracite And Bituminous – Ferd Himme – Lowry Cartoons – weekly panel – 1932 (ad panel for coal??)
Antics Of The Allens – Leonard Merrill – Thompson Service – weekly panel – 1932
Antoinette And Cleopatra – Joanne McGuire – Copley News – daily strip – 1979
Aphrodite – uncredited – Interpress of London And New York – weekly panel – 1985-97
Apple A Day – Richard Gerchak – Community Features – weekly panel – 1980-81
Applesauce – Dick Calkins – Dille – daily panel – 1924
Aram – Piet Wijn – Douglas Whiting Ltd – daily strip – 1959-60 (Dutch – ran in US?)
Ardith – Ken Muse – Dickson-Bennett – daily strip – 1982
Are You A Kopy Kat? – Robert Gill – National Features – Sunday strip – 1980-82
The Aristocrats – Bob Kane – Ledger Syndicate – daily panel – 1967-70
Armadillosaurus – R. Shirley – Famous Features – weekly strip – 1995
Arnaki – Aspro Coolidge – Mid-Continent – thrice weekly panel – 1978-79
Arnie – Arne Stockholm – Singer Features – weekly strip – 1973-99
Around Town – Rube Weiss – Blakely Features – weekly panel – 1970-76
Around The Dial – uncredited – Audio Service – daily panel – 1927
Arty Facts – Ray Fisher – Singer Features – weekly panel – 1983-99
As You Were – Jim Baker – Pioneer Press – daily panel – 1972-99 (FOUND! in Elyria Chronicle-Telegram)
Assignment Top Secret – Bill Barry – Adventure Features – daily strip – 1981-93
The Astronits – Pat Anderson – self-syndicated – daily strip – 1970-79 (found printed a single time in the Cedar Rapids Press – still looking for more evidence)
Astronuts – Dave Berg – Singer Media – weekly strip – 1994-99
At Andre’s – Sandy Brier – McClure Syndicate – daily panel – 1961
Atila – William Grosso – Colombian Comics – daily strip – 1990-96
Aunt Effie – Edgon Margo – Queen Features – weekly panel – 1939
Auntie’s Antics – uncredited – Keystone Features – daily strip – 1938
Auto Comics – Kenny Hall – Avanti Features – weekly panel – 1996-97
Auto Sense – Jack Williamson – Associated Editors – weekly panel – 1925-26 (FOUND! in Oshkosh Daily Northwestern)