Obscurity of the Day: Miss Aladdin

Here’s a magazine cover series that doesn’t quite fit the standard mold of the era. The lion’s share of these series were romances, whereas Miss Aladdin is a fairy tale fantasy somewhat  in the tradition of Little Nemo, albeit featuring the de rigeur pretty girl.

The series featured art by Virginia Huget, a semi-regular on these cover series (see, for instance, Double Dora and Babs in Society). I like Huget’s art, but frankly this series looks to have been a bit of a rush job for her. The series was written by J. Kenneth Jonez in his only known appearance in the funnies, or, for that matter, in any capacity anywhere. Mr. Jonez has the honor of being a mystery even to the all-seeing eye of Google.

This rare magazine cover series was syndicated under Hearst’s King Features brand and was running by at least March 1929 and ended sometime in May of that year. Can anyone supply exact start and end dates?

Obscurity of the Day: Animal Alphabet

Here’s a series that made it only two episodes. Given the length of the alphabet there really wasn’t anywhere else to go after the second episode. Animal Alphabet ran on March 10th and 17th of 1901 in the New York World. It marks the first known writing credit for a Sunday funnies series to Carolyn Wells, who later penned the great Adventures of Lovely Lilly, and many magazine cover series, including Flossy Frills. Am I bringing too much of a 2010 sensibility to this or is Ms. Wells doing a little not-all-that covert gay-bashing in some of the verses here?

The artist is the always delightful William F. Marriner, who did a very short stint at the World, only about eight months in 1901 (and he moonlighted with McClure part of that time). Only a few of Marriner’s series have been covered on the blog thus far, a criminal oversight I’ll work on correcting. Here’s Johnnie Bostonbeans and The House of Mirth.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan!

Obscurity of the Day: Songs of Christmas

Hope you all had a good Christmas and Festivus! I for one had enough holiday cheer to keep me warm despite a really long cold snap here in Florida (yeah, I know, all you folks up north feel terribly sorry for me).

So here in the afterglow of another holiday season, let’s have one more Christmas feature before we put this one to bed. Here’s the first two episodes of Songs of Christmas, the NEA Christmas strip for 1951. It ran daily from December 3 to 22. Walt Scott, who did many of NEA’s specials, contributed an interesting one about the origins of various Christmas carols. As usual, when Scott does something serious he switches over to his straight illustration style, very polished but rather bloodless to my eyes.