News of Yore: Short Items from 1949

‘Barnaby’ in Movies
(E&P, 3/26/49)

Plans for a movie based on “Barnaby,” the comic strip distributed by Bell Syndicate are under way according to Crockett Johnson, author of the strip. A release at Bell’s New York office says the picture rights have been transferred from RKO to an independent producer.

Johnson is working on the script in New York in collaboration with Lewis Amster, Hollywood screen writer.

RKO was reported to have paid a record $100,000 for the option on Barnaby. This could not be confirmed at RKO’s New York office.

[Allan’s note: I’ve found no evidence that a Barnaby movie was ever made, but there was a TV pilot in 1965.]

Comics Go Opera
(E&P, 1/1/49)

New in the comic strip world, at least as far as daily newspaper syndication is concerned, is All Star Feature Syndicate’s proposal to translate the great operas into strip sequences. The plan is to begin releases in January.

All Star also is a publisher of comic books, but its director, Bernard Baily, has syndicate strip-making experience. He was, himself, the artist for “Vic Jordan,” which appeared in PM about a year, and helped draw “Mr. X” for the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. He also did “Phyllis” for Keystone Features.

All Star plans an optional arrangement. Newspapers may choose to run the strips, which adhere to the text of the original opera, or also can use an illustrated opera book tie-in. The books have previously been sold by All Star.

Art work for the books is done by staff cartoonists.

[Allan’s note: I haven’t been able to find either any examples of this newspaper strip, nor the book mentioned in the article. Can anyone help?

Update: Ken Quattro writes to tell me that he knows of no book version, per se, but that Baily self-published four comic book issues of Illustrated Stories of the Operas circa 1944. Thanks Ken!]

Inter-Faith News
(E&P, 2/12/49)

Organized 15 years ago by the National Conference of Christians and Jews for the purpose of cultivating more space in newspapers on behalf of religious news, Religious News Service at first had to give away its material.

Now, Religious News Service is a thriving news-gathering syndicate for more than 600 member newspapers, magazines, and radio stations which pay up to $200 a month for its daily mail, wire, and photo services. The agency boasts 400 news correspondents, a substantial part of them overseas.

Popular features include “The Religious News Reporter,” a script for radio, and “The Week In Religion,” column. Since June 1945, when it began a photograph service it has acquired a library of more than 50,000 prints, built up by 200 correspondents.

It has also a cartoon question box, “Religious Remarkables,” a weekly column by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, and a calendar of future religious events.

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