Obscurity of the Day: Spot News






As long we’re on a Bil Keane kick, let’s keep it rolling with this feature called Spot News. This little 1-column feature, known as a filler in the biz, would have been marketed as a cute addition to the editorial page. The gags are topical but not editorial.

The feature began in the Des Moines Register on August 3, 1959. Although I’ve never seen a sample with a copyright slug, I assume they were the syndicator since Keane’s other syndicated cartoon (Channel Chuckles, see yesterday’s post) was with them.

The Register ran the feature on a space available basis (in other words, it only appeared when there was a hole to fill on the page). I have also heard this practice called ROP (run of press) by people in the business. The latest I’ve seen are from early 1960, and the feature was not listed in the 1960 E&P Syndicate Directory, which comes out in late summer, so I assume it didn’t even make its one year anniversary. If anyone knows the specific end date, I’d love to hear from you.

Tomorrow, one last keen Keane item.

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