Obscurity of the Day: Dummydom

Clarence Rigby was one of those guys who seemed to work everywhere, and often had signed work appearing with multiple syndicates at the same time. Dummydom was one of his earliest continuing series; it was produced for the New York World, but at the same time he also had work appearing in the New York Herald. This is amazing to me. If he’d been moonlighting at McClure or some venue out of town, sure, but two competing New York papers. Wow! Rigby’s Sunday funnies capabilities were certainly already in full flower, though he hadn’t quite figured out that you draw the speech balloon after you’ve done the lettering, so perhaps he was really enough of a hot commodity that he could brazenly sign his work in both papers.

Dummydom‘s main characters are those wooden puppets with strings that make their limbs move. I know there must be a term for these — not marionettes I suppose because these aren’t nearly that complex and they have a base to keep them vertical. Anyhow, Rigby got some good mileage out of these and other types of toys making guest appearances. Sort of Toy Story for the turn-of-the-century crowd.

The feature ran in the World from November 25 1900 to May 5 1901.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans!

One thought on “Obscurity of the Day: Dummydom

  1. Maybe Rigby had sold cartoons to the Herald some time in advance, and only began using them at the same time as thw World did.

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