In 1899 L. Frank Baum’s and W.W. Denslow’s Father Goose – His Book was published and sold like the proverbial hotcakes. As the Christmas season of 1899 approached, which promised to be a bonanza of sales for the already-popular work, the New York World published either one or two comic section pages based on the book — an early example of cross-marketing. But things get a little murky here. Ken Barker’s New York World index lists only one 1899 page, on 11/19/1899, and says the writing was credited to Baum but that he couldn’t identify the artist. I also have an earlier page listed in the Stripper’s Guide index, dated 11/12/1899, and I credit both pages to Denslow as the artist. I think I got this info from Cole Johnson but my source notes are mute on the point.
Then in 1900 there were two more pages, one on January 21 and a second on July 22 (pictured). Barker’s index gives no writing credit for these pages, but I misinterpreted his listing and credited the pages to Baum in the Guide listing. Then the above sample showed up from Cole Johnson and we see that Paul West did the writing at least on the second and final page. I received this sample early enough to fix the Guide listing for publication, but didn’t notice the credit at that time. So the published Guide will have the information for this unusual feature wrong in several different ways, and there are still unanswered question about just exactly how many installments really ran, three or four, and who the credited writers were on each one.
Given the popular interest in Baum I feel really bad about the mistakes in the index, so herewith my public apology. Now … can anyone unravel this mystery and supply the definitive running dates and credits?
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scan!