Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pernicious Illustration – Pernicious Pictures

[1] From F. Opper’s Happy Hooligan, 1911

“A worse pabulum for young America could hardly be concocted by Satan himself. The combined influences of the home, the public schools, and all the churches together are hardly sufficient to undo the mischief wrought in the minds of children by this never-ceasing flood of hell-broth.” — Henry Turner Bailey, 1911
HENRY TURNER BAILEY in 1911 started a brief discussion with his 5-page article Pernicious Illustration in a brand new monthly trade magazine, The Graphic Arts (subtitle: ‘for Printers and Users of Printing’). Comments of two other authors followed in a later issue, under the general header “Pernicious Illustration” Again; The Other Side of the Matter. Below are the pages 121-125 and 284-288 with all three articles, taken from The Graphic Arts, Vol. I, January-June 1911, National Arts Publishing Company, Boston, MA. 
Pernicious Illustration by Henry Turner Bailey.

Another Aspect of Newspaper Humor by Brainard Leroy Bates.

A Plea for the Pernicious Pictures by Joseph Swerling. 

[2] Page 121
[3] Page 122
[4] Page 123
[5] Page 124
[6] Page 125
[7] Page 284
[8] Page 285
[9] Page 286
[10] Page 287
[11] Page 288
[12] F. Opper, Happy Hooligan Makes a Hit! But It Wasn’t on the Programme, a full page comic strip in the Sunday Chicago Tribune of February 26, 1911

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Comics — And Their Creators: Frank King

IT’S AN ODD THING that everyone who reads the strip — about Walt and Skeezix — seems to know that Skeezix is a door-step baby but that many persons are confused about the parentage of Corky and Judy. Every week I get letters asking about the two younger children, usually from persons who say they want to settle a debt. Corky, you will recall, is the son of Walt and Phyllis, but Judy was left in the Wallet car and adopted by the Wallets. We changed the technique a little in her case, and instead of calling her a door-step baby she was called the “running board baby.” — ‘He’s the King of Gasoline Alley,’ in Chicago Tribune; said by Frank King, March 26, 1948
1933 [1] Literary Digest, Dec 16
1931 [2] Jan 11
1928 [3] June 1o
1927 [4] Chicago Tribune, Jan 23

Monday, July 10, 2017

Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby and the Yorkshire Schools


 Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby and the Yorkshire Schools; Fact v Fiction, is a new book by Yesterday’s Papers contributor, Robert J. Kirkpatrick.

IN 1838, in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens set out to expose the “scandal” of cheap Yorkshire boarding schools. Controversy over the accuracy and fairness of Dickens’s claims about these schools, as portrayed by Dotheboys Hall and its tyrannical master, Wackford Squeers, has raged ever since. Most attention has been focused on the supposed model for Dotheboys Hall, Bowes Academy in what was then the North Riding of Yorkshire, and its proprietor William Shaw. This has left many other aspects of the controversy under-explored. Dickens and his supporters, and many critics, made claims about the schools and the effect that Nicholas Nickleby had on them which can now be shown to have been wildly inaccurate.

This book sets out to explore these myths, to present a comprehensive history of the Yorkshire schools (in particular told through their advertisements), and to collect all the previously-published accounts of life at these schools — those that appeared before 1838 and those that appeared afterwards — bringing them all together for the first time. It is hoped that, by presenting all the evidence in one place, a full and balanced picture of the Yorkshire schools will help differentiate between the facts and the fiction.

Published by Mosaic (Teesdale) Ltd., Snaisgill, Middleton-in-Teesdale,
Co. Durham DL12 0RP 
Paperback, 380 pages.
Available HERE.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Worden Wood, the Ghost of Buster Brown


  R |ichard Fenton Outcault grew to despise his own creation, THE YELLOW KID, once it became associated with Yellow Journalism. On several occasions he downright cursed him.
“When I die, don’t wear yellow crepe, don’t let them put a Yellow Kid on my tombstone, and don’t let the Yellow Kid himself come to my funeral.” — R.F. Outcault (1863-1928)
Outcault was three-plus years away from the Herald when the topper and the following page from BUSTER BROWN ON HIS TRAVELS, Cupples & Leon, 1909, were drawn. Rick Marschall informs us BUSTER BROWN was drawn, anonymously, these years by Worden Wood.

Other Buster Brown ghosts included Will Lawler, Norman Jennett and Wallace Morgan. Rumor has it that Winsor McCay drew a few Buster Brown pages in 1910.

Checking some Sunday pages with Little Nemo on the front page, Pierre-Henry Lenfant of Lomé (TOGO) found on the reverse some unsigned ghosted black and white Buster Brown (below). Those pages were published in 1909 in the Los Angeles Sunday Times, and the Saint Louis Republic and would also appear to be Worden Wood’s work. 

[1] Worden Wood, 1909
[2] May 16, 1909
[3] Sep 12, 1909
[4] Dec 19, 1909
[5] Brazilian kids magazine O Tico-Tico, 
No. 559, June 21, 1916
Luís Gomes Loureiro.
[6] By Worden Wood, 1909
[7] By R.F. Outcault, Aug 16, 1903


Thanks to my dear niece Megan Evans for the gift of Buster Brown on His Travels.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

We Have With Us Today!

[1] ‘They Stand Out From the Crowd’ — The Literary Digest, March 24, 1934

We Have With Us Today! 
by Grantland Rice and J.N. Ding

FOUR YEARS before his death, when he was seriously ill, Jay Norwood Darling (Oct 21, 1876 – Feb 12, 1962) drew a farewell cartoon to be published on his demise and gave it to his secretary for safekeeping. It showed the cartoonist rushing out of his cluttered office. His last message read: — “Bye Now; It’s Been Wonderful Knowing You.” Henry Grantland Rice (Nov 1, 1880 – July 13, 1954) was a famous sporting columnist.
[2] Oct 5, 1919
[3] Oct 19, 1919
[4] Nov 16, 1919
[5] Nov 30, 1919

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Rudolph and Gus Dirks drew The Katzies of the 90s

[1] Rudy Dirks, photo 1917 
“Hearst took on Rudolph Dirks in 1897 to do the Katzenjammer Kids (German slang for ‘hangover’ kids), and thereby headed toward the first big legal battle of the comics. The World, not forgetting Hearst’s capture of Outcault, enticed Dirks into its camp. The bitter legal controversy which followed finally resulted in Hearst’s obtaining the rights to the Katzenjammer Kids, but not to its creator. Dirks continued the characters in the World under the title Hans and Fritz, which during the World War was changed to The Captain and the Kids to purge it of its ancestry. Hearst’s Katzenjammer Kids (drawn by H.H. Knerr) and United Features Captain and the Kids (obtained from the World upon its death in 1931) remain as the sole survivors of all the strips started in the 90s.” — Men of Comics, by William E. Berchtold, in New Outlook, April 1935 

[2] Ach. Those Katzenjammer Kids Once More! Already Again They Make Troo-o-o-oble! 
[3] Dec 19, 1897
[4] Dec 11, 1898
[5] Dec 26, 1897
[6] Nov 27, 1898
[7] His brother Gus Dirks, photo 1901
[8] Gus Dirks draws Hans and Fritz, Nov 6, 1898
[9] Gus Dirks draws Hans and Fritz, Oct 9, 1898

 ¡)¡.•   ¡.(¡

[NOTE] There are two biographies of the brothers Dirks, in German only, the latest is Gus Dirks; Käfer, Kunst & Kummer (Gus Dirks; Bugs, Art & Distress) by Tim Eckhorst, published by Ch. A. Bachmann Verlag in 2016.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dan M’Carthy 1870-1905

He Had Worked on Many Papers and founded a School of Caricature

New York, Feb. 17, 1905 — Daniel H. M’Carthy, one of the best known newspaper artists and caricaturists in the country died yesterday after a short illness. He was born in Syracuse 35 years ago. M’Carthy came to New York about 15 years ago and began to make drawings for the Evening Telegram. he was called to Paris by James Gordon Bennett and remained for a time with the Paris Herald. When the Recorder started he returned to New York and drew pictures for that paper for five years. He then went to the World and remained there until four years ago when he founded the National School of Caricature. He was at the head of this concern at the time of his death. [From: Binghampton Press] 

[2] Daniel H. M’Carthy, The Points and Phrases of Grammar Applied to the Summer Vacation, strip in The Sunday World Comic Weekly, June 20, 1897. Courtesy of Andy Bleck.
[3] Syd B. Griffin illustration, ad 1903

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Sydney B. Griffin HERE.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

I Thought of a Tramp — The birth of Happy Hooligan

 “The awful part of this work is its speed. (…) It almost seems to me now like shoveling coal into a furnace, or pouring water into a bucket without a bottom. It just goes on and on. lF.lOpper, 1930

“MR. OPPER has drawn Happy Hooligan for the past 30 years (1900-30), and a daily cartoon, when he has the time and inclination to do so.” Frederick Burr Opper was born in Ohio in 1857, in Madison, a small town in the middle of the state. He never went to college and only attended school until he was fourteen.
“First I went to work in the little general store there, and after that on the village newspaper. No, not to draw or write, just a general factotum all over the place. When I had been there about a year and a half, I decided to come to New York, and took a job in a dry goods store doing a little of everything, writing price tags and such things. All this time I had an idea of selling my drawings to the comic papers.”
[2] Happy Hooligan’s dreams, 1908.

FOR THREE YEARS, in between his other work, he sold cartoons and comic pictures to Frank Leslie, who eventually took him on his staff. He then went to Puck for eighteen years, leaving there to work for Mr. Hearst.
“It happened that they wanted a new series of comics, and I set about inventing one. I thought of a tramp. Tramps were not so very new; there had been all kinds of tramps, so I decided to make him a little different by putting a can on his head. What gave me the idea was that at that time all the saloons put their empty kegs in the streets for the breweries to pick up and refill. The tramps would hang empty tomato cans around their neck, go to these kegs and tip the remains of the beer from the empty barrel into their cans.”
[3] Chicago Examiner, January 22, 1911.
“Besides the comic strip Mr. Opper does several cartoons a week, more or less of a political nature, for the daily papers. In order to do this he has to do a great deal of newspaper reading, so as to be absolutely up to date on current events. (…) His only relaxation? Sketching! He likes to go to Europe, preferably the little English villages, and sketch with a soft pencil and a sketch book, even as you and I. (…) Incidentally, he is much more proud of his sketch book than his comic strip. He has two children and six grandchildren.”
[4] Tomato can hat. Cartoon by Jimmy Swinnerton in San Francisco weekly The Wasp, Sep 2, 1893.
HE MOVED with his family to an old-fashioned home in New Rochelle in 1916. His workroom is the sun parlor on the first floor. “Before that we lived near Stamford, Conn. We had a great big old-fashioned farmhouse a hundred and fifty years old, although I’ve never farmed in my life.” He sold their farm and part of the sales agreement is the present house in New Rochelle. They lived on 78th street in New York at first, with the house in New Rochelle used as a Summer place. At the time of this article and interview, F. Opper is seventy-three years of age.
“Comics have become a great industry. Years ago, when I was first in the game, there were only three or four of them. Every city in the country now has its comic artist, and also buys from feature syndicates. The business is getting bigger and bigger, until I do not see how it can grow anymore without toppling over.”
[5] Chicago Examiner, June 21, 1908.

With text extracts from: ‘Our Famous Neighbours — Frederick Burr Opper Of New Rochelle — Creator of Happy Hooligan, New Rochelle Cartoonist Finds ‘Fans’ Prone to Criticize Slightest Errors — Sketching His Chief Relaxation,’ By Alissa Keir, in The Yonkers Statesman, Wednesday, December 31, 1930, page 5.

NOTE. In this article the ‘32 years’ of Happy Hooligan has been changed into a more correct ‘30 years’ by Yesterday’s Papers. Our lead picture was first published on a 1904 Valentine’s Greetings postcard.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Forgotten Man — Dan Leno

[1] July 17, 1912.
DAN LENO, the sporting cartoonist of the Bulletin, is in town en route north looking for a “vacation.” ‘Sporting Cartoonist Here,’ in Press Democrat, July 14, 1910

[2] Dec 2, 1911. Light Weight Throne.
OBSCURE CARTOONISTS. Online, you often see articles with additional titles like FORGOTTEN CARTOONIST. Usually, while obscure, comic strip historians have not completely forgotten those cartoonists. Dan Leno is a horse of a different color though, his short life in comics is completely unknown and information about his life and career are difficult to uncover. He was a derivative cartoonist, among others borrowing style and ideas from Tad Dorgan, George Herriman, Rube Goldberg and Harry Hershfield. The earliest mention of Dan Leno is in my opening quote, in which we learn he worked as a sporting cartoonist on the San Francisco Bulletin as early as 1910.  
[3] Dec 27, 1911. The Dingbat Family.
THE BEE. The Press Democrat, published out of Santa Rosa, California, noted on December 10, 1910, SATURDAY “BEE” TO BE PUBLISHED HERE. The Bee was to be published by Billy Silver for the Press Democrat as an 8-page weekly, colored in pink and green, with cartoons by Dan Leno and Louis Breton. Charles Mansfield would provide illustrations. All three men were from the Bulletin’s staff.
[4] April 13, 1912. Everybody’s Doing It.
LOS ANGELES HERALD.  Dan Leno’s first Los Angeles Herald cartoon — contemporary with cartoonists George Herriman, Gus Mager, Harry Hershfield, Tom McNamara, and Hal Coffman — appeared on Dec 2, 1911, on the sporting page. The Herald later listed a range of titles, ‘A bas, as the French Say,’ ‘Mr. Bonehead Buys an Auto,’ and series with titles like ‘Such: Can You Beat It ?,’ ‘Old Ill Wind,’ and ‘Such Is Life.’ His last cartoon appeared on February 28, 1913. These last few cartoons were done in a wispy labored style, perhaps the result of the unspecified disease which sent him north to Acme, Alberta, where he died around March 21, 1913.

ROSINA LENO.  A woman living in Acme, named Rosina Leno, married a man named Jacob Bitz in 1885 (HERE) so it is possible that Dan Leno was her relative and possibly born in Alberta, Canada. And that is all that is known at present about Dan Leno, who according to his obituary was famous for his sporting page cartoons long before he joined the staff of the Los Angeles Herald.
[5] April 16, 1912. Troubles of His Own.
[6] April 24, 1912. They’re with Us Again.
[7] April 25, 1912. Have YOU Helped ?
[8] July 4, 1912. Eight photos of Los Angeles Herald sporting experts 1/ Earle V. Weller, 2/ George L. North, 3/ James W. Coffroth, 4/ DAN LENO (bottom left), 5/ Fred C. Thomson,  6/ Larry Lavers, 7/ Jay Davidson, and 8/ Ed W. Smith.
[9] Nov 20, 1912. When in Doubt Blame Finnegan.
[10] Jan 25, 1913. Joys of a Cartoonist.
[11] April 12, 1913. Pluvius’ Double Header.
[12] March 21, 1913. Famous Cartoonist Meets Death Bravely; Keeps Public Laughing to the Last.
[13] Cartoon styles by TAD – HERRIMAN – LENO – a 1904 Tad Dorgan, 
a 1909 George Herriman, and a 1912 Dan Leno.

NOTE. This is of course not about British comedian ‘Dan Leno’ (real name: George Wild Galvin, 1860-1904) who toured the US in 1897 as ‘The Funniest Man On Earth’ and licensed a London comic weekly to use his name in the title, Dan Leno’s Comic Journal (1898, subtitled: ‘One touch of Leno makes the whole world grin’).