Saturday, November 26, 2011

 

Herriman Saturday

Saturday, February 22 1908 -- Today is the middleweight championship between Stanley Ketchel and Mike 'Twin' Sullivan up in San Francisco. The younger Ketchel defends his title against veteran Mike Twin, who is for the first time moving up from welterweight to middleweight class (though for some reason Wiki calls him the defending middleweight champ). The move turns out to not be wise, as Ketchel will knock him out barely a minute into the first round.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

 

News of Yore: Luther D. Bradley


Photo from Cartoons by Bradley


Entry in The Book of Chicagoans (1911)


BRADLEY, Luther Daniels, cartoonist; born New Haven, Conn., Sept. 29, 1853; son Francis and Sarah Beaman (Ruggles) Bradley; ed. Evanston pub. school, 1865–6; Northwestern Preparatory Acad., 1867–70; Northwestern Univ., 1870–3; Yale Coll., 1873–5; married Evanston, Ill., Oct. 31, 1901, Agnes Floyd Smith; children: Francis, John Freeman, Elizabeth, Margaret. Upon leaving Yale, 1875, entered business in employ of Baird & Bradley, real estate, Chicago; went to Australia, 1882; cartoonist for Australian Tid Bits, 1884; later cartoonist and editor Melbourne Life; cartoonist Melbourne Punch, 1888–93; returned to Chicago, 1893; cartoonist Chicago Journal, 1894, Inter Ocean, 1894–8, Chicago Daily News and head of art dept. since 1899. Independent Republican. Episcopalian. Residence: 822 Michigan Av., Wilmette, Ill. Office: The Daily News.
1914 (British wartime security)


The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania), 1/11/1917

Luther D. Bradley
Chicago, Jan. 10—Luther D. Bradley, for many years cartoonist of the Chicago Daily News, died of heart disease at his home last night [January 9]. Mr. Bradley's political and war cartoons have attracted international attention. Some of his original drawings hang on the office walls of foreign Cabinet Ministers.

Bradley was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1853. After a course in Northwestern University, and graduation from Yale in 1875, he entered his father's real estate office in Chicago. In 1882, however, his ambitions underwent a change. After traveling extensively he became interested in newspaper work in Australia. He drew cartoons for Australia Tid-Bits, Melbourne Life and Melbourne Punch. Bradley was fond of athletics and was of athletic build. While at Yale he was a member of the rowing team. He is survived by a widow and four children.


(In the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Bradley was the oldest of two children born to Francis and Sarah. They lived in Chicago, Illinois. Ten years later he was the oldest of seven children. They lived in Evanston, Illinois. In 1880 the family remained in Evanston; Bradley's occupation, like his father, was money loaner. In 1900, Bradley's mother, a widow, was the head of the household. They lived in Evanston at 1624 Hinman Avenue. Bradley's occupation was artist. The 1910 census recorded Bradley, his wife, three children, sister and two servants in Wilmette, Illinois at 822 Michigan Avenue. He was a newspaper cartoonist. Four months after Bradley's death, Cartoons by Bradley was published. The book, an appreciation with a biographical sketch, includes seven photos and a wide selection of his cartoons from Australia and Chicago newspapers. You can download the book here. A Bradley profile is here.)

Bradley was eulogized in Cartoons Magazine in their March 1917 issue:


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I have a drawing of his from the Titanic, called Unsinkable. I would like to know if anyone is intrested or has more information regarding this particular drawing.
dsaarloos@pmz.com
 
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Stripper's Guide, and thanks to Cole Johnson for this 1903 Mr. Jack turkey day strip!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

 

Obscurity of the Day: Captain Vincible





Ralph Smith had a pretty darn brilliant idea when he came up with Captain Vincible, his daily and Sunday strip. He knew that the put-upon nebbish everyman character is a favorite of newspaper readers -- from George Bungle to Ziggy, people seems to enjoy a character who always seems to be the butt of the joke, draw the short straw, and act as a poster-child for Murphy's Law. The challenge is to set your character apart, to make readers remember him.

Smith found an innovative solution by dressing up his everyman in superhero garb, of all things. The conceit was never really explained in the strip -- Captain Vincible just seems to fit naturally in his otherwise pretty normal world despite wearing long johns, a cape and goggles over his tubby little frame. He never demonstrates any superheroic powers, and he doesn't fight for the downtrodden or anything -- he just is. That costume, however, gave the strip a memorable visual. Combine that with concise dialogue and polished minimalist art and you have what ought to be a winner. King Features certainly thought so, and they were rewarded with a pretty decent list of subscribing papers when the strip debuted on April 25 1983.

Although the strip is a little too amiable and easygoing for my own tastes, the Ziggy-loving masses should have loved this stuff (try visualizing Ziggy replacing the Captain in most any strip -- it's an almost perfect fit). Maybe it was all just a little too high-concept, maybe readers were confused by the tights, I dunno. Anyway, the strip never really set the world on fire, and Smith, who was also employed at the Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune as editorial cartoonist, put the strip out to pasture sometime in July 1989 (exact date unknown).

One possible explanation for the strip ending is that Smith's good friend Dik Browne had just died. Smith is known to have assisted him in some capacity on Hagar the Horrible, and he may have needed to take a more active role on that strip upon Dik's death.

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The final Captain Vincible Sunday was 30 July 1989 and the final daily was 5 August.
 
Thank you Mark!!

--Allan
 
Aapparently Ralph Smiths daughter Ashley was also the stepdaughter of Chris Browne (the son of Dik Browne). She is also the wife of Dan Piraro (of "Bizarro" fame).

And indeed, in 1990 Ralph Smith was inkin Hagar (see http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-12-02/features/9002280625_1_editorial-cartoons-dik-browne-hagar/2)
 
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

 

Ink-Slinger Profiles: Larry Antonette


Lawrence Jospeh "Larry" Antonette was born in Washington on August 31, 1909, according to the Social Security Death Index and the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. The census recorded him as the only child of Joseph and Florence. They lived in Tacoma, Washington at 4051 South Tacoma Avenue. His father emigrated from Italy and was a grocery salesman. They family remained at the same address in 1920.

In the 1930 census, the family of three lived at 1912 South M in Tacoma. Antonette's father was a salesman for a mining company. According to Lambiek, "…He graduated Washington State University in 1931 and attended the Grand Central School of Art [in New York City]". The date of his move to New York City is not known. In 1935 Antonette produced three strips. The first was Bozo and the Baron for the Van Tine Features Syndicate. The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, etc., 1935 New Series, Volume 32, Number 9 had this entry:
Antonette (L.) Bozo and the baron. v. 1. © July 16, 1935; AA 184135; Van Tine features syndicate, inc., New York. 27211

Marysville Tribune (Ohio), 11/17/1936

His second strip Biff Baxter's Adventures, syndicated by Lincoln Newspaper Features, followed in December 1935. The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, etc., 1935 New Series, Volume 32, Number 12 recorded the registration:
Antonette (Lawrence) Biff Baxter's adventures, by Bob Dart [pseud.] © Dec. 6, 1935; A 69964; Lincoln newspaper features, inc., New York. 37491

Key West Over-Sea Sunday Star (Florida), 4/12/1936

Less than two weeks later, Dash Dixon was the third strip, also syndicated by Lincoln, to be copyrighted. The following entry is from the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, etc., 1936 New Series, Volume 33, Number 1:
Antonette (Lawrence) Dash Dixon, by Dean Carr [pseud.] © Dec. 19, 1935 : A 70681 ; Lincoln newspaper features, inc., New York. 204
Key West Over-Sea Sunday Star (Florida), 4/12/1936

Since Antonette's name was on Van Tine's Bozo and the Baron, two pseudonyms were used for his strips from Lincoln Features, which was operated by H.T. Elmo. It's not known who came up with the pseudonyms "Bob Dart" and "Dean Carr"; my guess would be Elmo since he was the owner. Another artist, Jack Kirby, drew Facts You Never Knew for Elmo's syndicate and signed the strip as "Bob Dart".

A few years later, Antonette found work in the comic book industry. An overview of his comics career can be viewed at Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Some of his comic book work is identified at the Grand Comics Database.

He collaborated with fellow artist Carl Pfeufer; their work was recorded in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 4, Works of Art, etc. 1945 New Series, Volume 40, Number 10.
Antonette, Lawrence J. & Pfeufer, Carl T. 11466, 11467
Pfeufer, Cart T. :
Alfy and Bugs. — Alfy and Bugs. They hit the water. © 1 c. each Oct. 8, 1945 ; G 46256, 46257.
This feature, assuming it was a newspaper comic of some sort, has not yet been found running in any newspaper.

Eventually, Antonette returned to Tacoma, Washington where he was the director of the Northwest School of Art at 3605 South 52nd Street. The school offered classes in commercial and fine art, and was advertised in American Artist magazine.

Antonette passed away on February 23, 1997 in Tacoma, according to the Social Security Death Index. His wife Eileen predeceased him by 22 months. The date of their marriage is not known. Their Social Security numbers were issued in New York state, so it's possible they met and married in New York City. They are buried at Calvary Cemetery in Tacoma.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

 

Obscurity of the Day: Newsy Movie Notes

A popular sub-category of the 'weird facts' newspaper comics genre focuses on the world of movies and movie stars. One of the earlier examples of it is Newsy Movie Notes, a local feature of the Chicago Daily News. It ran in their Midweek feature section on Wednesdays, where it proffered news items from Hollywood accompanied by cartoons and photos. The writer/cartoonist was a fellow named MacArthur, of whom I know nothing.

The weekly feature began sometime in 1928 and ended on November 6 1929. I missed the 1928 start date in my microfilm indexing because it was a rush job at the Library of Congress, leaving me with yet another item on my seemingly endless to-do list.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

 

Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics

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