Our run of Denslow’s Billy Bounce pages hit a snag after the March 16th episode – a full three weeks of Sundays are missing from my source! Luckily, I was able to find the remaining March pages in another paper, but they are in rather poor shape. Still no luck with April 6th; if anyone has a scan they would like to send, we would be more than happy to add it to the archive. Of note this time around is the April 27th outing, which introduces the two lion cubs; I had no idea Billy had abducted them from their mother after they had all tried to eat him! These new additions take us through May, which features the start of the Billy Bounce Zoo & Circus and includes the two Denslow pages we posted years ago. I have better versions of these (May 11th and 25th) and will be replacing them soon.
Archive for December 19, 2012
Near the end of its run, J.R. Bray’s Stuttering Sammy employed a desperate (dare I say clever?) change of direction: Sammy learned to overcome his stammering by singing everything he wanted to say. The name of the strip changed, but it was for naught…Singing Sammy lasted only a few weeks before disappearing forever from the funny pages.
Hey, cowboy fans, I’ve rounded up another one…and he’s a real ornery outlaw! Allow me to introduce you to Victor “Vic” Forsythe’s Bad Bill. This was another short lived title; it ran on just a few dates in November, 1911, presumably a slight diversion from Vic’s long running Flooey and Axel. It’s a bit surprising this one didn’t last as it is a very nice looking strip with a solid sheriff vs. desperado hook upon which plenty o’ gags could be hung.
I have more Denslow pages to share! We’re picking right up where we left off in January 1902, moving forward to the St. Patrick’s Day episode. Last time we, of course, saw the introduction of Billy, but there were a couple other mainstays introduced in the early episodes as well: Fuzzy White gets a page dedicated to his first meeting with Billy, while Prunes the Pieman quietly enters a scene and keeps to the background. His time in the spotlight certainly increases as we move on! This time around the “Cigar Indian” (treated with all the sensitivity you’d expect from this time period) makes the scene in an episode that also features Billy’s first turn as a circus clown.
Big news Billy Bounce fans: I am revamping the archive! And I’m starting with the Denslow material; the image above is the very first appearance of Billy Bounce from November 10, 1901. In fact, I’m putting up Billy’s first ten outings and plan to add more in the near future (as well as replace some images, fix some dates…but I’m getting ahead of myself). For now, maybe we can designate a day of the week for these. What do you say, folks?
In my never ending quest to bring more cowboys to the site, I lassoed a big name: Lariat Pete! Who? Okay, the real draw here is George Herriman who spent a few months in 1903 bringing the adventures of Pete and his nephew to the funny pages. I always enjoy seeing early work from such a highly regarded artist; this one fits chronologically between Two Jolly Jackies and Major Ozone’s Fresh Air Crusade. Apparently there is Lariat Pete who predates this one by D. McCarthy, but I have yet to get my hands on one of those pages (I’m guessing it’s merely coincidence, but I suppose there is a chance it could be the same character). At any rate, enjoy this little known western strip from the great George Herriman!