Archive for July 18, 2013

Giving you the Willies!

Today we give you two strips, Joseph A. Lemon’s Willie Cute from 1904/05, and Clare Victor Dwiggins’s Willie Fibb from 1911.

Willie Cute has the distinction of being one of the biggest jerks ever to grace the funny pages–and in a world of Katzenjammers and their progeny, that’s saying something! He’s clearly modeled after Buster Brown, with his effete clothes and hair, but his pranks are mean and manipulative. With the Katzies, there’s an anarchist bent, where the kids just like to cause havoc for its own sake. Not so with Willie: he’s a cold, calculating sociopath. I don’t know which type I’d rather deal with in real life! To make matters more uncomfortable, as the strip settles into its routine, the main target of Willie’s jerkface japery is the terribly stereotyped “Mammy” housekeeper, Dinah. Keep it classy, Lemon.

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wc040207

Willie Fibb is a much more interesting and amusing strip, taking its cues from Winsor McCay’s dreamy works, blending fantasy and reality together into a delightful melange of whimsy. Fibb is another lad who displays clear personality disorder, but his is of a much gentler bent: when caught misbehaving, he spins marvelously impossible stories explaining away his situation. It really is a cute diversion; another finely crafted strip from ‘Dwig’.

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wf110813

What’s the Matter With Mars?

Well? What is it?!

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mars040417

It’s a Great Day For the Beach!

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bathing080811

More of the Wonderful Work of Nell Brinkley!

Today we add twenty more gorgeous illustrations from the inimitable (yet frequently imitated!) Nell Brinkley! Start with the example below and move through to August of 1912!

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nell120218

A page right out of history: Our Antediluvian Ancestors

Prehistoric families going through modern problems, walking side-by-side with dinosaurs which occasionally take the place of modern machinery–sounds awful familiar, doesn’t it? But about sixty years before Fred and Barney began their lucrative impersonations of Jackie and Art, F. Opper launched Our Antediluvian Ancestors, the first caveman comic strip! And a fine, funny strip it was, as could only be expected from Mr. Opper, already a giant in the field of comic art when he started the strip in 1901.

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aa141114

Little Johnnie Popgun’s Three Direful Days: Day Three

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ljp050705

The brutal aftermath.

Little Johnnie Popgun’s Three Direful Days: Day Two

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ljp050704

 

Little Johnnie Popgun’s Three Direful Days: Day One

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ljp050703

Here’s a short timely feature highlighting the dangers of fireworks in the hands of little boys. If anyone out there can help with the artist behind this one, please leave a comment. I’m guessing maybe Henry Coultaus, but I could be wrong.

Everett Truesday: Who Could Smite Him?

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nobody120801

Holiday Travel With McCay

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mccay050705