Blame this one on our pal Steven Stwalley, as it was his recent blogging that alerted me to the joys of The Handy Man from Timbuctoo and His Fascinating Tiger! I love that there are still strips hiding out there that leave me with nothing to say but "what the..." when I first see them. The artist signs the strip as C-A-W with a small black crow in the corner of the final panel of each outing. This seemed a little familiar to me and as I discovered more Handy Man strips, the style started to become more apparent - the old man in this one looks an awful lot like a popular character of days long gone by. But it was this strip that cinched it for me, the artist could be none other than Charles Edward Schultze who signed his Foxy Grandpa strips as "Bunny," complete with a small rabbit illustration. I'm not sure what exactly the deal is with this unknown Handy Man, he swims across the ocean from the jungles of Niger intent on entertaining children and sticking up for the little guy. His appearance seems to be modeled after Fedor Jefticheiev aka Jo-Jo, the dog faced boy, who passed away the same year these saw print. And let us not forget his traveling companion, a large tiger, who is well trained and just happens to look good in women's clothing. I think I have close to a full run of this short lived masterpiece. Steven recently posted three full color Sunday pages, you'll want to check those out. He has the episodes from September 4th, September 11th, and October 2nd.
By Charles Edward Schultze