Remember as a kid when the comics page felt like a place all your own? Wouldn’t it have been so much more fun to have a preachy panel there to remind you to do things like wash your hands or brush your teeth? In verse no less? Thankfully children in the 1920’s had Kid-ology!
Albert Bloch’s Professor Wayupski ran just three weeks starting May 25, 1902 and we have ‘em all for you! He has to be one of the first comics characters to fly an airship, and maybe the first to fly to the moon? This panel is from a Sunday page dated June 1, 1902 which puts it a few months ahead of the release of Méliès’s Le Voyage dans la Lune. How can this be?? Historians weigh in here please.
I can’t put my finger on what, exactly, makes me love this strip like I do. It’s well drawn but not a masterpiece by any stretch, and the jokes are pretty hokey. But I swear, they just get funnier to me, the more I read ’em. I hope I’m not the only one!
How, indeed? Even though this strip isn’t going to win any prizes for stellar cartooning, I have a soft spot for the cartoon convention where the same punchline is used in every strip. It’s funny more than it isn’t, and it brought home the bacon for John Arnot for a few years, anyway. Check out the full archive for a charming, if low-rent, feature.
Whew! Over the past week, I’ve completely overhauled the Everett True archive in the Comic Supplement. It was a gargantuan task, bordering on insanity, but it seemed the least we could do for a fellow who’s been so good to us for so long.
I went through every paper I could find the strips in, from its debut in 1905 up to the month-long hiatus in 1909, and pulled every comic in the best condition I could find. This meant downloading and comparing thousands of images to select the five hundred that made it to the archive. This task was compounded in difficulty by the haphazard publishing of early comic strips. There were no firm publication dates or sequences; editors would receive packages of strips to publish according to their own whims. This meant that no cranny could remain unsearched, as some small paper from Muskogee might have a strip that was never published in any of the other scanned papers. Search them I did, and I’m pretty proud of the results. There are some that are in poorer condition than I’d like, but they were the best I could find, and there aren’t too many that are in really terrible condition.
We’re posting a dozen favorites from each year on our Twitter feed, so if you’re not over there, be sure to follow us and join in on the fun.
I’ll also note that, after a week in the weeds, my eyes are a little crossed. I think I’ve done a good job at avoiding duplicates, but if you come across any strays, please comment here to let me know!