Well, blow me down! Who knew that, decades before Segar’s transcendently wonderful Popeye made his first appearance, there was another sailor who navigated the funny papers with a similar penchant for broken English and fisticuffs? Binnacle Jim set sail in early 1904, and though today’s catch only runs until the middle of 1905, the strip kept chugging for a couple more years. I love the “captioned illustration” school of comics as much as I do the traditional word balloon type, and Binnacle Jim employs both methods to wonderful effect, with Jim’s take on affairs running across the bottom while the action unfolds above, with terrific color commentary provided by a monkey and parrot duo. I won’t dare make the claim that Binnacle Jim approaches Thimble Theater’s greatness in any fashion (save for the, um, fashion), but it’s a fun strip all the same.
Archive for January 24, 2013
Great Hyenas! What am I up against? That would be The Giggledy Girls, my good sir! We have all run into a pair like these two…no matter the situation, no matter how inappropriate, they just can’t help but laugh and laugh and laugh. Lowry caps off each episode with a bit of characterization that I think really rings true – the punchline “aren’t we the sillies?” These two think they are just so fun and adorable, no matter the hard feelings created by their laughing fits.
It’s the first Billy Bounce post of the new year and it’s a sad one – today we reach the end of the Denslow era. We’re picking up right where we left off with the circus and zoo at the beginning of June, 1902. Things fall apart a bit; my source papers poop out after two weeks for the rest of the month…luckily I was able to find the one above in another paper, but we’re still missing 6/15 and 6/22. The gang then leaves the circus in July and by the time they hit the seashore for a few weeks of laughs, Denslow is signing his last strip. My sources have the 7/20 Sunday comics section, but Billy is conspicuously absent. I’m guessing he just didn’t run that day; if you know otherwise and can supply that date (or the two in June), please get in touch!
Look for the Kahles run to begin soon. And don’t fret, we may be seeing more Denslow material too (just not here in the Billy Bounce archive).
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