The Turr'ble Tales of Kaptain Kiddo is a textbook-cute feature from 1910. As the title implies, it’s about a kid and his adventures through a fantastic, whimsical world constructed of his fevered imagination. He meets all manner of strange and mainly benign creatures as he makes his way through a world of anthropomorphized everything. Sometimes he’s been sleeping, sometimes he seems to have been hallucinating or prevaricating.
It doesn't take a particularly keen eye to recognize the inimitable—yet often imitated—style of Grace Drayton, most known today for her "Campbell's Soup Kids." This is one of her earliest works, signed under her maiden name of Wiederseim. Drayton would later rise to fame with strips like Dolly Dimples and The Pussycat Princess.
The sweetness and "cute" level of Drayton's kids is almost unbearably cloying, but there's something compelling about them. They're freakishly aggressive in their pleasant banality: wide-eyed Stepford Cherubs grinning from the side of your tomato soup can; they register somewhere between Precious Moments and Margaret Keane.
Scripted by Grace's sister, the cartoonist Margaret G. Hays, Kaptain Kidd is terrifically fun to read, possessed of surreal characters, plots, and settings. Kiddo and faithful dog Puppo have adventures in a world made of peanut men, birthday cakes, web-spinning frogs, and even a printer's devil. One particularly entertaining aspect to this feature is the übercute vernacular of the dialog, frequently reminiscent of LOLcat captions when read from a modern perspective.
Enjoy this darling comic. Share it with your fav'rite kiddo today.
By Margaret G. Hays, Grace G. Weirdershiem