Thursday, May 22, 2014

8-Pages of Sunday Comics – May 22, 1919

Here's an ad that's a little bit older than what I usually post. It's from the May 22, 1919 Lorain Times-Herald – 95 years ago today. It's a promotion for the Cleveland Sunday News-Leader and its 8-page comic section. Apparently the Cleveland newspaper was hoping to pick up some Lorain subscribers, since the Times-Herald did not have a Sunday edition.

It's fun seeing what comics were popular back then as shown in the ad. They included Bringing Up Father (with Maggie and Jiggs), Krazy Kat, Little JimmyAnd Her Name Was Maud!, and Shenanigan Kids.

Shenanigan Kids? But aren't those characters in the ad actually The Katzenjammer Kids?

For those of you who aren't into vintage comic strips, here's an explanation. The Katzenjammer Kids was a comic strip about two mischievous little German boys – Hans and Fritz. The strip was started by Rudolph Dirks for the William Randolph Hearst newspaper chain. When Dirks left the organization, he was allowed to start a new strip called The Captain and the Kids with the same identical characters.

Meanwhile, The Katzenjammer Kids was continued by an artist named Harold Knerr. Shortly after World War I, anti-German sentiment was still a factor and the strip was briefly renamed Shenanigan Kids.

The two comic strips with the same identical characters competed for years. The Captain and the Kids finally ended its run in 1979. Amazingly, The Katzenjammer Kids is still going, making it the oldest comic strip in syndication.

In case you're wondering about some of the other strips in the ad, Bringing Up Father (which used to appear in the Sunday Journal years ago) completed its run in May 2000. Interestingly, in Bringing Up Father, the owner of Jiggs' favorite tavern was named Dinty Moore. The name was later used for a line of Dinty Moore canned goods still marketed today by Hormel. (I know, I buy the beef stew regularly for use as a backup meal.)

Krazy Kat (drawn by George Herriman) ran from 1913 to 1944. Of course, local Baby Boomers remember the Krazy Kat animated cartoons produced in the 1960s by King Features that ran regularly on Cleveland television. (The TV package also included Beetle Bailey and Snuffy Smith cartoons.)


Anonymous said...

EIGHT pages of comics!!!? Those were the good ol' days when newspapers competed with each other for readers and used "extras" like the comics to attract them (back when cities had more than one newspaper, that is)...

--Woodrow The Woodsman

Anonymous said...

The only thing I remember about watching "Krazy Kat" in the 60s was that beginning, the brick being thrown, and this is the first time I have seen it in color.

Dan Brady said...

The Krazy Kat cartoons were pretty offbeat. They were made under the supervision of Gene Deitch, the Prague-based animation film director who also made those strange Tom & Jerry cartoons (with the weird music and sound effects) and some unusual made-for-TV Popeye cartoons. On the other hand, he also made the well-remembered and popular Tom Terrific cartoons that they showed on Captain Kangaroo, as well as some memorable Terrytoons.

-Alan D Hopewell said...

Dan-Do you remember the one panel outer space comic done by Otto Binder? It appeared on the Journal's daily comics page.

Dan Brady said...

Hi Alan,
I seem to remember one that ran every day that had a lot about UFOs--was it about Project Blue Book?

Rick Kurish said...

Remember the comic strip "Our Boarding House", featuring Major Hoople? It was a strip that started the the 1920s I believe, and ran until about 1980. I remember reading the strip in the Sunday comics. I think everyone knew someone like Major Hoople.

Dan Brady said...

I used to like that one too, probably because of the "Boarding House" theme--I do remember wondering what the Major's favorite expression ---"Fap!"--meant!

-Alan D Hopewell said...

"Our Boarding House" ran daily in the Chronicle.

The Binder panel was about space in general; Frank Edwards' "Stranger Than Science" covered UFO's, ghosts, and other oddities.