Saturday, November 29, 2014


Herriman Saturday

Friday, September 4 1908 -- The big Papke-Ketchel title bout is coming up Monday, but before then there's the regular Friday night bouts at Jeffries' Arena. Frank Carsey going up against Phil Brock is the main event, a pair of lightweights who just faced off back in July. The result's the same in both cases -- Brock will win.


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Friday, November 28, 2014


Sci-Friday starring Connie

Connie, June 13 1937, courtesy of Cole Johnson. 
Follow the Connie story every Friday here on Stripper's Guide.


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Thursday, November 27, 2014


A Cornucopia of Cartoonist Self-Portraits

Alex Jay unearthed this great page from the Literary Digest issue of April 12 1919:

Let me see how many full names I can provide for you -- this is made tougher because my files are all in storage and unavailable at the moment, so I'll depend on memory and the web. Starting at upper left and going across and down:

Carey Orr (Chicago Tribune)
Clifford Berryman (Washington Star)
Jay N. "Ding" Darling (New York Tribune)
W.A. Rogers (New York Herald)
??? Morris (George Matthew Adams Service) -- not sure I've ever known this guy's first name
E.A. Bushnell (Central Press Association)
Maurice Ketten (New York Evening World)
E.W. Kemble (freelance)
Jean Knott (Dallas News)
Burt Thomas (Detroit News)
Rube Goldberg (New York Evening Mail)
Clare Briggs (New York Tribune)
Gaar Williams (Indianapolis News)
Guy Spencer (Omaha World-Herald)
Billy Ireland (Columbus Dispatch)
John T. McCutcheon (Chicago Tribune)
Oscar Cesare (New York Sun at this time?)
Otto Hartman (St. Louis Times)
R.O. Evans (Baltimore American)
H.T. Webster (New York Globe)
Eugene "Zim" Zimmerman (freelance)
C.H. Sykes (Philadelphia Public Ledger)
Lute Pease (Newark Evening News)
Ryan Walker (New York Call)
Daniel Fitzpatrick (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
??? McDowell (St. Louis Republic)
Doane Powell (Omaha Bee)
McKee Barclay (Baltimore Sun)
Jimmy Murphy (Chicago Herald-Examiner)
Harry Tuthill (St. Louis Star)
G.A. Bronstrup (San Francisco Chronicle)
Paul Plaschke (Louisville Times)
Kenneth Chamberlain (Cleveland Press)
A.B. Chapin (St. Louis Republic)
Tige Reynolds (Tacoma Ledger)
Nelson Harding (Brooklyn Eagle)
Edwin Marcus (New York Times)
Ted Brown (Chicago Daily News)
Milton Halladay (Providence Journal)
Harry Westerman (Ohio State Journal)
J. Campbell Cory (Denver News-Times)
Claude Shafer (Cincinnati Post)
Stuart (?) Morris (Seattle Post-Intelliencer)
William F. Hanny (St. Joseph News-Press)
Bob Satterfield (NEA)
Paul Fung (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
R.M. Brinkerhoff (New York Evening World)
Kemp Starrett (Philadelphia Public Ledger)
Ben F. Hammond (Wichita Eagle)
Fred O. Seibel (Albany Knickerbocker News)
J.H. Donahey (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Tom (?) Thurlby (Seattle Times)

Hi Allan!

Great post! One quick correction: the Bronstrup pictured here is actually Gustavo Adolph (G.A.) Bronstrup, who drew for the San Fransisco Call in the turn of the century and later was on the SF Chronicle staff for decades.
I believe it is William Charles Morris (1874-1940), was with the Spokane Review around 1903-13.
This is a really well done collage of the cartoons! I'd like to get one to keep in a mobile self storage pod for a bit and take it out to remember all the different characters!
I have an original picture/cartoon of Teddy Roosevelt by Gustavo A. Bronstrup. It belonged to my grandfather. Is there any information available about the artist or his work?
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Obscurity of the Day: Quality Time

Gail Machlis has a cartooning style that would look right at home in The New Yorker. Which isn't surprising, since that magazine was the goal of her cartooning ambition. However, when her cartoons returned from The New Yorker with rejection slips, she began sending them off to other markets. Machlis is a San Franciscan, so it was fitting that an editor at the San Francisco Chronicle took a shine to them.

In January 1989 Machlis' cartoons began appearing regularly in the Chronicle's Sunday Punch section. Two years later Machlis was offered a regular weekly spot, and she chose the name Quality Time for the feature. After another year and a half, the Chronicle asked if she'd like to enter full syndication. In October 1992 the now daily and Sunday Quality Time debuted, offering papers across the country sophisticated New Yorker-style humor.

The panel did not take off in sales by any means. Was the problem Chronicle Features' lack of marketing effort? Was it that feature editors didn't think their readership would take to the decidedly sophisticated low-key humor? I don't know, but Quality Time didn't sell to many papers, though it did have some high profile major, and well-paying, clients, to soften the blow.

In 1997 Machlis moved the feature from Chronicle Features to Universal Press Syndicate, in what would seem to be a good move. However, Universal didn't seem to be able to lend any new marketing clout, and the series was put out to pasture on August 1 1998.


I like it. Of course, I like New Yorker cartoons - was brought up on them, looking at 25 Years of the New Yorker book at a friend of my parents when we visited.
Very nice work.
Too bad.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: John M. Grippo

John M. “Jan” Grippo was born in Beacon, New York, on December 15, 1906, according to Who’s Who in California, Volume 13. Grippo has not yet been found in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census.

According to the 1920 census, Grippo was the fifth of eight children born to Rocco, a foundry employee, and Veta, both Italian emigrants. His oldest siblings, James, and Louise, were also Italian natives. The Grippos resided in Beacon at 95 Newburgh Avenue.

In 1923 Grippo was awarded a scholarship to the New York School of Design, which he left in 1924. He attended Eastman’s College from 1925 to 1926.

The 1925 New York State Census recorded the Grippos in Beacon at 75 South Avenue. Grippo, his father and three older brothers all worked at a hat shop.

The 1979 International Television Almanac said Grippo was, from 1926 to 1928, a cartoonist with New York Herald-Tribune Syndicate, plus a commercial artist, caricaturist for Shubert shows, and cartoonist for national magazines.

The 1930 census said Grippo was unemployed. Later that year, Grippo and writer Evan J. David produced, for the New York Herald-Tribune Syndicate, the comic strip, Wanda Byrd, which ran from June 30, 1930 to June 13, 1931. 



Grippo quickly produced samples for more comic strips which were copyrighted in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 4, Works of Art, Etc. 1931 New Series, Volume 26, Number 4.
Grippo (John M.) [and] Greene (Preston) jr., Beacon, N. Y.
(Grippo ( John M.) Drawings:
Linda Dare, 1 — Who’s who. [Five characters : Linda Dare, Eddie Duer, Gunn brothers, Tattered Tobias] © 1 c. Sept. 21, 1931; G 7132.
—6—Tobias Patch. [Comic strip. four views. Men changing tire in first, two men in second, two men and girl in third, letter in fourth] © 1 c. Sept. 21, 1931; G 7129
—7—Lawyer’s letter. [Comic strip, four views. Lettering in first and third, girl and two men in second and fourth] © 1 c. Sept. 21, 1931; G 7128
—8—Mr. Dare decides. [Comic strip, four views showing people in room talking] © 1 c. Sept. 21, 1931; G 7133.
—10—Anchors aweigh. [Comic strip, four views showing two men hiding in life-boat on ship] © 1 c. Sept. 21, 1931; G 7131.
—12—Life of Reilly. [Comic strip, four views showing sailor and officer on ship] © 1 c. Sept. 21, 1931 ; G 7130.
Who’s Who said he was co-manager of former Light Heavyweight Champ Melio Bettina, from 1937 to 1938. Grippos’s brother, Jimmie, continued managing Bettina.

The Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1988, said Grippo moved to Hollywood in 1937. Grippo also changed his first name to Jan. Who’s Who said he was an agent from 1939 to 1951, as well as a magic technical advisor for various Hollywood studios. The 1979 International Television Almanac said Grippo was married to Flo Browne, who died in 1951.

Grippo has not been found in the 1940 census. During World War II, Who’s Who said Grippo, a volunteer for the Hollywood Victory Commission, entertained the Armed Forces and performed at the Hollywood Canteen. In 1945, Grippo formed Jan Grippo Productions which created and produced the Bowery Boys motion picture series starring Leo Gorcey.

According to Who’s Who, Grippo was a subject in the comics work of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Feg Murray’s Seein’ Stars and Ernest Hix’s Strange As It Seems. Beginning in 1946 Grippo was a member of the Society American Magicians. In 1963 he was a charter member of the Academy of Magical Arts. 

Grippo married Paula Rice on December 12, 1966.

Grippo passed away March 12, 1988, in Los Angeles, as recorded in the California, Death Index at His death was reported in the Los Angeles Times. Grippo was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.


There's another Grippo strip at featuring the characters Judy and Scoopy in peril in a hot air balloon.
This was posted as part of a Ron Harris blog at talking about those fake newspapers that are produced for TV and movies. In the followups, Alfredo Castelli says this is “Captain Smith by K. Lentz” , but that is almost certainly wrong.
A second poster, K. A. Thacker [who I've been unable to track down] says its Judy Gallant [that makes sense] and that his father Josef Montiague wrote some of the copy and he owns some original Grippo signed artwork from it.
I've seen no sign of Judy Gallant nor that other fascinating strip Castelli mentions, Captain Smith – Space Adventurer, anywhere. = Art Lortie
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Monday, November 24, 2014


The (almost?) Complete Wanda Byrd, by Art Lortie

[Comics researcher and sci-fi fanatic Art Lortie offers a guest post today, about obscure aviation strip Wanda Byrd. But he doesn't just write about it -- he offers you a download of the entire run of the strip, which he laboriously gathered from online archives! He has gathered other interesting strips this way as well, so maybe if you give him some encouragement, he might contribute more of his material -- hint, hint. Thanks Art! -- Allan Holtz]

And it might even be complete! Its hard to tell! :)
Wanda Byrd was one of the first aviation strips, trailing only [I think] Tailspin Tommy (taxied down the runway 5/21/1928),  Skyroads (took off 5/20/1929) and Scorchy Smith (full of hot air on 3/17/1930). This can all be blamed on Charles Lindbergh, of course, who begat a whole slew of other flying fools like Smilin' Jack (10/1/1933), Terry and the Pirates (10/22/1934), Ace Drummond (2/3/1935), Barney Baxter (9/30/1935), Hop Harrigan (first in All American Comics #1, 4/1939) and Flyin' Jenny (10/1939); plus possibly a whole bunch more I've overlooked. But she was almost certainly the first female flyer! 
Some consider Connie (3/11/1929) an early aviation strip, and though I haven't read it in a while, I recall all she did was get all gussied up and go aloft on a date or something, never taking the throttle?
Wanda Byrd promos and strips start on June 30, 1930 from the Rome (New York) Daily Sentinel that I grabbed from the gawd-awful Fulton Postcards archive site.

The good thing about these early strips at Fulton, though difficult to find with that !@#$% search engine of theirs, are of great quality -- and freakin' HUGE! I actually shrunk them slightly to get down to a 4000-pixel width! Plus the Rome papers carried the individual strip chapter titles that I love so much!
Sadly the Rome well went dry on January 24, 1931 and I had to switch to a paltry 1200-pixel width (and no titles!) from the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Telegraph at I also had to use the Harrisburg paper as a fill-in around New Year's, 1931, when the Rome paper either didn't publish or it wasn't scanned by Fulton-folk.
Other papers I know that carried the strip are the New York Tribune [of course], the Minneapolis Journal and the Los Angeles Times -- none of which I have access to.
There's also some question as to when the strip ended. Harrisburg removed Wanda from their main strip page on May 23, 1931, but -- to their credit -- ran 2 additional strips buried amidst the whiskey and cigar ads on the 25th and 26th just so her faithful readers -- both of them! -- knew our heroes survived yet another fine mess they found themselves in!
But Jeffrey Lindenblatt in American Newspaper Comics says Wanda and her male companion, Chesty Cabot [nowadays that would be HER name!] fought the good fight in the Trib until June 13, 1931, a Saturday, which -- if the 15-day / 13 strip shift in its reported start date is real -- then I might actually have all the strips except 3-4!
All my Byrd strips are at

Its not a great strip by any means, full of racial stereotypes, a plot ripped off from AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, and bad art -- but its historically important. Out of curiosity, I decided to find out something about the creators. And that turned out to be more interesting than Wanda and Chesty.
Writer Evan J David turned out to be the real deal. He was a former editor of Flying magazine who had a regular column there keeping the readers abreast of World War I aerial developments. In 1923, when his wife was unexpectedly dying, the combined resources of the civilian and military air forces [such as it was at the time] struggled to get him home in time. He had a later tragedy in the 1930's when he was the driver in a Massachusetts hit and run that killed 2 people, and seems to have gotten off by marrying the only other surviving witness, who then couldn't testify against him.
But he also wrote aviation fiction for many magazines and non-fiction on flight and Arctic exploration for the Saturday Evening Post which saw numerous reprints in Australia, who, according to articles I pulled at the Trove website, was considered the go-to guy for info on the fledging air industry.
The artist, John M Grippo, was a more difficult search -- but only because it was really Jack-of-all trades Jan Grippo hiding under a pseudonym. Yes -- THAT Jan  Grippo :)
Jan / John was born December 15, 1906 in Beacon, NY, and parlayed his training at the New York School of Design into an early career as a cartoonist for the New York Herald-Tribune Syndicate. He also worked on a strip called either Judy Gallant or Captain Smith - Space Adventurer that I've been unable to find under any rock. If it is indeed called Space Adventurer, you can rest assured I'll be bribing librarians from coast to coast to find it!
In 1937 he took Horace Greeley's advice and went west, to Hollywood, where between gigs as a stage musician [he taught Veronica Lake to do the card tricks in This Gun for Hire], he worked as an agent, with Billy Conn, the world light-heavyweight champion, and Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall of the Dead End Kids as his main meal tickets.
The Dead End Kids were hard-core street punks in the films Dead End and Angels With Dirty Faces, but Grippo decided they'd have more commercial success as comedic good-hearted kids who get into trouble. So he formed Jan Grippo Productions, sanitized and renamed the group the Bowery Boys and produced 24 successful films. He died March 12, 1988 at the age of 81.
Art Lortie, who is now working on the SF Barney Baxter, Tailspin Tommy, the African American space adventurer Neil Knight, the totally bizarre Peter Pat and a couple of my "SF in All the Wrong Places" entries, before returning (finally) to Brick Bradford.

A couple of corrections!
The revised Wanda file [Rev 1] is at;
Jon Ingersoll tells me the LA Times did not carry Wanda; and
Fortunato Latella sez CONNIE learned to fly in the first week of her daily strip (start date: March 11, 1929).
Oops. Murphy is alive and well and has rented space in my laptop. -- Art Lortie
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Sunday, November 23, 2014


Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics


I have a Teddy Roosevelt cartoon from Gustavo A. Bronstrup that belonged to my grandfather. Is there any information available?
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