Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Toot-toot Tootsie

Wednesday Advertising Day.

What is the one thing Marvel and DC had in common in the forties? Yes, it's the Captain Tootsie ads by Cptain Marvel artist C.C. Beck for the sweet Tootsie rolls. I don't know if these ads also appreared in Captain Marvel comics, but if they would, they would have caused a lot of disturbance, because the hero in this strip looks a lot like the Big Red Cheese loved by so many at Fawcett. Top Fawcett fan Peter Hamerlinck was working on an article about this long running ad strip (I have samples here ranging form 1945 to 1955), maybe even with a list of all known Captain T.'s adventures. The article was supposed to appear in an upcoiming iddue of Alter Ego, but we are stil waiting for it. A couple of years ago I came across a two months run of daily Tootsie ads from 1948, which 5 sent to Peter. But the article has still to appear and this blog is eating material at an astonishing rate, so I thought I'd give it a go here. My samples don't tell the whole story, but they do give an idea of the range of this ad strip. The first lot is a couple of early comic book appearances. In my experience these could very wll be adaptations of a three tier Sunday Comic Section version. Then we have my 1948 daily samples. Once a week, on a wednesday, these appeared in a paper I happen to have a bound version of. There also was a comic book version, which I have never seen, but I have read somewhere that there was very little mention of Tootsie Rolls in it. After that I have a couple of 1950/51 Sunday strips. They could be new, thye could be reworkings of older strips. Someone with a completercollection than me should be able to tell you that.

It is said that the strip was started by C.C. Beck and taken over by Pete Constanza, but the very last one I am showing here, a daily strip from 1955, taken from micro-fiche is signed Beck. My guess is it would have been a shared studio job for the both of them.

Comic book ad June 1945:

Comic book ad Oct 1945:

Comic book ad Aug 1948:

Comic book ad Sept 1948:

Daily Ad July 1 1948:

Daily Ad July 8 1948:

Daily Ad July 16 1948:

Daily Ad July 22 1948:

Daily Ad July 29 1948:

Daily Ad Aug 5 1948:

Daily Ad Aug 12 1948:

Daily Ad Aug 19 1948:

Daily Ad Aug 26 1948:

Sunday Ad April 3 1950:

Sunday Ad May 14 1950:

Sunday Ad June 18 1950:

Sunday Ad Nov 5 1950:

Sunday Ad Jan 14 1951:

Sunday Ad Oct 28 1951:

Daily Ad May 12 1955:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mr. Walker's Tenants

Tuesday Newspaper Strip Day.

Mort Walker started using assistants quite early on. He used them mostly for coming up with new gags. He also let them have their own strip as soon as possible. When Bob Gustavson (who drew most of the comic book stories for Beetle Bailey) took over the long running strip Tillie the Toiler, it took on a distinctive Walker factory look. Ralston Jones (who had worked at Johnstone and Cushing, like Dik Browne) started Mr Abernathy. And Frank Roberge did Mrs. Fitz Flats, a cute little stripabout an elderly couple running an appartment full of funny characters. I don't know if these strips were produced in house with Mort Walker or if these cartoonists struck out on their own. At least,later onMort Walker had learned that his asistants had abetter chance at succes if he signed the new strips as well. His next lot of assistant produced strips were signed (and probably set up) by Walker, or by a pseudonym known to be Walker's (like Boner's Ark, which was signed with Walker's first name Addison, but drawn by Frank Johnstone). The only strip to buck this trend was Sam and Silo, a self-referential strip about newspaper strips, whose cult succes didn't stop it from being cancelled before there could have been a Sunday version. This srip was co-signed by Walker and Jerry Dumas. It wasn't until Dumas reseurrected the characters as two bumbling small town cops in Sam and Silo and signed it on his own, it became a succes. Sam's Strip is duw to be published in it's entirety by Fantagraphics and it is a must have for any comic strip lover. All in all, there does not seem to have been a set way of doing things. It is very possible that Mrs. Fitz Flats was in fact a real Mort Walker strip, that just happened to have been signed by Frank Roberge. In some interviews Walker talks about it that way, anyway. Here are some samples from early on in the run. I am not quite sure about the dates. It could be 1958 or even 1961.

These I scanned in myself. Below are the earliest samples of the strip I could find, from microfiche.

A great concept for a strip, huh? There's always a chance to introduce new characters. By the time the strip wasintroduced in this new paper in 1960, the line-up of tenants was slightly different. But the new tenants are a sexy girl and a fighting couplr. The strip doesn't seem to be getting any hipper.

One year later the strip is revamped and relaunched as a strip for senior citizens. It limps on for aq couple more years and then dies somewhere in the sixties. Maybe Frank Roberge was cut loose from the apron strings so he could manage it on his own with less overhead?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Cartoon Day.

Gluyas Williams is a very important and unique cartoonist from the thirties and forties. Imagine my suprise when I found he had a daily cartoon panel for a while in 1946, at least. I am trying to find more about it.

Continuing the Dennis the Menace theme, here is the earliest Dennis Sunday I could find, from May 1952. Maybe Steve can tell us if it is by Ketcham or by Wiseman.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Leftover Day

A belated Christmas treat. Which may or may not have been done by Ketcham himself, or at least was very early on in the Sunday run of the strip, when he might have really been responsible, as it says in this strip.

Friday, December 26, 2008

FridayComic Book Day.

No comics today, but the continuation of yesterdays Dec 1940 run of The Adventures of Patsy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Who's The Patsy Now

Thursday Newspaper Story Day

My research shows that the change from Mel Graff to Charles Raab on Patsy happened somewhere in June 1940.I have thoise strips, but I havne't prepared them yet for uploading, so here is a two weeks of Charles Raab's run from Dec 1940. Tomorrow, I ill be showing the nex two weeks.