Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Fine Post

Wednesday Advertising Day.

The Philip Morris Ads I showed last week were all from the period between 1950 and 1952. This week I got a couple more tearsheets from the earlier ads in this series. This prompted me to go back to NewspaperArchive to try and find when this series started and if it had the same approach and artist (probably Lou Fine, as we established last week) the whole time. Fortunately the ads were numbered, so it was possible to count back and find that the series probably started in late 1947. The numbers weren't added until after a couple of installments. From the start, the ads (like most comic strips ads) seem to have been two-weekly.

The first one I could find was from November 16, 1947. But counting back from the first numbered one, this should only have been #3. I recently found a more recent one, though and added it.

Nov 16 1947:

Nov 30 1947:

Dec 7 1947:

Dec 18 1947:

1948, an early unnumbered one:

The first numbered one:

Feb 1 1948 #9:

Feb 15 1948 #10:

Feb 29 1948 (leap year) #11:



May 9 1948 #16:

May 23 1948 #17:



Making a jump to 1949, I get a few problems with the numbers. Both the two-weekly count and the seemless fit to the next number make this one fit perfectly.

Feb 20 1949 #36:

March 20 1949 #38:

I had this one dated wrong, but the number would make it fit somewhere around here.

May 1948 #42:

The number is unreadable, but this should be #44.

June 12 1949:

In ths case, I am showing the color scan and the black and whte one from NewspaperArchive, so you can see how these things were cut in different ways.

June 26 1949 #45:

July 10 1949 #46:

July 24 1949 #48:

Aug 7 1949 #49:

The number is unreadable, but the number should be #52...

Sept 21 1949:

.. which gives me a problem, because that would make this #54...

Oct 16 1949:

.. and this one from a week later actually is #54.

Oct 30 1949 #54:

This one is dateless as well, but could be from November 13, 1949.

Nov 13 1949 #55:

Another unreadable number doesn't help.

Nov 27 1949:

And although this seems to read as #67, it could be #57.

Dec 4 1949 #57:

Making this one fit again as #58. And the Christmas message fits as well.

Dec 13 1949 #58:

What the heck. Here's one from a year later. It's #79, which would make mean the October 16, 1949 one probably should have been #53, which would leave with one one missing ad there to create a perfect two weekly flow.

October 15 1950 #79:

Follow the link for the 1950/52 ones. What I haven't done yet, is check to see if there are any 1953 ads. I don't think I have seen any. That would mean that, with losing this account, the Sam Spade/Charlie Wild account and the Postum account, Lou Fine went from producing about two of these things every week to doing none...

Finally, here is another unnumbered undated scan from 1949. Can you see where it shoud go? Hint: it doesn't feature the slanted Philip Morris logo...


Smurfswacker said...

This is a great run of ads. Interesting to see Fine's "mature" style developing. Damned if Frank Engli didn't to a guest shot lettering "Watch your driving, George." The regular letterer must have been ill.

It is very odd to see a hotel bellboy popping up aboard a fishing boat or down by the railroad tracks. "Johnny" started out as a radio gimmick...a bellboy announcing a phone call for Philip Morris (or rather, "Mow-reese" as they always pronounced it). Who would have known the kid would become a star? If I were rescued from drowning and awoke to see a kid in a bellboy suit, I'd be sure I was hallucinating.

After seeing both versions of that one episode, I noticed that the first row of panels in most of these strips have extra "air" at the top. The advertisers must have known in advance that some papers would have to chop the art down. An alternative to drop panels, I guess.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I don't really understand the need to chop such a little piece, but it may have to do with the fact that some of these ran with the Bond Streets ads (like the later ones by Frank Robbins I showed), which is quite small. So maybe the cropped version is the regular size and the longer one has a little bit extra.