Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Look Ma, No Hands!

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

Before he was used in the Chase and Sanborne ads after the war and in comics in the late forties and fifties, Edgar Bergen\s Charlie McCarthy (with Bergens other popular creation Mortimer Snerd) starred in a newspaper series callen Charlie and Mortimer. I have several of these and this might just be the tip of the iceberg(en). In his description of the series on The Strippers Guide he says the first artist was called Ben Batsford. He did the daily and Sunday strips until July 10 1939 (daily) and July 16 (Sunday). After that the art chores were taken over by Carl Buettner (with a possible writing assist by later Western editor Chase Craig.

Ben Batsford was a Canadian artist who apparently worked on the King features staff. He may have done some kid strips for Sangor later on. In 1929 he was the second artist on the Little Orphan Annie imitaion Little Annie Rooney, before being replaced by Darrell McClure a year later. There is a wonderful account of his daughter on the Mortimer and Charlie strip at Alan Holtz' entry for this strip.

Carl Buettner had more of a career in comics and newspaper strips. He mainly worked on syndicated characters, such as 'Joe Carioca', 'Bucky Bug', 'The Seven Dwarfs', 'Dumbo' and 'Bambi', as well as ' Gene Autry', 'Roy Rogers', 'Tarzan', Woody Woodpecker' and 'Bozo the Clown' in later years.

My samples are all from Buettners run. Holtz also mentions that the strip kept losing papers after a flying start and ended somewhere in May 1940.


Rich Clabaugh said...

Thanks for these Ger! Love that dummy! I still find it funny that Charlie was portrayed as a monocled kid!

Alberto said...


Ben Batsford Drew the strip until October-November, 1939. The last Sundays he did were October 8, 22 and 29. Carl Buettner drew the October 15 Sunday, then took it over as of November 5. Chase Craig was the writer, but he also did some art on the dailies.