Monday, December 08, 2014

The More The Mager

Saturday Leftover Day.

Gus Mager drew monkeys. In 1904, the first of his 'monk' strips appeared, Knocko the Monk. After that he introduced Freshy, Rhymo, Mufty and Groucho. So popular was his way of naming his crazy characters that the newly forme vaudeville team of the Marx Brothers were named in the same way.In 1910, Sherlocko the Monk makes his first appearance. The detective chimp was a parody of the popular Sherlock of course. In 1913 he was reshaped as a human and renamed Hawkshaw, presumably after Arthur Conan Doyle had theatened to sue over the misuse of 'his' name. Hawkshaw ran until 1922, when the strip was scrapped. Gus Mager went on to assist Rodolph Dirks on Captain and the Kids, where Hawkshaw appeared once again as a companion ("topper") strip in 1931. In this version the strip is supposed to have run until 1952, but I haven't seen any samples after the 1946 ones here. This later version of the strip is the first one I came across and I loved it immediately. Since then I have also got a couple of the earlier ones, but I have kept off scanning them until now; because of the size of the paper they need four runs under my A3 scanner.

1 comment:

rnigma said...

Yes, it's true that the Marx Brothers were inspired to choose their nicknames by Mager's strip.

Mager took the name "Hawkshaw" from the detective character in Tom Taylor's play "The Ticket-of-Leave Man." (Taylor also wrote "Our American Cousin," the play Abraham Lincoln saw the night he was assassinated.)