Saturday, November 02, 2013
Labels: Herriman's LA Examiner Cartoons
Friday, November 01, 2013
Sci-Friday starring Adam Chase
Adam Chase strip #45, originally published April 9 1967. For background on the strip and creator, refer to this post.
Labels: Adam Chase Sci-Friday
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Augustus L. Jansson
Augustus Ludwig Jansson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on April 17, 1866, according to the Boston birth records at Ancestry.com. His parents, Janne and Annie, were Swedish emigrants who lived at 125 Myrtle Street. His father was an upholsterer.
Jansson has not been found in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. The 1880 census recorded Jansson, the oldest of three children, in Somerville, Massachusetts at 49 Wallace Street. The 1884 Somerville city directory listed him as a student but it’s not clear whether he was in high school or college. The Somerville directories from 1887 to 1895 said he was a traveling salesman. From 1897 to 1900 Jansson’s occupation was salesman. And his name was listed in the Boston directories for the years 1889, at 20 Central, and 1895, at 238 State. What he was selling is not known.
Jansson possessed some musical talent. He was mentioned in the Boston Daily Globe, January 23, 1891, as one of the singers in the Boston Young Men’s Christian Union’s evening vesper service. The 1892 Report of the BYMCU mentioned several of the Sunday evening services’ musical programs that included Jansson as basso. The Catalogue of Title-Entries of Books and Other Articles, October 15 to October 20, 1894, Number 172 has this entry in the category Musical Compositions: “The Endicott Chimes. Five acts…..Aug L. Jansson.” Angels Bright and Angels Fair was a musical score by Andrew J. Boex and a poem by Jansson; it was published by the John Church Company in 1897. Boex was a native of Cincinnati, a city that would figure in some of Jansson’s printed work.
Other musical works by Jansson includes The Brigand (1899); The Coast Guard Song (1904); Palms of Peace (1904); The Witches (1904) was used in the Broadway production of The Isle of Spice (1904; click link then button for “Songs”); and Come to My Heart which was listed in American Song: The Complete Musical Theatre Companion (1985).
The Boston Journal, April 27, 1896 published a death notice for Jansson’s father who died of pneumonia.
In the 1900 census, Jansson’s mother, Anna, was the head of the household in Somerville at 102 Broadway. Her occupation was capitalist. The entry for Jansson’s trade looks like “commercial trav.[el] maps”. Also living there was his younger sister, Alice. In 1899, Jansson had given away the elder sister, Christine, at her wedding, as reported in the Boston Herald, September 15.
Jansson continued as a salesman according to the 1901 city directory. The following year’s directory had his new occupation: illustrator.
Jansson’s career as an illustrator appears to have started as early as May 5, 1901 in the Herald. The Fun Section has a page with four panels titled Appreciation by Contrast and signed “Janna.” The signature is similar to his later Sunday pieces. “Janna” appears to be a combination of the initial J and his mother’s name, Anna. Two weeks later, the first of three consecutive In Plaiddie Land was published. Both works have similarities: the use of profile; styles of hat from the simple to the outlandish; a plain horizon line and sketchy buildings with trails of smoke; and a variety of patterns in the clothing.
Dolly Varden’s daughter. (F 19242 Mar. 16, 1904.) 26503Where are you going, my pretty maid? (F 19243, Mar. 16, 1904.) 26504Ruben and Rachel. (F 20678, June 1, 1904; 2 c. June 1, 1904.) 45619Country gentleman. (F 21111, June 25, 1904; 2 c. June 25, 1904.) 51549Drum-major’s daughter. (F 21561, July 20, 1904; 2 c. July 20, 1904.) 57407Tea party. (F 22118, Aug. 18, 1904; 2 c. Aug. 18, 1904.) 65962Queen of Sheba. (F 22343, Sept. 1, 1904; 2 c. Sept. 1, 1904.) 70379Witches (the); words by A.L. Jansson; Music by Paul Schindler. (C 77219, Sept. 3, 1904; 2 c Sept. 3, 1904.) 70248
Jansson returned to the Herald with the following full-page color comics: New England Mother Goose on April 17. Odd Folks on May 8 and 15, and July 3; The Old Veteran’s Story on May 29; The Boston Tea Party on June 5 (To see The Boston Tea Party in color, go to the Sunday Press website, move the cursor over Sample Pages, click Society Is Nix, then click arrow in the right margin); The Battle of Bunker Hill on June 12. The Herald described Jansson’s work as “Goo-Goo Eye Cartoons of unique mathematical compositions.”
December saw the release of Jansson’s book, Hobby Hoss Fair. The New York Times, October 22, 1904, published a preview of the book: “‘Hobby Hoss Fair,’ Mr. A.L. Jansson’s first book, now nearly ready, is a collection of drawings in the style familiar to those who know his posters. They are printed in color and explained in droll acrostics of three or four lines, brief enough for very young readers.” The Cambridge Chronicle, December 10, 1904, reviewed the book:
In the “Hobby Hoss Fair,” by A.L. Jansson, H.M. Caldwell Co., Boston, have just published what promises to be at least one of the most unique juvenile books offered this year. The author’s drawings are well known to the public through his poster work, which, for originality and design, is unequalled. This is Mr. Jansson’s first book, and he has spared neither time nor pains to make it the most successful, novel and attractive juvenile ever published. Each verse forms on acrostic of words of not over three or four letters, and are as clever in themselves as the drawings. The work is entirely printed in colors, and has a double cover design also in color.
And the book was featured in an advertisement printed in The Bookseller, December 1904 (below).
In 1906 Jansson submitted the following items to the copyright office:
Debutante. (F 40448, Mar. 15, 1906; 2 c. Mar. 15, 1906.) 32467Alpine maid. (F 41015, Apr. 6, 1906.) 36867Dandy Dan. (F 41014, Apr. 6, 1906.) 36868Little corporal. (F 41013, Apr. 6, 1906.) 36869Witch. (F 41012, Apr. 6, 1906.) 36870
PhotographsJansson Ali Baba. (H 78513, May 31, 1906.) 54382— Clown. (H 78514, May 31, 1906.) 54383— Dragon. (H 78512, May 31, 1906.) 54384— Golfmaid. (H 78511, May 31, 1906.) 54385— Jovella. (H 78510, May 31, 1906.) 54386
In 1906 Jansson created the Colonial Characters for the wholesale clothier, Smith, Sherman & Co., of Boston. The first character appeared November 6. There were at least 24 Colonial Characters advertisements published in the bi-monthly trade magazine, Men’s Wear. Most of them can be viewed here.
Some of the characters were copyrighted by Jansson in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 4: Engravings, Cuts, etc., New Series, Volume 2, Numbers 10–13, March 1907:
Jansson (A.L.), West Somerville, Mass.Ye chimney-sweepe. (F 50345, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6259Ye constable. (F 50351, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6260Ye dressmaker. (F 50339, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6261Ye ferrymaid. (F 50341, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6262Ye goose-maid. (F 50352, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6263Ye miller. (F 50338, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6264Ye pedagogue. (F 50344, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6265Ye pyrate. (F 50342, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6266Ye quack. (F 50348, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6267Ye selectman. (F 50349, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6268Ye shepherdess. (F 50343, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6269Ye slave. (F 50351, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6270Ye spynnstere. (F 50346, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6271Ye stocks. (F 50350, Feb. 2, 1907.) 6272Ye witch finder. (F 50340, Feb. 2, 1907.) 62732 c. each Feb. 2, 1907.
The Colonial Characters book was a “set of 10 postal cards in caricature” published around 1907.
Jansson (A.L.), West Somerville, Mass.Basket ball girl. (F 52016, Mar. 22, 1907.) [8235Bellman (The). (F 52018, Mar. 22, 1907.)Drummer (The). (F 52017, Mar. 22, 1907.)Mr. Isacs. (F 52013, Mar. 22, 1907.)Pauline. (F 52021, Mar. 22, 1907.)Percy. (F 52019, Mar. 22, 1907.)Polly. (F 52020, Mar. 22, 1907.)Sandwich Sam. (F 52015, Mar. 22, 1907.)Watchman (The). (F 52014, Mar. 22, 1907.)
Another group was listed in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 4: Engravings, Cuts, etc., New Series, Volume 2, Numbers 23–26, June 1907:
Jansson (A.L.), West Somerville, Mass.Abigail. (F 53472, May 3, 1907.) [9295Beau B. (F 54207, May 3, 1907.)Bulah. (F 53473, May 3, 1907.)Carmen. (F 53474, May 3, 1907.)Cornellia C. (F 54210, May 15, 1907.)Doctor B. (F 54204, May 15, 1907.)Dora. (F 53475, May 3, 1907.)Dorothy G. (F 54206, May 15, 1907.)Eloise. (F 53476, May 3, 1907.)Evangeline E. (F 54211, May 15, 1907.)Fanny. (F 53477, May 3, 1907.)Officer Z. (F 54208, May 15, 1907.)Percy P. (F 54203, May 15, 1907.)Serg. T. (F 54209, May 15, 1907.)Tessie T. (F 54205, May 15, 1907.)Victoria V. (F 54202, May 15, 1907.)
Jansson (Augustus L.), West Somerville, Mass. [12 prints] [15630–15641Jaclubs.—Jadia.—Jaharts.—Jaspa.—Kidia.—Kiharts.—Kispa.—Klubs.—Qclubs.—Qudia.—Quhahts.—Quspa. (F 76411–76422, May 11, 1909; 2 c. of each June 3, 1909.)
The 1910 census recorded Jansson in Somerville at 102 Wallace Street. His occupation was advertising illustrator. Samples of his work from this time forward have not been found.
Jansson, still single, remained at the same address in the 1920 census, which was enumerated January 12. He had returned to his earlier occupation as a traveling salesman. The 1920 city directory included Jansson’s wife’s name, Christina, in parentheses, and his occupation as fore[man]. It’s not clear whether he was an employee or self-employed. Five years later in the 1925 directory, he was in sales and Christina’s name was not included.
Agassiz council held its annual memoral [sic] exercises and roll call in Tibbetta hall, Wednesday evening. Regent A.G. Ranberg presided. Addresses were made by past Grand Regent Henry Goodwin, who also delivered the eulogy. Past Regent John M. Brennan, Past Commander Jansson of the Arcanum Angels, and Arthur H. Harding, regent of Cambridge council. Several solos were rendered by Joe Noel, accompanied on the piano by Paul Lawrence. Beautiful rose buds were distributed to many of the ladies present. Refreshments were served….
In the Globe his name appeared numerous times including February 19, 1911: “The regular meeting of Haven 3, Arcanum Angels, will take place in the form of a banquet at the home of Augustus L. Jansson, 102 Wallace st, West Somerville.”; September 29, 1912: “Augustus L. Jansson, SDGR, will visit Spring Brook Council of Walpole, Tuesday evening and John Erikson Council of Lowell Thursday evening. On both occasions a large number of Arcanum Angels will act as members of Deputy Jansson’s suite.”; and February 21, 1926 may have been the last time his name appeared in print: “Menotomy Council of Arlington will have its officers installed Friday evening by A.L. Jansson, SDGR, of Somerville. Grand officers will attend.”
Jansson has not been found in the 1930 census. He may have passed away before the census enumeration, however, an obituary has not been found. According to the Herald and Globe, November 23, 1943, his sister, Christine, passed away and he was not mentioned as a survivor.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Mystery Strips: Gort
For a mystery strip, I know a fair amount about Michael Kelly's Gort. I know that it was marketed (almost) exclusively to college newspapers. I know that the strip debuted in 1958 in the school newspaper of Millsaps College in Mississippi. I know that the strip was syndicated to college papers as late as 1975, an extraordinarily long run for a college strip. I also know that it is a very entertaining and incisive strip based on the handful of examples I've seen, which were just augmented with an additional stack from Mark Johnson (thanks Mark!). Mark also discovered them running in papers much later than I would have imagined (he contributed the 1975 date).
Being a college newspaper strip, though, I don't really have any dire need for more info -- college papers are out of my scope of research. The problem is that in my files I have a single page (the bottom image) torn out of the San Francisco Chronicle's Bonanza magazine. As you can see from the article, they were planning on running the strip there. That makes it my business, since the San Fransisco Chronicle sure as shootin' qualifies as a mainstream newspaper.
This single undated page is the only proof I have that it ran in the Chronicle, though. And the page isn't even dated (though by the other content I have narrowed it down to probably being from late 1962 to early 1963). So I don't know how long it might have run in that paper, or if Gort ever made it to any other newspapers outside the college realm.
There's also the question of the creator. Outside of Gort itself and the few lines in the Chronicle, I have no information on Michael Kelly. It seems awfully strange that a good cartoonist whose strip ran for the better part of two decades left no other of traces of himself. But I come up dry. Even Alex Jay, who will move heaven and earth looking for a lost cartoonist, can find only that Mr. Kelly's short bio in the Chronicle was wrong -- Kelly attended Millsaps College in Mississippi, not Mills College (which is in San Francisco). Beyond that he cannot ferret out Mr. Kelly's whereabouts or other accomplishments.
Labels: Mystery Strips
"Michael Kelly, ’55-’59, has joined the Mississippi Educational Television staff in Jackson as senior producer. His previous television experience includes work as art director for WLBT-TV, Jackson, and sales service director for KTBS-TV, Shreveport, Louisiana."
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Ink-Slinger Profiles: Mildred Burleigh
20. Mildred Burley—Huntington, Ind.
Drawing and Manual Training.
Burleigh accepted a teaching position in Carson City, Oregon. The Grand Rapids Press (Michigan), April 8, 1908, noted the staff change at her school:
…Miss Mildred Burley, teacher of drawing…will probably remain. The school year has been a very successful one. The senior class has seven members, one boy and six girls.The 1910 census recorded Burleigh in two states. She was included her father’s household in Huntington where he was a widower. Burleigh was a boarder in Vaughn, Wisconsin. In both states, her surname was Burley and occupation was public school teacher.
At some point, Burleigh moved again and taught in Oregon City, Oregon. Later, the Oregonian, September 6, 1914, said Burleigh, teacher of art, had resigned from the Oregon City High School. The newspaper also published her surname as Burleigh. The Fourth Estate, September 9, 1922, said she had taught in Wenatchee, Washington, but no date was mentioned.
In the 1920 census, Burleigh and her younger brother, Ralph, a chemist, boarded in Chicago, Illinois at 5518 Ohio Street, and their surname was recorded as Burleigh. According to the census, she was a bookkeeper at a state bank.
Burleigh was also a cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune, which syndicated her comic, Pigtails, in 1921. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Pigtails ended August 19, 1923, and a week later, Burleigh’s Kitty and Her Family debuted. Kitty ended February 10, 1924.
Burleigh and her younger sister, Jean, were residents in Queens, New York, at the northwest corner Skillman and 47th Street, as recorded in the 1930 census. Burleigh was a freelance artist and Jean was a reporter.
The 1940 census said Burleigh was a freelance advertising cartoonist. She and Jean shared an apartment in Manhattan, New York City, at 315 West 57th Street. Both sisters were college educated; Burleigh had five years and Jean just two.
At Ancestry.com are two New York City directories for the years 1948 and 1949 and both list Burleigh at 107 Waverly Place. Her sister, Jean, remained at the 57th Street address. Two more directories for 1953 and 1957 list a “Mildred T. Burleigh” at 57 West 10th Street. The middle initial T could have been an error since it sounds a little like E. Again, Jean’s address was unchanged.
What happened to Burleigh after 1957 is not known. Jean passed away in 1974, and Ralph in 1975; both were buried in Indiana.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Monday, October 28, 2013
Obscurity of the Day: Pigtails
When the Chicago Tribune lost Clare Briggs, it must have been pretty traumatic -- he was such a presence in that paper. So it's not surprising that in subsequent years they tried in various ways to replace his spirit. Who would have guessed that one of those replacements would be a woman -- Mildred Burleigh.
Briggs was a very masculine sort of cartoonist -- he set many of his cartoons in pool halls, golf courses and around poker tables. His men often had a stogie clamped in their jaws, they could talk tough, and they bemoaned the indignities of having to put up with their better halves. As children his characters were wild boys, running barefoot down to the swimming hole, and, when corralled into a schoolroom, dipped the little girls' pigtails into inkwells. Not that Briggs couldn't draw cartoons from a woman's perspective -- he did so and he did so very well. But men were his specialty.
Mildred Burleigh drew in an amalgam style of two Tribune greats -- Briggs and John T. McCutcheon. Her subjects were straight from one of their favorite idea wells, too -- nostalgic for childhood. The difference was that her cartoons about kids focus primarily on the perspective of little girls. A quick glance at a Pigtails cartoon would give no inkling that neither of those old masters was at the helm. Not until you read the word balloons would you be let down just a slight bit. While Burleigh had the art chops, her writing was a bit unfocused compared to those masters.
It sure didn't help that the Sunday version of the cartoon, which ran from February 25 to August 19 1923, consisted of two panels that sometimes seemed, and sometimes didn't have, anything to do with each other. The middle example above, for instance, seems to be a two panel strip, while the other two have separate subjects for each panel. Rather confusing to the reader.
The original version of Pigtails, which ran in the Chicago Tribune on Sundays in a daily format, ran at least from June 12 1921 to October 15 1922. The second version, the color Sunday, ran in the Tribune's sister paper, the New York Daily News, from February 25 to August 19 1923. It has yet to be determined whether the Daily News version is merely reprints of the Tribune cartoons, or new material.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics
Labels: Jim Ivey's Sunday Comics