Showing posts with label Secret History of Comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Secret History of Comics. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Spirit on the radio in DC (UPDATED)

As we've noted in the past, Pete Mullaney is going through the microfilm of the Washington Star, finding items of interest in the comics.

Pete's latest find is that the Star was planning on running the Spirit comic book insert, and advertised it with an ad for Mr. Mystic on May 27, 1940.

They followed that up on June 1, 1940 by announcing the Spirit radio show, which was apparently very rare.

Local writer Karl Schadow researched the show in 2012, after Ken Quattro asked for information about it. Thanks to Bruce Rosenberger for the links to these articles.

UPDATE: Pete found another announcement for Lady Luck from June 8th's front page.

Friday, September 06, 2019

More spot illos from CHAD-

As in the previous post about CHAD-, which helped identify him as Chad Grothkopf, these are from a newspaper held in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's archives, here in Falls Church. The run is being digitized and put online in the Medical Heritage Library.

These are from the US Naval Hospital Memphis' newspaper The Hospital Clipper from 1972-1973.

More PSAs from The Hospital Clipper - Doonesbury and Wee Pals (and Love Is and Moon Mullins)

As in the previous post, these are from a newspaper held in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's archives, in Falls Church. The run is being digitized and put online in the Medical Heritage Library.

I'm not actually sure if the Doonesbury panel is actually a PSA, or if an enterprising editor just pulled it out from a strip. Any thoughts?

These are from the US Naval Hospital Memphis' newspaper The Hospital Clipper from 1972-1973.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Anyone know anything about the artist CHAD from military newspapers? (UPDATED)

As in the previous post, this is from a newspaper held in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's archives, here in Falls Church. The run is being digitized and put online in the Medical Heritage Library.

Possibly he worked for the American Forces Press Service because the newspaper used other material from them (update: I have found a piece of artwork clearly marked AFPS). These are from the US Naval Hospital Memphis' newspaper The Hospital Clipper, December 1971.

To me, he looks like he could have worked in comic strips or books. A later example, not scanned yet, is very reminiscent of Will Eisner.

Does anyone know who this is, or anything about him?


In the comments, Unknown says "That small mark after the CHAD sig reminds me of Chad Grothkopf, though I would have no idea what his later "human" art looked like."

Thank you! I believe you are correct. If you look at his Lambiek page at you can see the signature mark clearly. In 1971, he would have been 57, but neither Lambiek nor Jerry Bails' Who's Who lists work for him at this time, so he could have been doing spot illos through his own company.

You can barely see his signature in this example, but the inks made me look twice to find it.
CHAD - Will - Hospital Clipper 5-11 1971-11

Here's two other pieces I found, both clearly showing the syndicate initials.

CHAD - lightning - Hospital Clipper 5-04 1971-04

CHAD - sleep to dream - Hospital Clipper 5-05 1971-05

2 ads and a panel from a US Naval Hospital Memphis newspaper

This is from a newspaper held in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's archives, here in Falls Church. The run is being digitized and put online in the Medical Heritage Library.

Milt Caniff, Smokey Stover by Bill Holman, and... Johnny Jones by Criner? Anyone know anything about the last? It appears to be self-syndicated BTW, they come from The Hospital Clipper 5:11, November 1971. It'll be online at moderately soon.

Update: Criner was distributed though the AFPS, and earlier examples of the strip are marked with those initials, rather than his own syndicate.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Disney flea market finds from this weekend

There's a monthly flea market in Arlington run by the Civitan charity. I picked up these two pieces of Disneyana this past weekend. The dealer had more of them, and will be back on the next first Saturday of the month. One of the placemat strips will be given to the Library of Congress' Prints & Photos division as well.

Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse bootlegs advertise something in Spanish

I imagine this is a Sunday Mickey comic strip on what's probably a placemat.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Local comic shops in 1979

Dan Gearino has posted a list created by Murray Bishoff  of comic shops in 1979. The list is definitely not complete because it doesn't have the shop I was going to in the Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ at the time, but it does show a lot of shops around Washington, although none in the city itself.

Here are some clips showing the local shops, only one of which still exists, I think. The Maryland list shows  Barbarian Book Shop, now Barbarian Comics, which is still roughly at the same location.  UPDATE: It's beyond our coverage area, but Randy commented that Zeno's Books is still in business too, and on their Facebook page, they say "40 years of serving Tidewater Virginia’s oldest Comic Book Store."

Friday, November 24, 2017

Back to the Future with Winsor McCay

by Mike Rhode

Warren Bernard is known to many as the Executive Director of the Small Press Expo, but he's also an indefatigable collector of specialties in the comic art field. He and I refer to these as the "Secret History of Comics." Lately, he's been providing a lot of ads drawn by New Yorker cartoonists to Michael Maslin's Ink Spill. When I visited him recently, he pulled out a whole box of Winsor McCay's editorial cartoons clipped from the Chicago Herald and Examiner. I looked through barely any of the box (there's always something more to see at his house), but what struck me was how sadly relevant are these cartoons dating from 1929-1930 by McCay (who was also creator of Little Nemo, and Gertie the Dinosaur, and a founding father of animation). Almost 90 years later, we're still dealing with many of the same issues and Warren provided scans for me to share with you.

There's a narcotics problem hollowing out the social and civil life of our country....

and an international drug problem...

...although it's apparent to everyone that the  War on Drugs dating back to Ronald Reagan and the 1980s has been a stunningly expensive failure.

Distrust and ill will lead to tariffs that block trade and business...

...while a President's speech disrupts international organizations.

Schools are failing their students, leading to high levels of ignorance... 


... which is infecting the mood of the country...

... leading to an endemic lack of trust in government among certain Americans ...

 ...while also filling prisons, which now are being run for profit, and thus prime for overcrowding. 

Public works projects, including highways, are desired by 'common citizens and tax payers' ...

... but the large companies in the country are using their power to manipulate Congress and the media on their own behalf...

...while farmers suffer from high seed prices, low commodity prices and high debt while big agribusinesses like Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland Company get even bigger. 

Meanwhile, there's ongoing probes of the Executive Branch and Congress for sexual, ethical, lobbying and foreign interference issues...

that's going to take a lot of effort to resolve and preserve democracy.

 Meanwhile, 16 years of ongoing wars have led to tens of thousands of veterans, many with medical issues, having problems integrating back into society.

Sadly, I'm afraid that Warren and I could have added many more cartoons if I had time to look through more than a tenth of the box.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Rube Goldberg says, "Beat It!"

As part of our 'Secret History of Comics,' here's a Mutt and Jeff Series Sweet Caporal cigarettes card that I picked up last weekend at a flea market. Although the back of the card says over 250 designs of "Original Pictures Illustrating Popular Phrases by 'Bud' Fisher, T.E. Powers, R.L. Goldberg, 'Tad', Gus Mager, etc., etc., Warman's Tobacco Collectibles: An Identification and Price Guide by Mark Moran, says that there's 100 cards. 

I don't see myself getting into collecting these, but I'd like to hear about other examples that people have.

Oddly enough, Goldberg's crazy designs for machines are making a comeback and you can buy toys with his name on in Target right now.




Thursday, March 02, 2017

The Nation covers itself with a Doonesbury strip on the President...

...and they would like you to know about it. It goes on sale March 14th.

Trump's War On The Media-And How Journalism Can Prevail:
Doonesbury and Columbia Journalism Review join special Nation issue on covering a hostile White House and regaining public trust and audiences.
This release is also published here.
New York, NY -- March 2, 2017 -- 
Donald Trump loves to attack the news media, but he wouldn't be president today without them, argues acclaimed press critic and guest editor Mark Hertsgaard in this special issue of The Nation. Gracing the cover of "Media in the Trump Era" (March 20, 2017) is a lacerating cartoon by legendary Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau. The issue's articles -- some published in conjunction with The Columbia Journalism Review -- stress solutions, not lamentations. Plus, something not normally associated with The Nation: laughs! The issue's overriding purpose, however, is deadly serious: How should the news media cover the combative new president, and how can American journalism regain public trust and audiences?
Continued at

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Claude E. Toles exhibit at the Cosmos Club

Lieberman's favorite work by Toles (not exhibited)

by Mike Rhode

Randy Liebermann purchased a collection of Elmira, New York cartoonist Claude E. Toles a few years ago. A selection of the material is now on display at the Cosmos Club, which is only open to members and their guests. He kindly showed the exhibit to me last weekend and has agreed to let us feature it here.

Toles is barely known today. He worked for about 10 years from 1891-1901, before dying at age 26 of Bright's disease (ie kidney failure). In that time, he was stunningly prolific, doing over 6000 drawings, or 600 / year, or about 2 / day. Very few of these seem to have survived. The best source for information on Toles is John Adcock's article, A Remarkable Collection: C. E. Toles (1875-1901), and this link will take you to all of Adcock's articles on Toles, and more pictures. Alex Jay also did a fine job digging around on Tole's life, and Allan Holtz has another example on the same site. Liebermann had all of the pieces in this exhibit conserved, and they look very good indeed. The Library of Congress has a piece, described here.

The Cosmos Club's Art Committee chose Deja vu All Over Again: The Art of Claude E. Toles as the exhibit title because they felt that many of the political situations seen in Toles' 115-year-old cartoons were recurring now. Here's their exhibit text and Toles' editorial cartoons for the Elmira Telegram.


The first image a visitor sees is this one of a man who's too poor to have his shoes shined.

President Grover Cleveland and Congress were at odds over 
his Supreme Court nominees as the next four cartoons show. 

"David's Hornblower a Blasting Hoister for Grover's" depicts a modified Edison talking machine.

The President was at odds with Congress over his Supreme Court nominees.

 Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were looking very good to voters.

Despair - Liebermann noted that there was a depression from 1893-1897 but no social net.

Liebermann usually collects material on technology, and Uncle Sam grasping this wet cell battery shows the electric shock of racism over the annexation of Hawaii.

Toles drew Congress as lost in a snowstorm

A standard end of year cartoon for 1893.

Like any other working cartoonist, Toles did a wide variety of work including sheet music,

gag cartoons,

original art, with tear sheet in lower right

tearsheet with 19th century style joke

magazine mastheads (Twain also lived in Elmira),

proto-comic strip pages,

...and illustration work which doubled as social commentary.

"A Varsity Crew. As It Isn't" ca. 1899. Women didn't row in college

His rowers were definitely influenced by Charles Dana Gibson's Gibson Girls...
But his babies preceded Rose O'Neill's Kewpies by a few years...

And what this art nouveau fairy coxswain means is anyone's guess.

The only known photograph of Toles

Besides being very prolific, and short-lived, Toles may confuse historians due to his multiple signatures...

...which he definitely did on purpose when he moved to Baltimore to set up The International Syndicate which would sell stock images to a newspaper or magazine.

Toles drew most, if not all of the cartoons and illustrations in this book, but signed a variety of names to cartoons of different styles as demonstrated in his scrapbook, which Liebermann brought in for us to see.

Photo by RL

Finally, one last piece also not in the exhibit is this unsigned painting, which Liebermann had extensively conserved. Randy thinks it's a one-off piece; I think it shows that Toles was considering moving into the newly-enlarged illustration market which was about to enter its golden age.