Odds and Ends from the Internet
I've been browsing small-town newspaper archives recently, looking for obscure papers and strips. Though most archives charge for their services, several free archives exist, mostly from libraries and universities. The choice of papers and thoroughness of the collections vary greatly. I found obscure strips, to be sure, but I've given up ever finding one The Stripper's Guide hasn't already discussed. Here are some comics sections I enjoyed.Here's the Champaign Urbana Evening Courier for 27 December 1935. A fine collection of little-seen strips, including the pick of the litter, Connie. At top is Ned Brant, which helpfully tells us it's a story of college athletics. Writing is credited to Robert Zuppke, a football coach who coached Red Grange. Despite Zuppke' scredit, D. D. Degg makes a good case for the scripts being the work of Ted Ashby, who received a credit later after Zuppke's name was dropped. At the bottom is George Storm's always-interesting Bobby Thatcher. Online articles call the western humor strip Mescal Ike "popular" but I haven't found it in many papers. Hairbreadth Harry, created by C. W. Kahles in 1906, was on its last legs by this time (about four years to go). The Mr. Coffee Nerves villain seems painfully dated.The Okeeechobee (Florida) News for 18 Oct 1946 suggests this paper didn't have a much money for big-name strips. Little Reggie by Margarita, a kid strip, seems to have run in several small papers. Jitter by Arthur Pointer concerns a pesky monkey. I've seen other examples of this strip. The art is good though the gags are ho-hum. Isn't that inflatable creature the same one Terry and Pat Ryan used to scare Normandie Drake's kidnappers in the early Terry and the Pirates? Silent Sam by Jeff Hayes is the American version of Adamson, a Swedish comic strip created in 1920 by Oscar Jacobbson. Sam resembles a Simpsons character. Virgil by Leonard Kleis ran from 1947 to 1960, but it looks like a 1930s kid strip. I see nothing to justify a run of 13 years.
Last but hardly least is this comics-crammed page from the special Labor Day edition of Florida's Sentinel-Star. The only obscurity is the lame soaper Cynthia. Otherwise there are some solid features here: Turner's Wash Tubbs, Vic Flint, Rip Kirby, Red Ryder, Ozark Ike, Penny, and more. Don't I wish modern papers still carried this many strips!