Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Comics of 100 Years Ago

The comic pages have certainly changed over the years, and I don’t mean the strips themselves (though the Katzenjammer Kids have been around forever). The style today certainly isn’t what it was 100 years ago, with little lettering and more elaborate settings.

Let’s look at the comics from Christmas-time, 1913. They appeared in papers on either December 20th or 21st. You can click to enlarge each of them.

Ah, yes, here’s Jimmy Swinnerton’s “Little Jimmy” getting into trouble again.

“Bringing Up Father” was George McManus’ major comic. It began in early 1913. But this is “Their Only Child,” originally printed as “The Newlyweds” in 1904.

Well, “The Newlyweds” continued. McManus went to Hearst in 1912 and renamed his comic. The Pulitzer papers continued carrying the original strip, now drawn by Albert Carmichael.

Frederick Opper drew this. He was best known for “Happy Hooligan.” Dialect humour was big back then; I think the accent is supposed to be Swedish.

The class of the comic world in 1913, as far as I’m concerned, is Winsor McCay’s “Little Nemo in Slumberland.” His layouts were at times mind-boggling and his inking intricate. It’s a shame this isn’t in colour. This comic is comparatively simple to some of McCay’s work that I’ve seen. But look at the angles and jingle bells on the dinosaur. Isn’t McCay great?

Gus Mager drew “Hawkshaw the Detective” for the New York World starting in 1913.

C.M. Payne’s “Nippy’s Pop” began in 1910. Apparently, everyone in this cartoon lisps. Hyuk, hyuk!

“The Step Brothers” was by Gene Carr. Is that a German accent in this one? “Spareribs and Gravy” is another McManus cartoon taken over by Carmichael when McManus changed newspapers.

Sorry, I didn’t run into a Katzenjammer page. Maybe next Christmas.

No comments:

Post a Comment