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If only I had continued with my Howard the Duck scrapbook, some museum would have a treasure

Nearly 100 years ago I. A. Persinger began pasting Wash Tubbs comic strips into a scrapbook.

In 1928, the barber, I.A. Persinger, began compiling this collection of “Wash Tubbs” comics, a well-loved daily newspaper strip by artist Roy Crane, whose adventure graphics popularized the visual sound effects—Bam! Pow!—we know so well today. Soon, though, the scrapbook expanded with handwritten insights from Persinger and his customers on life during the Great Depression.

Now the scrapbook has found a home in a museum.

Persinger’s scrapbook has found a new home, one its creator probably never envisioned—a place among the rare books and manuscripts of the Columbia University Libraries. The unusual artifact was acquired by Karen Green, the school’s Curator for Comics and Cartoons, whose expanding collection makes the case that the funny pages and other cartoon creations are worthy of serious study.

Atlas Obscura talked to Karen Green about the new acquisition.

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
August/17/2021
@ 9:24 am

A friend’s uncle saved much of the 1943 corpus of both Out Our Way and Our Boarding House in a scrapbook that eventually found its way to me. I scanned a few of the Out Our Way panels, each of which took 45 minutes or more to clean up (besides the yellowed newsprint, there were also specks and smears, and the rubber cement turned brown and permeated the page as well), but it’s just so good to see them.

#2 Brett Mount
August/18/2021
@ 3:46 am

@Kip

That’s a rare treasure – Out Our Way has a lot of charm, even today.

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