Comic Strip History, Lessons #292 – 296

Little Man on Campus by Dick Bibler

And then there was Richard “Dick” Bibler, whom Richard E. Freiburg remembered as “easily the best known Oread Hall resident” of the late 1940s. Not for any hard-court or gridiron glories, mind you, but rather for his popular “Little Man on Campus” cartoon that appeared in the University Daily Kansan and was syndicated “to college newspapers across the country.”

A profile of syndicated college cartoonist Dick Bibler from Visual Humor.

A year after the above 2012 article Dick Bibler passed away (May 2013).

More Little Man on Campus cartoons at Bethel At War.



Rob’t Dickey’s Dogs

Beans and Violet, Dickey’s signature Boston Terriers in “Mr. and Mrs. Beans,” were named after his own Boston Terriers that travelled with the artist any time he left New York City. Dog historian Cathy Flamholtz credits Dickey for the immense popularity of the breed in the 1920s and ’30s (in Boston Terriers: The Early Years), writing, “While the critics may have scoffed at Robert Dickey’s drawings, the public loved them! Confirmed readers of the most popular magazines fell in love with the clownish dogs seen in the pages of their favorite publications. They wanted one of these dogs and they bought ‘America’s Dog’ in large numbers. Soon, Boston Terriers were one of the most popular breeds in the country.”

The Saturday Evening Post takes a look at the popular dog cartoons of Robert L. Dickey.

Allan Holtz briefly checks in with the newspaper strip incarnation.



Russ Manning and Tarzan

In September 1967, Russ Manning was chosen by Burroughs’ son to write and draw the daily Tarzan comic strips with the stipulation that the strip be as much like the original Tarzan as possible. The first Manning strip was published Dec. 11 and on Jan. 11, 1968, his first Sunday page appeared.

Unlike other artist-illustrators, where adventure strips were written by one man, drawn by another, inked by still another and colored by a syndicate, Manning did almost all of his own work using only one part-time helper.

The Lompoc Record profiles cartoonist Russ Manning and his years on Tarzan.

MUCH more about Manning at his ERBzine page, with links to the Manning Tarzan strips.



Rudolph Dirks, The Katzenjammer Kids, Vaudeville, and German Culture

February 26 is the birthday of cartoonist Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968), papa of The Katzenjammer Kids.

Dirks was a German immigrant who settled with his family in Chicago. By the 1890s he was in New York working as an illustrator. In 1897 his editor at The New York Journal asked him to work up a strip to compete with the New York World‘s popular Yellow Kid. In particular he was requested to cook up something inspired by Wilhelm Busch’s darkly humorous 1865 kid’s book Max Und Moritz.

Trav S.D. takes a brief look at The Katzenjammer Kids.

John Adcock expands the view of the comic strip and cartoonist.



Miss Fury and Miss Mills

In April 1941, just a few short years after Superman came swooping out of the Manhattan skies, Miss Fury – originally known as Black Fury – became the first major female superhero to go to print. She beat Charles Moulton Marsden’s Wonder Woman to the page by more than six months. More significantly, Miss Fury was the first female superhero to be written and drawn by a woman, Tarpé Mills.

Conversation’s in depth look at Tarpe Mills and Miss Fury.

Alex Jay has a brief profile of Tarpe Mills.