Joe Shuster was born on this day in 1914, and while he probably didn’t sit up in the Toronto hospital to read the newspaper that day, his father may have had a chance to do so in those pacing and chain-smoking days..
Couldn’t find any Toronto papers on-line, and there weren’t a whole lot of comic strips in 1914, but since I had an 8:15 plane to catch an hour and half from home, it still looked like a good topic to gather up material for in advance, and I found some interesting stuff.
The Saskatchewan Daily Star had a cartoonist on staff whose name appears to be H.G. Water, though I couldn’t find any info on him. But he contributed this national cartoon to the front page,
And this one to the Sports section.
The Star also used this syndicated cartoon as a filler, and I’m sure they didn’t pay a lot for it, but there’s a fair amount to like in the piece. Perhaps somebody there understood the art form.
The Vancouver Sun also had a cartoonist on staff with an even more illegible signature, though the point of the panel is clear.
And this piece from the Sun mystified me, because it’s quite an elaborate treatment of the vaudeville ticket at at theater that obviously didn’t spend a lot on ads, or, at least, not on that day. (I superimposed the lengthy caption which actually ran under the cartoon so it could be more legible.)
A lot of cartooning happened in the sports section, and the Sun ran this, which is sports-based but not reportorial, as most of them tended to be.
And this piece from the Calgary Herald isn’t a cartoon, but the names will make baseball fans swoon.
Juxtaposition of the Era #1
Cartoons arrived when they arrived and ran when they ran. It is not unusual for find multiple versions of Mutt and Jeff in same-day papers of the times.
Yes, beating up policemen. Bear in mind that calling an editor to scream at him took a great deal more effort then.
Juxtaposition of the Era #2
Funny brats were an element of a lot of early comic strips. I saw this little fellow a couple of times, and, again, the dates were apparently more dependent on the mail than on the artist’s intentions.
At first, I thought this was a third episode, but it’s a different funny brat. Corny stuff and I’m embarrassed to admit I laft, but I did.
Husbands didn’t come out any more heroic in 1914 than they do today. The blowhard is a popular character.
I was gonna criticize the cartoonist’s spelling but then I saw the header and decided not to crop it out. Fair is fair.
This wasn’t local, however. I saw it in another paper as well.
And it was nice to see Scoop, which wasn’t a brilliant strip but was good enough and, more to the point, was set in a newspaper office, which I’m sure didn’t harm its marketing.
I’ve seen cross-promotion before, but cross-border-cross-promotion was a new one, and here’s the Windsor Evening Record promoting a feature in the Detroit Free Press, though I don’t know that any Canadian papers published on Sundays then, so it wouldn’t cost them circulation.
Speaking of ads that made me think, I saw this one several times and it’s the first time in a long time that I thought of Sunkist in terms of fresh fruit, but they sold oranges in my lifetime as well.
And this ad made me think on another level, because I knew 18th century mansions had their kitchens in a separate section, but I hadn’t considered what an apartment or just a normal house must have been like in the days when cooking required a constant fire.
Gas must have been a wonderful benefit in the summer.
Big Brother hadn’t moved in yet. Even the phone company couldn’t find you unless you told them where you were.
And it was nice to find ads for this product, because it gave me a song to end the day on (and just as they’re about to call my plane!)
Okay, it’s not Canadian. But it’s not really Irish, either.