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Comic Strip Centennial – Our Boarding House

Conventional wisdom is that Gene Ahern switched from his Crazy Quilt comic strip to his
Our Boarding House panel on September 16, 1921, but the earliest I can find it in a newspaper is September 17, 1921 so I’m celebrating today as the 100th anniversary of the feature.

Below are the first three Our Boarding House panels,
landlady Mrs. Hoople would show up on that third day.

It would take four months for her ne’er-do-well husband to show up
when Major Amos B. Hoople returned home on January 27, 1922.

It would take less than four months for the famous fabulist to become the star of the series.

 

 

By the end of 1922 (December 31) Mrs. and Major Hoople had a Sunday page.

Unfortunately for the Newspaper Enterprise Association William Randolph Hearst took note of Ahern’s genius and hired the cartoonist away to create a simulacrum for his King Features Syndicate in 1936. Fortunately for NEA Major Hoople was a strong enough and popular enough character to survive for decades after the creator left.

Other cartoonists, gag writers, and artists would continue the daily panel and Sunday strip.
Bela Zaboly, Wood Cowan, Bill Braucher, Bill Freyse, Tom McCormick, Jim Branagan, Les Carroll, Tom Peoples, and Phil Pastoret were the talents that continued the Major into the 1980s.

The last Sunday page ran March 29, 1981.

The dailies would run another three years and nine months ending December 22, 1984
with Amos and Martha’s ship having come in.







© NEA/United Media

 

Community Comments

#1 Tom Falco
September/17/2021
@ 3:27 pm

Always one of my favorites. I read it on Facebook, there is a page there that posts “Our Boarding House” daily.

#2 Kip Williams
September/17/2021
@ 7:26 pm

A friend’s uncle kept a scrapbook of OUR OUR WAY and OUR BOARDING HOUSE in 1945, and my friend gave it to me for Christmas one year. They were side by side in whatever Alabama paper they appeared in. Lovely stuff (especially Our Our Way).

#3 D. D. Degg
September/17/2021
@ 8:54 pm

Tom,
John Wells’ Batavia Funny (and Not So Funny) Pages
Facebook feed comes highly recommended from here.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1586609701398462

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