Like Wonder Woman, Vaughn Bodé, Gordo, Neal Adams, Captain America, Jim Scancarelli, and Archie Parade began its life in 1941.
The first issue of PARADE, subtitled “The Weekly Picture Newspaper,” was published on May 31, 1941. It was packed with photographs left over from PM, an experimental New York newspaper produced by Chicago businessman Marshall Field III. Less than two months later, THE NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN began to distribute PARADE on Sundays.
While that Parade history linked above fails to mention any of its cartoon features, they were an attraction from the beginning. On July 6, 1941 The Nashville Tennessean previewed the coming insert with an 8-page promo that included cartoons and cartoonists.
Then when the full magazine insert appeared on July 13, 1941 there was again a page dedicated to cartoonists and cartoons, along with a few others spread throughout the magazine.
The cartoonist profiles quickly disappeared but the cartoons remained:
Parade Magazine continued to be offered to the public at newsstands for sometime after it began its Sunday insert experiment, though not in the cities where it was a newspaper insert.
The insert apparently went into the newspapers unedited – on July 20, 1941 this John Ruge cartoon appeared in The Tennessean:
The frequency of cartoons appearing ebbed and flowed. The magazine proved a bit of a no-cartoonists-land during a lot of the 1950s with only occasional cartoons showing up. Things improved dramatically when Lawrence Lariar was hired as cartoon editor at the end of 1961.
For the next 15 years Parade was a steady outlet for cartoonists. Lariar remain in the masthead until 1980, but the last five of those years he seemingly got paid for very little work as Parade again mostly turned its back on the field. Any cartoons in Parade were more often in the Mobil ads than in the magazine as editorial material.
And then, in January 1981 came Laugh Parade … with Bill Hoest.
This brought a revival of a weekly cartoon feature to Parade. By 1982 Bill Hoest was added to the Parade masthead as cartoon editor. When Bill died in 1988 Bunny Hoest and John Reiner continued the feature, including the famous Howard Huge panel.
October 2007 saw a change in the cartoonist lineup.
By the end of October 2007 Laugh Parade became Cartoon Parade
and Bunny and John were no longer contributing cartoonists.
Cartoon Parade continued until 2014 when Athlon bought Parade. Athlon apparently had no use for cartoons and December 2014 saw the end of Cartoon Parade.
Q: What ever happened to the comics in Parade magazine? K.M.
Answer: According to a spokeswoman for the publication, the comic feature in Parade was discontinued because they did not get much favorable response in reader surveys. “As comics are very expensive and very subjective, the low number of readers interested in the feature drove this decision,” she said.
Since December 2014 only one cartoon has appeared in Parade,
that was an illustration included in an article about senior housing.
Parade, like most magazines now, is a dead zone for cartooning.
But before Advance handed the magazine over to Athlon they ran a unigue “comic book” in Parade. Measuring half the height of Parade (4.5″ x 8.5″) and running four pages with seven cartoons, it was inserted into the middle of the Parade insert. The cartoon pamphlet was titled HA! CARTOON Parade.
There were four issues of the comic book in 2014
– July 6 (above), July 20, August 3, and August 31.
I can only guess that they devised a clever way to get rid of their inventory.
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