Wayback Whensday: Scrappy, Seuss, Gordo

Harry McCracken in Scrappyland

Preeminent Scrappy historian Harry McCracken returns, after a two year absence, to present a print off-shoot of the 1930s animated character: The Complete Scrappy Comic Strip “by” Charles Mintz.

Says Harry:

Among Scrappy rarities, few items are as tantalizingly obscure as the Scrappy newspaper strip. Though perhaps “newspaper strip” is a misnomer: As far as I know, the guys who tried to sell it to papers, Will Eisner and Jerry Iger, didn’t get it into any. But they did manage to sell it overseas, where it appeared in an Australian comic book called Wags around 1938.

All 26 installments of Scrappy’s comic strip can be read here.

Full disclosure: I made a small contribution to Harry’s history of Scrappy newspaper comic history.


Dr. Seuss in Pre- and Post-Pearl Harbor 1941/42

He was not yet the iconic children’s book author we all know and love—he wouldn’t become that until after The Cat in the Hat became a bestseller in 1957—but Theodor Seuss Geisel made his voice heard in the months before the United States entered World War II. As an editorial cartoonist for the left-leaning daily newspaper PM, the man the world came to know as Dr. Seuss used his skills to alert America about the growing threat of world war. He wielded his pen to flay notable figures like Germany’s Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, and Japan’s Hideki Tojo but also took aim at American isolationists…

(December 8, 1941) The cartoon published the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor celebrated the end of American isolationism. Geisel often depicted the movement as an ostrich that preferred to keep its head buried in the sand. (Special Collection & Archives, University of California, San Diego Library)

HistoryNet presents Dr. Seuss Cartoons Not Meant For Children.


Gus Arriola’s Gordo in The Billy Ireland

(Columbus, OH) – The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum presents Depicting Mexico and Modernism, the first retrospective on the comic strip Gordo. On view Dec. 13, 2023–May 5, 2024, the exhibit celebrates the dazzling artistry of Mexican-American cartoonist Gustavo ‘Gus’ Arriola.

The syndicated strip ran from 1941 to 1985 and featured Gordo Salazar Lopez, a bean farmer turned tour guide, who introduced readers to Spanish words and Mexican culture.

Information about the cartoonist, the comic strip, and the exhibit here.

3 thoughts on “Wayback Whensday: Scrappy, Seuss, Gordo

  1. The amazing thing about Gus Arriola’s art is that even the ’40s stuff looks absolutely modern. See the cover of the only GORDO comic book, COMIC REVUE #5 FROM 1947, which looks like it could have been drawn in the ’70s, if not the ’80s: https://www.comics.org/series/20016/

    Re: SCRAPPY SAYINGS, unless it was a completely different company of the same name, I don’t believe Columbia Features Syndicate had a thing to do with Columbia Pictures. It lasted well into the ’70s

    1. Hi, Mike. First of all, a belated thank you for The Comic Reader, which certainly brightened my life from November 1975 (yes, I remember precisely the circumstances under which I bought my first issue) until it ceased publication.

      Secondly, I don’t think that Scrappy Sayings was syndicated by the same company that syndicated Nero Wolfe, etc. But the suggestion that it might have been was due to an error on my part. In my post, I referred to the Columbia Feature Syndicate, but the correct name was Columbia Feature Service. Its other properties included Unusual Facts Revealed (a Believe It or Not knockoff where all the facts related to Columbia movies) and some fumetti based on Columbia films. So I think we can confidently declare that it was an arm of the movie studio, and that the later Columbia Features Syndicate was most likely unrelated.

  2. I’m surprised that the World War II article did not mention the book “Dr. Seuss Goes to War“, compiled and edited (albeit poorly) by Richard H. Minear. Despite its (severe) organizational flaws, it is an invaluable resource, containing a couple hundred of Dr. Seuss’s “P.M.” era cartoons, including many (but not all) of the cartoons shown in the article linked here.

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