Saturday, June 11, 2016
November 25 1908 -- Herriman offers sports fans a round-up of all the events happening around Los Angeles.
Friday, June 10, 2016
History of Newspaper Syndicates by Elmo Scott Watson -- Chapter 4
The Rise of the "Newspaper Unions" 1870-1890
Although the syndicating of newspaper material began rising to its high tide in the seventies, it is interesting to note that the term "newspaper syndicate" did not come into general use until several years later. Kellogg called his enterprise a "newspaper company" and Cramer, Aikens and Cramer introduced the term "newspaper union."
This was a misnomer in that it implied either some connection of ownership among the newspapers taking their service or a cooperative arrangement among those newspapers analagous to that of the Associated Press.1 In neither case was this true, but thenceforth most of the new syndicates, or auxiliary printing concerns, called themselves "newspaper unions." While Kellogg had been extending his operations, Cramer, Aikens and Cramer had not been idle. The energetic Aikens, undiscouraged by his previous attempt to introduce syndicate service into the East, went to New York again in 1870 and this time he found George P. Rowell willing to listen to his plan for establishing a readyprint business in that city. The result was the founding of the New York Newspaper Union by Aikens, Rowell and Samuel French. Col. E. C. Messervy was brought from Milwaukee and placed in charge of the enterprise as editor and superintendent.
On March 21, 1871, the Chicago Newspaper Union was incorporated with a capitalization of $20,000 and the parent house in Milwaukee became a subsidiary of the Chicago office.2 Next Cramer, Aikens and Cramer established the Southern Newspaper Union at Nashville, Tenn. (later moved to Memphis), and in May, 1874 the Aikens Newspaper Union in Cincinnati. These three unions, with the New York Newspaper Union, were operated under the name of the American Newspaper Union, the first syndicate which came near being nationwide in its scope. By 1875 a total of 1,800, or nearly a third of all the country weeklies in the United States, were using syndicate service in the form of printed sheets and of this number the American Newspaper Union claimed to be supplying 1,100.
Cramer, Aikens and Cramer continued to operate the New York Newspaper Union until late in 1876, when James H. Beals, son of the owner of the Boston Post, appeared in syndicate history. Beals had known Rowell when the latter was employed on the Post and when Beals came to New York, Rowell knowing that Cramer, Aikens and Cramer were ready to dispose of the New York Newspaper Union, proposed to Beals that they buy it. The purchase was made in January. 1877, the new owners being Beals, his uncle, Joshua G. Beals of Boston, Rowell and E. W. Foster, an employee of the Rowell Advertising Agency. Young Beals was elected president and active head of the company. Col. Messervy continued as editor, although he resigned a few months later to start a rival business under the name of the Union Printing Company.
Within a year Beals had begun an expansion of the business. His first step was the purchase of a small Philadelphia syndicate, operated under the direction of M. L. Yeager. Beals supplied the papers on this list from his New York office until they protested that transportation costs from New York were too heavy. He then opened a branch house in Baltimore in 1879 with Yeager in charge. At this time the New York Newspaper Union was operating on a narrow financial margin and the service from the Baltimore house was printed on a press which Beals rented from the Baltimore News for a dollar a day. Beals' next step was to open a branch house in Boston in 1880 which operated under the name of the New England Newspaper Union.
By 1883 the competition in the Ohio Valley between Beals' New York house, Kellogg's Cleveland branch and the Aikens Newspaper Union in Cincinnati was so keen that Beals decided to open a branch house in Pittsburgh. He sent Yeager to establish the plant there in his own name, but later made public the real ownership.
Beals became involved in a price-cutting war with the Union Printing Company soon afterwards and in 1884 he bought out this firm, although Messervy continued as editor until his death in 1888. In 1886 Beals proposed to his partner Rowell that one of them buy the other's interest in the business and as a result, Rowell sold out—three-fourths of his interest to Beals and the other fourth to Kent, Rowell's partner in the advertising business. The New York Newspaper Union, now owned by Beals, Kent and Foster, and later by Beals and Foster, was operating two plants in New York, the original Cramer, Aikens and Cramer house and that of the Union Printing company. With its two branches at Baltimore and Boston, it had a virtual monopoly of the readyprint business on the Atlantic coast.
In addition to being the leading figure in the industry in the East, Beals was also influential in its expansion in the South. After the yellow fever plague had forced Brown to discontinue his Memphis house, the "Ram's Horn Paragrapher" moved to Atlanta, Ga., where he and John H. Norwood established a syndicate business under the name of the Publishers' Union of Atlanta. Beals bought this house in 1883, renamed it the Atlanta Newspaper Union, and in 1884 opened another house in Charlotte, N. C, to aid the Baltimore and Atlanta branches in supplying southern newspapers. When Kellogg entered the field the same year with his branch at Memphis, the resulting competition forced Beals to establish a branch in Birmingham, Ala., in 1886.
Although the number of Southern newspapers using printed sheets during the growth of the industry in that section of the country was large, according to the figures of syndicates supplying them, these figures are in reality deceptive and are not an accurate index of the growth of syndicate service in the South. In many cases these newspapers, claimed as users of the service, were publications issued at very irregular intervals and were not syndicate patrons in the same sense as were the patrons of the service in the East and Middle West.
While these developments were taking place in the East and South a new star in the syndicate world was rising in the West. In December, 1872, a group of five men organized the State Printing Company at Des Moines, Iowa, for the purpose of "printing and publishing in cooperation with the newspaper press of Iowa."3 In October, 1873, this company bought the newspaper, book and job printing business of the Des Moines Daily and Weekly Republican but, because of a too rapid expansion of its operations, became heavily involved financially. The result was a reorganization as the Iowa Printing Company in 1876 and its sale two years later to W. E. Andrews and W. H. Welch.
There now appeared on the scene another Easterner who was to become a dominant figure in syndicate history. He was George A. Joslyn who entered the employ of the Iowa Printing company as a shipping clerk in 1878.4 Within a short time he was sent to Omaha to establish a branch of the Iowa Printing Company under the name of the Omaha Newspaper Union. Two years later W. A. Bunker, who was operating the Kansas City Newspaper Union, became associated with Andrews and Welch. On June 11, 1880, the three men reorganized the Iowa Printing company and incorporated it in Des Moines under the name of the Western Newspaper Union.
As its name indicated, the Western Newspaper Union was founded to serve the recently established newspapers in the vast trans-Missouri empire, just then opening up to settlement. With Andrews as manager at Des Moines, Bunker at Kansas City and Joslyn at Omaha the new syndicate started on a program of rapid expansion which was destined to carry it to a position of supremacy in the syndicate field, mainly due to the driving force of Joslyn, the transplanted New Englander.
The first step in this expansion was taken in December, 1880, when the St. Paul Newspaper Union was purchased from N. P. Nail, and A. E. Bunker, a brother of the Kansas City manager, was placed in charge.5 Within the next three years, the new syndicate, by purchasing the Michigan Ready Print List of Detroit from Luther H. Trowbridge and by operating a branch office in New York City, had served notice on its competitors that it was not confining its activities to the Western field.
In 1884 the Western Newspaper Union established a branch office in Denver, Colo., purchased the Texas Newspaper Union at Dallas from H. C. Jones and sold its half-interest in the Kansas Newspaper Union, founded at Topeka in 1880 by F. P. Baker and Sons. In 1886 it bought the St. Louis Newspaper Union from James E. Mumford and in 1888 the Lincoln (Neb.) Newspaper Union from A. D. Hosterman, J. N. Garver and Phil V. Dewey, In 1889 it purchased from Edward P. Greer of Winfield, Kan., and W. D. Boyce of Chicago the Winfield Newspaper Union and in the same year gained a foothold in the "syndicate capital" by purchasing the Mutual Newspaper Publishing company, a small syndicate business which Boyce was operating in Chicago.
During all this time Joslyn had been increasingly active in the affairs of the Western Newspaper Union, serving as a manager of a branch office, director, treasurer and vice president. Finally in 1890 he became president, general manager and principal stockholder, and from that time on the Western Newspaper Union was George A. Joslyn and George A. Joslyn was the Western Newspaper Union.
Had syndicated service been limited to one medium of delivery to the publisher (printed sheets), its scope and its opportunity for usefulness would have necessarily been limited also. But American mechanical genius now stepped forward to make possible its extension into wider fields. Improvements in the art of stereotyping, which dates from the first decade of the Nineteenth century in this country but which did not become general until after 1850, added the plate to the printed sheet as a method of supplying feature service to a greater number of country newspapers, both weekly and daily.
1. Although the early syndicates referred to the advertising which they carried in their printed service as "cooperative advertising," it was cooperative only in a limited sense. The syndicate acted as advertising solicitor for the newspapers taking their service and had the entire responsibility for handling such details as billing and furnishing the advertiser with checking copies. The newspapers carrying this advertising received no direct cash remuneration for it but they were paid for it indirectly by being able to purchase syndicate service which carried the advertising at a lower price than that which carried none. Without this advertising feature, which Aikens did so much to develop, it is doubtful if the early syndicates could have been able to offer this convenient medium of syndicate supply at a cost low enough to have made possible the rapid and widespread growth of the use of syndicate service.
2. The original incorporators were Charles E. Strong, A. J. Aikens, J. F. Cramer, Alonzo L. Kane and Sterling P. Rounds. In 1881 its charter was renewed and the company was reorganized with John F. Cramer as president, William E. Cramer as vice president and C. E. Strong as secretary. Ten years later this company, which had started with a capital stock of $20,000, had increased its capitalization to $250,000.
3. These men were John A. Elliott, P. M. Casady, S. F. Spofford, B. F. Gue and Samuel Merrill, who had been governor of Iowa from 1868 to 1871.
4. Joslyn was born in Lowell, Mass., June 30, 1848. His parents later moved to Vermont and he was reared in the village of Waitsfield. In 1874 he was married to Sarah L. Selleck of Montpelier and four years later the young couple left New England for the greater opportunities offered in the West. They settled in Des Moines, Iowa, where Joslyn got his start with the Iowa Printing Company.
5. Bunker was a native of New Hampshire who had emigrated to Minnesota in 1855, learned the printing trade on the Mantorville (Minn.) Express and then entered the service of the First National Bank at Northfield, Minn. He was a teller in that bank at the time of the famous Northfield bank raid of September 7, 1876, by the James-Younger gang and was shot through the shoulder by one of the Missouri outlaws as he tried to escape to spread the alarm. At the time of his death in 1929 he was the last survivor at those who were in the bank when it was raided.
Western Newspaper Union, starting to get to syndicates I can identify with comic strips.
Any disclaimer coming about Watson's relationship with WNU?
Finding this extremely interesting.
Watson admitted that much of his research material came from the archives of WNU, so it is certainly not surprising that they come in for a lot of coverage in the book. The unfortunate thing to me is that this wealth of research material seems to have blinded Watson a bit to the far greater importance of the syndicates we think of as important. Watson will continue to favor the boilerplate syndicates with a great deal of coverage throughout the book -- especially WNU of course.
A perfect book, therefore, it is not. However, it has far more information about syndication presented in one place than you'll ever find anywhere else.
Very glad to hear you're enjoying the ride, and that you're keeping the shortcomings in mind. I'd gladly start work on a (hopefully) better book on syndicate history ... if I thought it would sell more than three copies.
Thursday, June 09, 2016
Obscurity of the Day: A Perfect Gentleman
Winsor McCay seems to have been dead sure that most men were incurable louts, driven only by base instincts and animal pleasures. I guess that's why he was able to create such amazing editorial cartoons for Arthur Brisbane's preachy editorials -- he really bought into Brisbane's high-handed sermonizing.
While McCay was producing beautiful flights of fancy on Sundays, some of his weekday offerings were much more down to earth. And when McCay portrayed reality, among his favorite targets were men, generally of a certain age and social status, behaving like utter cads. A Perfect Gentleman is a model example of these strips, wherein hubby behaves like a bounder and a heel to everyone. Everyone, that is, except any pulchritudinous female who crosses his radar, at which point he turns into, yes, you guessed it, A Perfect Gentleman.
A Perfect Gentleman ran in amongst McCay's other weekday strip titles from November 25 to December 12 1912 in Hearst's New York American.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Nuttall
(This profile is focused on Nuttall’s work in America.)
The New York Tribune, June 7, 1903, reported on events in London including the exhibit of Nuttall’s 1902 painting.
Charles Nuttall’s painting “The Opening of the First Australian Federal Parliament by the Duke of Cornwall” is exhibited at McLean’s Gallery. It is not an imaginative work like the familiar American pictures of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but is a dress parade of Australian worthies portrayed with humdrum realism. The work is painted in monochrome for convenient reproduction.In 1905, Nuttall made his way to New York City where he found work on the New York Herald newspaper. It’s not known how long he worked for the Herald. Nuttall contributed illustrations to the magazines Life, Scribner’s, Harper’s Bazaar and The Century Magazine; some examples below.
credited as J. Nuttall on contents page, “In Jocund Vein”;
Nuttall was best known for his book illustrations. Below are some of the books he illustrated.
Bart Stirling’s Road to Success or The Young Express AgentFour Boy Hunters or The Outing of the Gun Club
Jack Ranger’s Gun Club or From Schoolroom to Camp and Trail
The Motor Boys or Chums Through Thick and Thin
The Motor Boys Overland or A Long Trip for Fun and Fortune
Through the Air to the North Pole or The Wonderful Cruise of the Electric Monarch
|The Motor Boys or Chums Through Thick and Thin|
The Bobbsey Twins in the Country
The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore
Dave Porter’s Return to School
Guns and Snowshoes or The Winter Outing of the Young Hunters
Jack North's Treasure Hunt
The Motor Boys Across the Plains or The Hermit of Lost Lake
Treasure Seekers of the Andes or American Boys in Peru
Under the Ocean to the South Pole or The Strange Cruise of the Submarine Wonder
|Treasure Seekers of the Andes|
The Boat Club Boys of Lakeport or The Water Champions
Dave Porter in the Far North or The Pluck of an American Schoolboy
Dorothy Dale at Glenwood School
Five Thousand Miles Underground or The Mystery of the Center of the Earth
The Motor Boys in Mexico or The Secret of the Buried City
The Motor Boys Afloat or The Stirring Cruise of the Dartaway
Ned Wilding’s Disappearance or The Darewell Chums in the City
|Dave Porter in the Far North|
Dave Porter and His Classmates or For the Honor of Oak Hall
First at the North Pole or Two Boys in the Arctic Circle
The Motor Boys in Strange Waters or Lost in a Floating Forest
The Musket Boys of Old Boston or The First Blow for Liberty
The Musket Boys Under Washington or The Tories of Old New York
Only a Farm Boy or Dan Hardy’s Rise in Life
|First at the North Pole|
Dick Hamilton’s Cadet Days or The Handicap of a Millionaire’s Son
The Motor Boys in the Clouds or A Trip for Fame and Fortune
The Putnam Hall Encampment or The Secret of the Old Mill
Ralph on the Overland Express or The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer
The Rival Pitchers: A Story of College Baseball
|Motor Boys in the Clouds|
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Nuttall [previously misidentified as George Nuttall] drew Mr. Philander Phat, from May 20 to October 28, 1906, for the Boston Herald.
Nuttall, Charles, black-and-white artist: b. Fitzroy, Melbourne, Sept. 6, 1872, s. of James Charles Nuttall, of Harpurhey, Lancashire, Eng., and trained at National Gallery Schs. Melbourne. His paintings include the Opening of First Commonwealth Parliament by H.R.H. the Duke of Cornwall and York, and The First Test Match, 1904. He produced a book of portraits—Representative Australians—and has done much portrait work in black and white. Well-known portraits—Paderewski, the Right Hon. G. H. Reid, and General Booth. Address—The Block, Collins St., Melbourne.
Nuttall passed away November 28, 1934, at his home in South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Australian Dictionary of Biography
James Charles Nuttall
Design & Art Australia Online
Fred Johns’s Annual
October 17, 1933
Etchings and Drawings
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Topper Strips: Kittens
Grace Drayton was past her greatest days as an illustrator in 1928 when she created for King Features yet another version of her familiar Campbell Soup kids, this time calling them Dolly Dimples and Bobby Bounce. Considering that some of her previous series were titled Dimples, Dolly Drake and Bobby Blake and Dottie Dimple, her fans were well-assured that they were getting more of the same cherubic little tykes in gentle fairy tale-inspired adventures.
The Sunday page was added around January 1929 (can anyone supply a definite start date?) and sported a topper strip titled Kittens. Basically, Drayton added whiskers and furry ears to her standard cherubs, and voila, a topper was born.This strip ran until the end of the Sunday page itself, which I can track as far as April 2 1933, but perhaps it ran longer though, as this strip was in mid-story.
Labels: Topper Features
Monday, June 06, 2016
Heritage Auction Items from my Collection
Here's what's on offer, all auctions ending June 12:
|Fromm the great Children's Tales series, the conclusion strip of The Saggy Baggy Elephant of 1968, hand colored art by Frank Bolle based on book art by Gustaf Tenngren|
|Buttons and Fatty Sunday page by M.E. "MEB" Brady, this example has been retitled in paste-up for appearance in Famous Funnies.|
|My lovely Clare Briggs art has been going shockingly low -- see how cheap you can get this classic 1916 golfing subject (note very minor damage to corner)|
|The best of my Heart of Juliet Jones originals is here -- pretty girls and great action in this 1959 Stan Drake Sunday|
|The great Syd Hoff placed this gag with the New Yorker in 1972. Classic New Yorker style caption (you'll have to go over there to read it!)|
|Pete Hoffman's supple clear line technique on this 1966 Jeff Cobb daily with a good portrait panel of our hero.|
|I never figured out if this delightfully wacky Charles M. Payne color splash page ended up in an early Golden Age comic book or not. Eye-popping vivid colors.|
|My last two Spuddle's Sport Shop pages by Russ Johnson are going on the block, and they're both super examples. Oh, the headaches of being a retailer.|
|Two Jimmy Swinnerton special drawings in one lot. The subject matter of the top one would seem to date it to 1918, but both appear to be much earlier vintage Swinnerton to me. Both great images, though.|
|Two Take It Easy Pop strips by the great old-timer Charles M. Payne, late in his life when he'd got a bit weird but still wonderful. Don't know where these appeared. Remember kids, THINK!|
|Here's Mort Walker way back when he was drawing for the college Showme magazine in 1948. His early style is pretty much fully formed here.|
|Run of the ultra-rare United Features Comics weekly syndicate books from 2000-2002. Heritage counts 119 issues in this lot, and it should be a pretty complete run.|
|Massive collection of 82 Gladstone Carl Barks Library books, some still in shrinkwrap, and most still containing their trading card inserts. Instant collection of these originally rather expensive items.|
|Set of 1-23 and 25 of the Kitchen Sink Li'l Abner library in softcover. What happened to #24 I wonder. Oh well, that was a bad year for Abner anyway.|
Sunday, June 05, 2016
Heritage Auction Closing Today
|Super W.E. Hill page, this one about intellectuals. The line work is truly amazing.|
|A very rare Billy the Boy Artist original, Ed Payne's 56-year running comic strip from the Boston Globe.|
|Ving Fuller Doc Syke originals aren't too hard to come by, but this one features a particularly wonderful gag. From the first year of the strip.|
|Great baseball content in this Walter Gallaway drawing from an 1890s issue of Puck. I don't have the caption, but the kids' faces and body language tell you exactly what the gag is! Nicely framed.|
|I'm flabbergasted that they put my two F.M. Howarth Puck back-cover gag strips into one lot, but here ya go. Incredible early Howarth.|
|Great Jack Kent wordplay gag in this 1962 King Aroo daily.|
|The grease-pencil work on this large 1930s Burris Jenkins piece is just superb. Nicely framed, too.|
|The irrepressible Joe & Asbestos and their horse-racing tips (to be added on printing day) were loved by the readers of the New York Mirror for decades.|
|Stan Drake Sunday Heart of Juliet Jones at the rodeo. Yipee!|
|Disney's Ralph Kent gave this special drawing of Mickey as the sorceror's apprentice to Jim Ivey at a late 1970s OrlandoCon.|
|Walt Scott's The Little People, a mostly forgotten gem of comic art.|
|The Hall-Room Boys, Percy and Ferdie up to their standard goofball social-climbing in this nice 1909 example by Harold MacGill.Find another!|
|I have no idea why I had this. A complete Japanese manga story, probably from the mid-1980s I guess. Can anyone translate?|
|John T. McCutcheon, the grand old master of the Chicago Tribune editorial cartoonists, ushers in duck hunting season.|
|One of my favorite Mr. Oswald gags -- the curse of being a leading citizen.|
|A Mr. Oswald chapter heading from the book that made him famous to cartooning lovers.|
|The great George Clark shows off his sumptuous brushwork in this The Neighbors panel.|
|The classic poker-playing strip, Penny ante (aka Eddie's Friends), a Hearst mainstay. This example signed over to fellow Hearst cartoonist Jimmy Murphy by Jean Knott.|
|After J. Carver Pusey's Benny left general syndication, it became an editorial cartoon feature of the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1942 the state liquor store employees went on strike, prompting this cartoon.|
|One of my favorite strips, Rudy by William Overgard. This example features an appearance by Greta Garbo!|
|Spuddle's Sport Shoppe, superb example with lots and lots of Russ Johnson's signature details in the backgrounds.|
|Colin Allen's little known full tab single-panel Sunday page is even more impressive in this large original.|
|The great Zim comments on yellow journalism in the 1890s, with happy newsboys gleefully offering up the latest horrific disaster.|
|A very scarce comic book, and the contents are utterly bizarre. An esoteric gem.|
|A big batch of TEN Famous Funnies issues, all in a single lot. Great reading!|
|Three very rare Canadian comic books, all in a single lot.|
|Five issue lot of Hit Comics, featuring one of my favorite characters, Kid Eternity.|
|Low grade, but who could resist a comic book titled Hyper Mystery!!|
|A set of five lower grade Little Orphan Annie Cupples & Leon books.|
|And four higher grade ones -- Bucking The World is particularly nice.|
|Kurtzman's Hey Look is the big attraction here, once you've stopped ogling Mitzi.|
|Eleven issues of Police Comics in one lot, featuring the wonderful Plastic Man by Jack Cole. I've been surprised at the low bids on these -- is Jack Cole no longer a favorite?|
|Three photos above, a group of 15 books; a little bit of everything in this rather random lot.|
|A large collection of auction and sales catalogs, mostly for original cartoon art, primarily from the 1970s-1990s. Fascinating reference material, and geez, the cheap prices in those days!|
|A collection of six very nice R. Crumb items, featuring the scarce Vues de Sauve portfolio.|
|Two photos above show a small sampling from a huge collection of fanzines from the 1960s to 2000s. A treasure-trove of research material.|
|Two photos above show a collection of excellent graphic novels, a lot of great reading that will probably go cheap.|
|Two photos above -- a big batch of price and collecting guides, plus Richard Lupoff's novel The Comic Book Killer.|
|Two photos above -- a collection of cartooning reference books.|
|Giant collection of weekly syndicate proof books from King Features. Covers July-August 1996, January-February 1997 and July-December 2001; total of 40 big books.|
|A Komic Kamera from the 1930s, complete with Gumps film strip inside. Unusual to see Krazy Kat get important billing on a toy like this.|
|Set of United Features proof books. 51 issues, Heritage description says just 2001-2002; I believe this lot is a complete run from October 2001 - October 2002.|