Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gasoline Alley and the Old Comic Strip Challenge 11

In a sequence that began on April 9, 2013, Gasoline Alley centenarian Walt Wallet receives an invitation to the Old Comics Home dinner. Walt has reminisced before about his fellow characters from discontinued comic strips. And since Gasoline Alley began in 1918, there are quite a few of his contemporaries who have been retired. (Read the whole series here)

Day 11 has a remarkable line-up in the first panel -- if my identifications are correct. They all seem to be characters from strips created by George Herriman, best remembered for Krazy Kat. (click on image to enlarge)

Herriman's first comic strip was The Dingbat Family, later called The Family Upstairs. It was a domestic comic strip, and featured a supporting strip about the family's cat and its interactions with the mouse that also lived in the apartment. The mouse and cat were Ignatz and Krazy, and would soon graduate to their own strip.

When the Dingbat Family ended, Herriman replaced it with Baron Bean. The title character, with more than a passing resemblance to Mutt (of Mutt and Jeff), was an expatriate English noble living in America. Is the assemblage of characters from three of Herriman's strips deliberate? Given the care Scancarelli took with this sequence, I like to think it is.

1. Baron Bean  - Baron Bean (1916-1919) by George Herriman
2. E. Pluribus Dingbat - The Dingbat Family/The Family Upstairs (1910-1916) by George Herriman
3. Ostrich - Krazy Kat (1913-1944) by George Herriman
4. Wash Tubbs - Wash Tubbs (1924-1988) by Roy Crane
5. Smokey Stover - Smokey Stover (1935-1973) by Bill Holman
6. Maggie- Bringing Up Father (1913-2000) by George McManus
7. Jiggs - Bringing Up Father (1913-2000) by George McManus

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