Was there eveer a cartoonist that had a more intriguing name than Redw. Shellcope? Too bad his cartooning doesn’t live up to the promise of that cool name. Redw.’s Jimmie The Messenger Boy started on 5/3/1903 in the Philadelphia Inquirer and ran until June 1913. The stories, seldom much better than the one in our sample here, were pretty basic slapstick humor, and the art, though excellent, was swiped lock, stock and barrel from the great William F. Marriner.
I guess Marriner’s style was easy to copy, because there was a crop of at least a dozen cartoonists who did imitations, mostly pretty accurate, of his style. His wispy lines and kids with enormous heads on tiny bodies make the stuff instantly recognizeable.
Regarding the June 1913 end date, I can’t do better than that because the Philadelphia Inquirer on microfilm very rarely includes the Sunday comic sections starting about 1910. I’ve checked different versions of the film, but all are missing most sections. It’s a real shame since there’s some great material there to be indexed. Most of my Inquirer dates after 1910 come from indexing papers that took the section in syndication. That gets me pretty good dates for most stuff up to about 1915. After that it gets really tough because, as I mentioned in the last post, the Inquirer‘s syndication pretty well died after that.