Obscurity of the Day: Uncle Billy

In the first decade of the century, when many comic strips were locally produced and not written with syndication in mind, minor gems like Uncle Billy weren’t uncommon. Uncle Billy was produced by a Philadelphian for Philadelphians; many of the jokes would be unintelligible to anyone outside the city. Our sample, for instance, assumes a familiarity with the Philadelphia City Hall complex.

The strip was produced by one Jack Smith, and I have no records for him outside of this feature unless he’s the same Jack Smith that produced Daddy Dusk, The Sandman two decades later for the Graphic Syndicate. Seems like an outside chance.

The strip ran in the Sunday Philadelphia Bulletin from August 5 to October 14 1906.

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