Here’s a real obscure item called Life’s Little Phonies. It ran in 1915 from an unknown syndicate (but my spidey sense tells me that it may be Wheeler Syndicate). The cartoonist, if I decipher the scrawl correctly, is Bowers. There was a Joe Bowers who did Dizzy Dramas, don’t know if this is the same fellow.
What I find interesting about this little panel cartoon series is that the joke, and there really is only one, is based on the novelty of the telephone. New users of this wonder quickly realized that the telephone gave them a measure of anonymity in their conversations, and these cartoons are all about phone users taking advantage of that situation to lie.
Update1: Jeffrey Lindenblatt tells me that Deathless Deer, discussed two posts ago, did indeed run a little longer outside the NY Daily News. Long Island Newsday, presided over by Alicia Patterson, who was also the writer of the strip, ran the feature until August 7 1943, several weeks more than the News. But that brings up the question that if the strip was available through August 21st, why would the paper owned by the strip’s writer not run it to the bitter end? Jeffrey and I thought perhaps that E&P just got the end date wrong, but on the other hand, we know that strips are normally produced a minimum of six weeks ahead of their running dates. Since the News cancelled the strip abruptly, why would there have only been another three weeks of material available? It makes far more sense for the end date to be August 21. So the question still stands – can someone find Deathless Deer running to the supposed end? And if that end is really on August 21, why did Newsday drop it early? Curious, very curious.
Update 2: Todd Hillmer takes up the slack from my sloppy notes by sending me a sample of How Do They Do It? from 1917. So it definitely started that early. Thanks Todd!