Obscurity of the Day: Broadway


Jay Maeder sent these samples of the New York Daily News’ Broadway photo-comic that he told us about a few days ago.

Let’s get the skinny from Jay:

“Can’t provide an exact startdate, but the feature launched circa late 1926/early 1927. I assume it was Hellinger’s creation. He was already a big-name colyumist by then, probably unlikely to have been assigned daily gruntwork he didn’t personally care to do.

“The stage stars, greater and lesser, were the drawing cards, of course — obviously not the gags. Nifty these years later to see some of these local showfolk, just starting out at the time, who would go on to become huge. (Or not: Note tragic young Helen Walsh, one of the Great White Way’s most famously beauteous chorines of the moment, who burned to death in a boat explosion in 1931. ) I’d bet Humphrey Bogart appeared in this strip at one point or another.

“Unknown to me who carried it on after Hellinger jumped from the Daily News to the Mirror in January 1930. But on it went,not expiring till late 1936.”

Jay provided two images from the infamously godawful Daily News microfilm. I cleaned one of them up as best I could (forgot one word balloon — oops!), the other I left in its pristine raw glory. I must admit that I am dumbfounded that I’ve never seen this strip before – running in the Daily News I should have seen a sample somewhere. Heck, it was even syndicated. From E&P I can contribute that it was credited to Sidney Skolsky in 1930 and 1933, and Jack Chapman in 1932. It was advertised uncredited in 1935-36.

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