Obscurity of the Day: Famous Fables

Here’s a real oddball. E.E. Edgar’s Famous Fables was a self-syndicated newspaper column on weekdays, and a color comic page on Sundays. The feature tells amusing anecdotes about famous people – both current celebrities and historic personages. The daily version, as far as I can tell, was not illustrated. The Sunday sported cartoons by Homer Provence, whose style owed a lot to George Lichty.

Provence was pretty lazy about his cartoons – they really only relate to the anecdote, not the famous characters involved. I guess he couldn’t be bothered to work up caricatures of the subjects, nor illustrate the times being discussed. Thus all of our subjects, be they William McKinley or Samuel Johnson all pretty much look like Senator Snort in variously colored suits.

The feature, at least the Sunday page, seems to have started sometime in 1947. The Chicago Sun-Times provides a likely end date of 9/17/1950; they were probably Mr. Edgar’s biggest client, and their cancellation would have been a killing blow to the bottom line.

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