The start date of Tailspin Tommy is a bit of a mystery, mostly because Bell Syndicate was smart enough to have the strip numbered instead of dated. If a newspaper started the strip late it was no problem – just start at strip #1 and continue accordingly. This scheme became quite common with adventure strips, and it’s a pretty smart way of doing things. It completely eliminates the problem of a newspaper being interested in running the strip, but having to wait weeks or even months to pick it up so that they can start at the beginning of a new story.
The particular run of Tailspin Tommy that I’m scanning for this series is from the Seattle Times. They started the strip on May 23 1928, in the middle of the week. Other sources quote a start date of May 14th, and Ron Schwartz in The Funnies Paper claims a start date in April. The only start date I can document from primary sources being mid-week, I presume one of these other dates is more likely to be correct. Can anyone name a paper that started Tailspin Tommy before May 23rd?