Gustave Verbeck’s first known comic strip series, pre-dating his classic The Upside-Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo, was Easy Papa. It was a rather undistinguished effort despite the delightfully kooky art. Easy Papa sported the standard issue pair of noisome kids playing pranks on an unflappable pater familias. (Sorry for the high-falutin’ verbiage, but I’m running out of ways to say “Katzies rip-off”).
Easy Papa ran 5/25/02 – 2/1/03 in the New York World. Not too curiously, it was missed by no one, including Maurice Horn who fails to list its existence in the World Encyclopedia of Comics, where he claims that Verbeck only penned three comic strip series. The number is actually five, but I’ll leave the fifth as a mystery until some later date.
Oh, and if the above strip has you baffled, the dish called Welsh rabbit has nothing to do with our wascally friends of the animal world. It is actually a melted spiced cheese sauce served over toast, more properly called Welsh rarebit. This lower class delicacy was popular back in the day as a very inexpensive meal. The corruption of rarebit into rabbit was meant sardonically as an indicator that if you were eating this goop you probably couldn’t afford the price of a proper supper with meat in it.