Obscurity of the Day: Little Man on Campus

Dick Bibler started drawing his Little Man On Campus panel around 1946, apparently about the time that he entered college at the University of Kansas. When he graduated around 1950 he appears to have already begun self-syndicating the panel to other college papers, and by the mid-50s the feature appeared in a pretty impressive number of college organs.

Bibler was an excellent gag writer, especially adept at slightly naughty material about oversexed college boys. Bibler wasn’t much of an artist, but his girls were usually drawn well enough to keep the college boys happy. His sexy girls were drawn in a myriad of styles because most of them were swiped from the more adept work of other cartoonists.

Bibler’s panels bore code letters and numbers rather than dates, a necessity since he supplied cartoons to publications ranging from daily (The Daily Collegian, for instance) to monthlies and even quarterlies.

The cartoonist, presuming that his readers on 1950s college campuses might want to continue seeing the cartoons after leaving their alma mater, made an attempt to self-syndicate the panel to mainstream newspapers in the 1960s. The panel is known to have appeared in papers like the Tampa Times from 1963 to 1965, but I’ve never seen any copyrighted later than 1964.

Many reprint books of the feature were published, starting in 1946 and appearing regularly through the 50s. Some of these command rather high prices on the collectible book market, indicating that Bibler apparently still has a loyal following.

9 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Little Man on Campus

  1. Looks neat. Did Dick Bibler had other comic strip titles? Specifically, those that were picked up actual syndicates?

    How are comics that ran in college strips listed? Just those that’s well-known (like “Eyebeam”) or is it more complex?

  2. LMOC was Bibler’s only title that I know of. As for listings in the Stripper’s Guide index, features that ran only in college papers don’t qualify. Both Eyebeam and LMOC qualify for SG listings because they graduated (heh!) to mainstream newspapers.


  3. I have a large wall map of the Monterey peninsula signed by a Dick Bibler (1970). It is pen and ink/watercolor and is very much his style–in caracture form. Has anyone heard of any other maps done by Bibler? Any other owners of Dick Bibler maps out there???

  4. to the anonymous person above. I to have just stumbled across a similar 1970 map from dick bibler. If you have since gotten any other information I would very much like to hear from you.

  5. I just found of "Best of Bibler" Comic book collection from 1954 in a newspaper bin and would like to know some info about it. Can anyone help me out?

  6. (Allan, you reply belongs to another post of mine, perhaps you can move it?) I should have mentioned that the lawsuit seems like interesting reading (also for Eisner & Iger fans), but that I can also only see the few lines Google shows in snippet view…

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