Obscurity of the Day: Little Julius Sneezer

In one of World Color Printing’s brief forays into the daily comic strip business, Little Julius Sneezer was produced from April 30 through at least September 1917. The art on the strip was pretty awful, in fact it bears strong indications that it was created mostly from pasted-up model sheet poses. Note the similarities of Little Julius’ poses from strip to strip.

The gags, on the other hand, were often pretty snappy, using the latest slang and patter. In fact, in my reading of the strip I get a funny feeling that the cartoonist, a Mr. Baker, might well have been going to vaudeville houses and taking notes on the comedians. On strips 2 and 3 above try reading the patter supplying the voices of Groucho and Chico Marx. Not that these are necessarily Marx Brothers routines, but there were plenty of comedy teams at the time, I imagine, that would have been using this sort of off-the-wall stage patter.

Though Little Julius Sneezer had a relatively short run, World Color Printing really got their money’s worth out of it. They continued to sell the strip in bulk lots to small papers for years, and also reused the strip in their Sunday children’s activity pages from March 29 1925 to January 17 1926. Then the rights to the strip were sold to the International Cartoon Company, and these folks, the kings of the cheap reprint service, distributed plates of the strips to small papers for years. I have a sample of these plates and here is the label from the back that gives a snapshot of their business model:

EDIT: Alex Jay has since sleuthed out the identity of Mr. Baker. It is George M. Baker, but not the George Baker who created the long-running comic strip and comic book character Sad Sack.

2 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Little Julius Sneezer

  1. The redistribution process of “Julius Sneezer” in the 1920s and so on reminds me of how cheapo-movie distributors distributed old cartoons with chopped up titles to early television markets. I guess even comic strips wern’t safe from this process.

    Do you know any other comics that International Cartoon Company distributed?

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