Here’s a delightful little obscurity from the pages of the Philadelphia Record. Sammy and Sue and Slobbery Slam was a wild and fantasmagorical romp through the imagination of the great Wally Wallgren. Wallgren is best known for his trench cartoons of World War I, published in Stars & Stripes and collected in a few reprint books that I heartily recommend. As a veteran of the Great War, and a favorite among his fellow GIs, Wallgren made a career out of depicting their joys and travails in the pages of the American Legion magazine. Right before he vanished from the radar he managed to get a strip syndicated, called Hoosegow Herman, which followed the adventures of an incorrigible doughboy. Wallgren was reportedly having problems with the bottle, and the short-lived feature was his last work of which I’m aware.
Sammy and Sue and Slobbery Slam came at the dawn of his career, before he ended up in France’s trenches. It ran on the weekly Sunday humor page of the Record from April 4 through July 4 1915, and it was a revival, of sorts, of an earlier Bud Counihan series titled Sammy and Sue. Whereas Counihan’s feature was an unmemorable kid strip, Wallgren ratcheted up the fantasy element and created a minor (okay, REALLY minor) classic. I only wish I had more of these to show, but the microfilm wasn’t feeling cooperative in my photocopying efforts.