Sponsored Comics: Wee 3

Wee 3 is a kid strip sporting delightful animation-style art by David Gantz. Gantz went on to create one of the last features ever to be introduced by the New York Herald-Tribune Syndicate, Dudley D. The strip outlasted the syndicate by a few years but never made much of a splash. After a very long fallow period, Gantz returned with Don Q (what’s with the fascination for initials, David?) in 1976. Don Q is notable for the fact that it was syndicated by the New York Times. In the mid-70s the Times got the comic strip syndication bug and tried distributing a small budget of strips, most of them quite good. The Times seemed palpably embarrassed by their own new business and the comic strip syndication never really took off despite the quality of the material.

5 comments on “Sponsored Comics: Wee 3

  1. New York Times syndicated daily strips!? Wow, you learn something every day.

    Did Times ever actually ran daily strips at one point in their existance? From my understanding, there was only one: “Roosevelt Bears” from 1906.

  2. Hi Charles –
    No, the NYT never did run a daily strip that I’ve found. And some might quibble that the Roosevelt Bears was more of an illustrated story page. As I understand it the Times now does run strips occasionally, hi-falutin’ types like those done by Peter Kuiper.

    The Times, like most newspapers with national distribution, has the problem that they cannot use any syndicated strips because of the territory restrictions placed on them by the syndicates. So even if they did decide to do a huge about-face and add a comics page, it would have to be all material created in-house or acquired through special contract agreements.


  3. Jeffrey Lindenblatt just emailed me privately to point out that the Times could run daily comics in the locally distributed sections of the paper. The national edition lacks several sections that are included in the NYC edition. Good point, Jeff!


  4. Wee Three was also the cover feature of Famous Funnies #218 in 1955. So he probably had been trying to sell it for a long time before Sponsored Comics came along. In the same issue Gantz also draws a Dennis the Menace knock-off called Melvin the Monster, years before Stan Lee called his Dennis take-off that.

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