Obscurity of the Day: Mount Ararat (2nd Series)

One of Jimmy Swinnerton’s longer running series when he first came to New York was Mount Ararat, a raucous comedy starring a motley crew of jungle animals. The series ran for a few years but was phased out in favor of Swinnerton’s big hits Little Jimmy and Mister Jack.

Yet Swinnerton, either because of restlessness or editorial demands, usually had at least three series running at any given time (though rarely would all three run in the same Sunday section). So it was on October 22 1911 that Swin brought back his Ararat players for another turn on the stage. Miss Kitty Tiger, Mister Jaguar and the rest all returned, but their reprieve from cartoon purgatory would not last long. The series lost its biblical title after March 3 1912, ran under various one-shot titles for awhile, then a new title, And Her Heart Was True To Harold, was settled on with a revised cast of characters.

To call the series a delight would be mere repetition — I did mention that it was by Swinnerton, right? The gags were repetitions on a theme, but the slapstick (as in the example above) was top-notch stuff, and the dialogue was snappy and laden with double entendres (it’s often forgotten that Swinnerton had a gift for snappy patter).

3 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Mount Ararat (2nd Series)

  1. Hi,
    I’m writing to you from Portugal.
    I have purchased some original art through the years and one of them was a strip that I think is from tha 1910’s, but I don’t know anything about it.
    I’m sending you a link to an image scan (low quality, I’m afraid, but I can arrange a better one):
    I’d be very happy if you could find out any infomation about the strip or the author.

    Do you know M’ Ginty’s Guard, from Tony Swarstad? I’ve purchased some of the artist’s work, but there is few information on him.
    The article I wrote is in:

    although in Portuguese, I’m afraid.

    My comics blog adress is:

    also in Portuguese, Sorry.

    Thank you and all my best,
    João Carlos Costa

  2. Hi, thanks for your quick answer to my comment. I’ve also received an email message from Alfredo Castelli on these two works, and I’ve sent him a new scan of the strip.

    Regarding the Tony Swarstaad M’Ginty’s Guard, I’ve purchased a folder with several pages of work, but the seller couldn’t tell me more about it. he said it had been published in a now defuncted San Diego newspaper, but he wasn’t able to tell me which one.

    My guess is that it was never published and the folder was only used to carry the pages to the newspaper and no more than this. I may be wrong but I can’t tell any more about the characters or the pages.

    Thanks for your answer. And best regards.

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