Obscurity of the Day: Crazy Charlie


H.E. Godwin’s cartoons were a staple in Philadelphia in the oughts, but the vast majority of his work was in the form of one-shots, gag cartoons and spot illustrations. It was only in the period 1902-04 that he contributed Sunday series to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Of the half-dozen series he created, most lasted only a few months, and Crazy Charlie was no exception — it ran from August 9 to December 13 1903.

I cannot hope to describe this series better than Cole Johnson did when he sent me the scans of this rarity — he termed it “a sensitive, gentle treatment of the mentally challenged.” He also pointed out that the plot is practically a dead ringer for Milt Gross’ much later Count Screwloose.

A tip of my Napoleon bicorn to Cole for these samples.

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