Obscurity of the Day: Animal Land

Animal strips, whether set in the zoo or the jungle, were a staple of early comics sections. Walter “Brad” Bradford, one of the funniest early newspaper cartoonists and incredibly prolific to boot, naturally took his swats at the genre.

Brad kicked off the newborn Chicago Tribune Sunday section on November 10 1901 with three different comic series, one of which was Animal Land. The series ran sporadically until January 4 1903, sometimes under the longer title of News from Animal Land.

When Brad packed it up at the Tribune and took a position at the Philadelphia North American in 1905, an early act was to revive the old series there as Animalland. However, by this time the “been there done that” talking animal strip just was too constricting for his wild comic sensibilities. The feature ran only from July 2 to August 27 1905.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the sample strip!

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