Obscurity of the Day: Genial Gene

Quin Hall, who had a delightfully playful wit as a cartoonist in his early days, contributed Genial Gene to the Chicago Tribune‘s Sunday funnies section starting on January 25 1914. Gene was a knowing pawn in Quin Hall’s games in some of the strips in this series, which broke the fourth wall on occasion (see especially sample #4). In these simple mostly one-tier strips the plump and mild-mannered Gene tried to woo Emily, while Pinhead Pete got in the way.There wasn’t much more Hall could do in his small space, but his jaunty dialogue made it a fun read.

Genial Gene became a patch in the Tribune’s Crazy Quilt feature, but returned afterward to once again appear on its own. It last ran on October 25 1914, and was replaced the next week by the now headlining Pinhead Pete. Gene made a final appearance in the new strip on it’s first week.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans!

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