Obscurity of the Day: Caseyville

I suppose that the short-lived series Caseyville, which ran in the St. Louis Star Sunday comics section from March 17 to April 14 1901, could be considered a valuable social history document. Frankly, though, between the amateur art, lack of imagination, absence of humor, and spiteful racism, I think this series may be better off forgotten.

As you probably know, the poisonous anti-Irish sentiment in the United States during the late Victorian period was not only socially acceptable, but more than occasionally engaged in by the Irish themselves. George McManus, for instance, was always happy to slam his own people, often going well beyond good-natured pokings and proddings into the realm of the most hateful slurs. Once you became a member of the ‘lace curtain Irish’, your less well-to-do brothers were evidently fair game.

This Donahoe fellow, presumably a son of Erin Eire himself, seems to have nothing but contempt for the ‘shanty Irish’, and just for good measure, throws in a shockingly aggressive racial slur against African-Americans too. It’s no shame at all, then, that Caseyville is his only known series, and I know nothing at all about him.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!

Tomorrow: Alex Jay’s genealogical digging reveals the identity of Donahoe!

3 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Caseyville

  1. You mean he was a "son of Erin", not Eire, the gaelic name of the Irish Free State, created in 1921.

    Are you going to hazard a guess this might be World Color Printing, The Star's own syndicate, or should I just 'shup'?

  2. I dinna noo tha' there was a substantive difference between Erin and Eire. But then, take note of my surname and understand it's not exactly native knowledge where my folk come from.

    As to the likely/possible Star/WCP entanglement, I guess I'm willing to stay off the battlefield about that one for he moment, until I have some new artillery to bring to bear, one way or the other.

    Danke schön, Allan

  3. Would any of the other three strips in Caseyville's run communicate anything to the modern reader? These two are basically meaningless to me.

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