Obscurity of the Week: Hippo and Hookie, Part I

Hippo and Hookie occupies that awful no-man’s-land between being an obscurity and a mystery strip.  John Pierotti penned the daily strip for King Features, from scripts by Elliott Caplin, producing more than six week’s worth for them in October to December 1938. We know this because Cole Johnson has in his collection proof sheets of the first six weeks plus two strips. We also know that in a 1950 E&P article the strip is mentioned. The only problem is that I haven’t managed to find the darn thing actually running in a newspaper.

Normally if I haven’t seen a strip appearing in a newspaper that automatically puts the strip squarely in the mystery zone. However, with 6+ weeks of proof sheets known to exist, complete with release dates and copyright slugs on them, we have to ask ourselves why King Features would have gone to the trouble of producing them if they weren’t running somewhere. As Cole has suggested to me, even if they couldn’t find a paper to buy the strip, Hearst would have probably run it in one of their papers. All that’s missing is the actual physical proof. If you have that proof, I’d sure like to hear from you!

We don’t normally spend a week on an obscure strip here on Stripper’s Guide, but since Cole sent me the whole 6+ weeks of the strip, and I found it entertaining, we’re going to run the whole batch. Hope you enjoy it, and thanks Cole! Stay tuned next week for Alex Jay’s Ink-Slinger Profile of Pierotti.

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