Obscurity of the Day: Our Country — Day By Day

Happy Independence Day! To commemorate the occasion, here’s a strip about American history. There have been many strips that, to varying degrees of success, tried to bring the past to life. There aren’t a lot of candidates that could claim to do a drier job of it than Our Country — Day By Day, though the prize winner still has to be George Washington’s Travels.

But on the other hand, who would really expect a good educational strip from the New York Graphic, anyway? The only reason I can think of that the Porno-Graphic would have even embarked on such a project is that they were probably in one of their skirmishes with various do-gooder leagues trying to shut them down. “Hey, I know we show practically naked girls on every second page, but look at this terrific educational feature we also run!”

The feature was all the more dry because there was no storyline continuity to the history-telling. Instead the strip used a “this date in history” motif that made every date have to tell a self-contained vignette. Zzzzzz.

My running dates for the feature are based on the Sandusky Register; unfortunately the running dates in the Graphic itself are unavailable due to lack of microfilm. The feature apparently began on April 22 1929, and ran until the end of August of that year uninterrupted. Starting at the beginning of September, though, the feature was changed to a text column on Tuesdays,  Thursdays and Saturdays, and a strip on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It was cancelled soon after, on September 21.

The writing on the strip was initially credited to Nicholas D. Mount, but the credit was dropped after June 29. Whether that signaled a new hand on the strip or not is unknown. The artist was never credited. Is it my imagination, or does the art look a bit like that of Nick Afonsky — who has several other history strips in his ouevre?

Thanks very much to Cole Johnson for supplying the samples!

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