Obscurity of the Day: Countdown

Countdown is a really interesting panel. If you are into gag cartoons, the moment you look at an example of the series you know that it must be the work of master gag cartoonist George Price. Price’s cartoons are quite distinctive, so there seems like no room for mistake. However, when you let you eye wander down to the signature, some guy named Dave Cox has signed it!

As perfectly as the style (and even the subjects!) seem to fit Price, I wondered if Price was using a pseudonym to produce a daily panel series. But that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Price was not on contract to anyone that I know of, so there seems like there’d be no reason for him to hide behind a pen-name.

I might still be scratching my head over this one if I hadn’t stumbled across two additional series by Mr. Cox, ones that he self-syndicated back in the late 1940s. In those series the George Price style is much less accomplished. Cox had yet to earn his chops as a doppelganger for that master cartoonist, and although he is definitely going for a George Price look, the effect is far less convincing.

Countdown was self-syndicated to a few newspapers (mostly or maybe all in California) starting May 16 1962. The latest I’ve found the panel still running is in early 1963, but I don’t have anything like a certain end date.

PS: Oh, by the way. If you’re confused by that second panel above, you young whippersnapper, you can watch this (overly dramatic) video relating John Glenn’s odd encounter in space.

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