For the second time this week, we’re covering one of those panel series in which your imagination supplies the yet-to-have-happened gag. I love these things when they’re done well. That’s Not the Half of It sometimes hits the mark and sometimes doesn’t, about par for the course. I’d rate two of the samples above as good gags, the rest are either too obvious or don’t really hew to the theme, which is that there is already one gag happening, but a bigger one is about to occur.
Elmer (aka Al) Messner penned this series, his only syndicated comic strip that I know of. The earliest examples I’ve found are from February 1926. The syndicate was the smallish Editors Feature Service, whose history is a bit murky. They were responsible for some very good features, but got bought out by Central Press Association in 1927. That’s Not the Half of It seems to have been a casualty of that sale, as were many of EFS’s less stellar features, and seems to have ended in July 1927.
Elmer Messner went on to a distinguished career as an editorial cartoonist, mostly for the Rochester Times-Union.
Thanks to Cole Johnson for the samples!