Obscurity of the Day: Dippy Dope

It has been way too long since we’ve seen wacky Walter Wellman on the blog, so let’s remedy that with Dippy Dope. This strip, which had no continuing characters except for the crazy cartoonist who drew it, is a treasure trove of wordplay and breaking of the fourth wall. Wellman was having so darn much fun writing this stuff that some of his strips hardly have any room left for the drawings. Well, in Wellman’s case maybe that’s not the worst fate.

Check out some of the great stuff going on here — characters complaining about the cartoonist, one character smushing a word balloon into the others mouth, a character on the ceiling talking in an upside-down word balloon, and so on. You just don’t see this sort of thing in the era of Dippy Dope, which ran from about 1911 to 1913, and was probably distributed by World Color Printing.

What a shame that Walter Wellman’s work, which was ubiquitous way back then, is utterly forgotten and obscure today. Well, the good news is that Alex Jay has dug up the dirt on this nutball, and we’ll learn which insane asylum he lived in tomorrow.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans!

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