World Color Printing offered up some truly bizarre comics in their early years, and The Onion Sisters must rate at least a nine on the bizzarometer. The series featured characters with the heads of various fruits and vegetables, and sported a naive art style that seemed perfectly designed to leave the kiddies with fodder for Sunday evening nightmares. It was the one of only two series penned by ‘Nixon’, the other being The Up-To-Date Uncle Tom’s Cabin Company.
While Nixon’s other series showed some rustic charm, The Onion Sisters is just plain odd. The factor of the vegetable heads rarely has anything to do with the gags, which kinda amps up the creepy factor if you ask me. The overarching thread of the series was that all the neighborhood veggies are fighting over the attentions of the beautiful Onion Sisters. Corn Fritter (a cob of corn) is the guy we are supposed to root for in this struggle. Now if the sisters had only been lima beans rather than onions, then you’d have something — if Corn Fritter had triumphed, you’d have a lovely succotash!
Cole Johnson supplied me with one of the few strips in the series that takes advantage of the nature of the characters, making it the strongest entry in a run that went from December 18 1904 to February 19 1905*. If you want to see the other strips in this crazy series, click on over to Barnacle Press to enjoy (?) the whole run. Over at that site, I made a happy discovery. On the February 5 1905 episode, it looks like Nixon has for once offered us his first name. If my eyes do not deceive, he is Guy Nixon.
* Source: St. Louis Star