Obscurity of the Day: Makin’ B’lieve


Dwig very seldom produced second rate material, but I must reluctantly place Makin’ B’lieve in that category. Penned for the New York World‘s Sunday funnies section from June 2 1912 to January 26 1913, the strip always ran in a quarter page format that might have made him felt like he was merely producing filler (those quarter pages had been introduced to accommodate the occasional quarter-page ads that had started to appear in the Pulitzer Sunday sections). 

The plot was simple and repeated each week with rote regularity; kids come up with a pretend scenario, start acting it out and then some low-key mayhem takes place. Dwig was a master of the mayhem scene, as proven in School Days and other features, but in Makin’ B’lieve it was like the economy bargain basement version of mayhem, barely a hair out of place as compared to his normal anarchy. 

On a side note, Dwig seems to have invented the idea of ultra-modern sleek furniture design with that rocking chair. It only took nearly a hundred years for someone to actually produce it:

2 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Makin’ B’lieve

  1. I suggest there was a real chair of that design, which Dwig saw somewhere and incorporated for a little visual novelty. It seems unlikely a cartoonist would invent something like that and use it for a generic prop, especially when the rest of the furniture is utterly conventional. It might even be an early case of product placement.

  2. I'm no expert, but that does look much more minimalist than usual for the time. I *think* that sort of design only started to catch on with modernism post 1920 (the Bauhaus having been founded in 1919). Skimming through some Google searches, it definitely seems that way, but again, I know very little.

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