Category : Female Cartoonists

Obscurity of the Day: Snooks and Snicks

The Philadelphia North American was the most receptive paper in the country to female cartoonists. Why that is I dunno, but here’s another distaff cartoonist by the name of Inez Tribit (nee Townsend).

Inez had two known series, a decade apart. The first was Gretchen Gratz for the Inquirer which lasted a year. Her second, Snooks and Snicks, was more successful, running from February 23 1913 until the North American’s homegrown comics section ended on July 4 1915. According to one online bio Tribit moved to California in the 1900s, but they also claim she did Gretchen Gratz for the Philadelphia Tribune, a paper that would have had little interest in strips about cherubic white children since it was published to serve the Philadelphia black community. Take with a grain of salt.

Snooks and Snicks were another in the endless procession of Katzie clones, their claim to originality being that they wore (for no obvious reason) clothes associated with the Dutch. The strips were done in rhyme which was slightly better than the typical doggerel usually found on the comics pages. Tribit’s art style was pleasant, done in a style often seen in children’s books of the day. Our sample today marks a minor change of focus for the series as the newly introduced Clarence went on to pretty much take over the strip.

Obscurity of the Day: Flora Flirt

Here’s an oddball strip that ran in the Philadelphia North American‘s comic section from 2/23/13 to 4/12/1914. The product of a female cartoonist, Katherine P. Rice, Flora Flirt was a tad racy for the day, featuring as it did a young lass who proves quite amenable to necking with any Tom, Dick or Harry who happens to drop by her panels. Not that romance was a verboten subject in the comics (witness the dreamily romantic panels of Nell Brinkley and her army of imitators), but seldom did those cartoonists allow their star-crossed lovers to get into a wrestling match on the sofa.

Of course, she and he always get their comeuppance for such shockingly immoral behavior in Flora Flirt, but the very idea of a young unmarried woman letting her beau get even half-way to first base in 1913, at least in the otherwise scrupulously chaste Sunday comics, must have raised a few Philly eyebrows.