Gramatky and Moreno, L.A. Times Junior Cartoonists!


jr-times-moreno-strip-7-20-24.jpgjr-times-moreno-strip-7-27-24.jpgjr-times-moreno-strip-tuttlems-8-3-24.jpgjr-times-moreno-tuttlems-strip-8-10-24.jpgjr-times-moreno-strip-8-17-24.jpgjr-times-frenchy-strip-8-31-24.jpg We lead off again this time with more strips from the 1924 L.A. Junior Times. Hardie Gramatky and Manuel Moreno produced more work than any of the other kids and managed to get something in almost every issue of the Junior Times. They were paid the whopping sum of $2.50 for every drawing published. Hardie started a feature called “Captain Kidd” in the 9/7/24 issue. From the outset, Hardie has a lot of maturity in his cartoon style, the way he arranges panels reminds me of Roy Crane’s “Wash Tubbs”. Hardie also drew the cover of the 7-13-24 issue, which starts our post this time. Manuel Moreno continued with two comic strip series, The Boy with the Answers, and “The Tuttlems”, which seems to be his version of “The Bungle Family”. I love the characters ‘plopping’ out of the panels on the punch lines. The dates of Moreno’s strips are, respectively, 7/20, 7/27, 8/3, 8/10 and 8/17/1924. As a coda, I’ve included an early strip by Gilles de Tremandan, an Aesop Fable gag featuring the Fox and Crow, published 8/31/1924. Gilles was 15 when he drew this, by the early 1930s he was animating at Disney under the name “Frenchy” (on the drafts, anyway). The old timers always said that they “drew better” than the young whippersnappers, but if you study the childhood drawings of the first wave of old master animators, their drawings look mostly untrained and immature. They learned a great deal in a short time, thanks to the intensive atmosphere of the Disney studio.

barker-bill-2-21-55.jpgbarker-bill-2-22-55.jpgbarker-bill-2-23-55.jpgbarker-bill-2-24-55.jpgbarker-bill-2-25-55.jpgbarker-bill-2-26-55.jpgbarker-bill-sunday-2-27-55.jpgbarker-bill-2-28-55.jpgbarker-bill-3-1-55.jpgbarker-bill-3-2-55.jpgbarker-bill-3-3-55.jpgbarker-bill-3-4-55.jpgbarker-bill-3-5-55.jpgbarker-bill-sunday-3-6-55.jpgBarker Bill is from 2-21 to 3-6-1955 this time. Dog Biscuit the horse gets a new pair of glasses and gets circus ambitions almost right away. They discourage the stage struck horse by encouraging the fat lady to ride Dog Biscuit bareback! The Gelt re-enters the story line as a Treasury Man shows up to question Bill about the expense of feeding the money-eating critter. In the Sundays, Gertie the Hippo in the 2-27, resembles the proud lineage of Terrytoons hippopotami, especially in her egg-hatching pose in the last panel. Little May is in the 3-6, as the Circus Problem Child once more. The strips here come from Winnipeg and Boston, hope you enjoy them.

felix-6-17-35.jpgfelix-6-18-35.jpgfelix-6-19-35.jpgfelix-6-20-35.jpgfelix-6-21-35.jpgfelix-6-22-35.jpgfelix-6-23-35-sunday.jpg Felix is from 6-17 to 6-23-1935, and continues the mad adventures of Danny Dooit and the crew on the Ape’s Island. The giant Duck from last week is here again, still with the walky-talky in his tummy. The island parrots pick up his repeated “Hellos” and broadcast them all over the place, frustrating the old explorer. About this time, Laura is replaced as the top feature on the Sunday page by “Bobby Dazzler”, a ‘Skippy’ like small boy, designed by Otto Messmer. The parrot gag in the dailies almost seems like a farewell to Laura parrot jokes, but it’s probably just a coincidence.

krazy_vintage4-28-41.gifkrazy_vintage4-29-41.gifkrazy_vintage4-30-41.gifkrazy_vintage5-1-41.gifkrazy_vintage5-2-41.gifkrazy_vintage5-3-41.gif Krazy, from 4-28 to 5-3-1941, is quite shocking! All the gags deal with cats’ fur being a good conductor of electricity, until Offissa Pupp figures out how to electrify Ignatz’s brick to discourage him from throwing it. I love Pupp’s understatement in the 5-2, “I expect him to drop it.”

patrick-2-27-to-3-4-67.jpgPatrick, from 2-27 to 3-4-1967, features gags with Godfrey, Elsa and Nathan. Nathan has half the strips, from 3-2 to 3-4, in which he is slowly going mad. Poor Nathan thinks there is a time bomb inside of him, and you can see the result of his hallucination in the 3-4. The strip is slowly starting to shift it’s focus to Nathan, perhaps Hancock found a baby confined in a playpen to be stimulating to his imagination. By the way, I’ll run out of Patrick strips in two more posts, but I have something rare to take his place. The next post should pop up on the 27th, the fifth anniversary of this foolish enterprise called a blog. We started March 27th, 2007. See you then!

4 Responses to “Gramatky and Moreno, L.A. Times Junior Cartoonists!”

  1. Chris Sobieniak says:

    If only my newspaper had something like that while I was still a kid. Best I got was third place in some cartoon contest they had in the mid 90’s for a political cartoon I did about the “Unabomber” when he got caught (showing a fed agent posing as a merchant selling merchandise of the guy). Not sure who else won, though I recall one guy’s work being done in some sort of action/manga hybrid with a lot of speed lines and cross-hatching (something I was not too big on as I was still into dip pen nibs and brushes with Higgins drawing ink). My drawing never got printed, but I got my mug in the paper anyway along with the other snot-nosy brats I never laid eyes on in my life. My prize for the misery is some book on getting into the comic strip biz I never did read through (I think the digital age was a tell-tale sign) and a Calvin & Hobbes Tenth Anniversary book. I probably got a congratulatory letter as well, but like my $1000 savings bond I received a few years prior, that’s pretty much lost to the sands of time!

    Great blog by the way Mark!

  2. Shame “Patrick” is running out, soon (did the strip end, or did the paper drop it?), I’m always looking forward to reading it whenever I come to your blog.

    Thanks for your email, by the way. Congrats on the 5th anniversary.

  3. juan alfonso says:

    Shocking indeed!love those Krazy Kats!

  4. Mark says:

    Hi Chris, Charles and Juan!
    I’m happy to get your comments! Yes, Chris, the L.A. Times was very encouraging to young cartoonists in the early 1920s. The Sunday Times Comic section for the last year or two was encouraging kids to submit book reviews and original stories, and published many of them. Now they have eliminated two pages from the Sunday Comics and cut out the original stories. I guess they are moving all the submissions to their website. I still love reading the comics in print, no matter how small and cramped. But you can see the newspapers gradually shrinking away to nothing in print. Society is using the electric prod on us to put everything we do on line, they are even forcing us to take our retirement checks as direct deposits! I for one, do not want anyone to have access to my bank account on line.
    “Patrick” was probably dropped by the Post-Dispatch, which periodically “cleaned house” in the late 1960s. The run I have ends on a Saturday, so that’s my guess. I don’t think that the 1967 issues of the paper are on-line yet, so if you get by any microfilm, let me know.
    So glad you are enjoying the Kat, Juan. Thanks for the comment.

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