The Funny Papers, 1931

  March 19, 1931, Gasoline Alley  
  “Gasoline Alley” by Frank King  

March 19, 1931: After wandering through the comics pages of 1941, I thought it would be interesting to roll the clock back to 1931. There are a few familiar faces, like “Gasoline Alley,” above; as well as “Tarzan” by Rex Maxon; “Ella Cinders” by Bill Conselman Jr. and Charlie Plumb; and “Harold Teen” by Carl Ed.

You may also recognize a very early “Winnie Winkle,” a strip by Martin Branner that lasted for decades; and  “The Gumps” by Sidney Smith. “Mr. and Mrs.” was an unsigned strip done by other artists in the style of Clare Briggs, who died in 1930.
“Life of Riley,” a one-panel strip about dogs by D.T. Carlisle, was new to me, as was “Reg’lar Fellers,” by Gene Byrnes.


  March 19, 1931, Tarzan  

And here we are in “Tarzan” in the Middle Ages.

  March 19, 1931, Life of Riley by D.T. Carlisle  

“Life of Riley” was apparently a short-lived strip about the adventures of dogs.

  March 19, 1931, Reg'lar Fellers by Gene Byrnes  

“Reg’lar Fellers” was apparently another short-lived strip  that seems to have been well-drawn but not particularly clever.

  March 19, 1931, The Gumps by Sidney Smith  

Some of the early strips, like “The Gumps,” didn’t seem to worry about the quality of the lettering. I always wonder why Winsor McCay, who was such a great artist, had such sloppy lettering.

  March 19, 1931, Harold Teen by Carl Ed  

“Harold Teen” had an odd blend of realism for the women characters, who showed lots of leg (if nothing else), while the men were quite cartoonish.

  March 19, 1931, Winnie Winkle by Branner  

What the well-dressed male cartoon is wearing: spats and squares in “Winnie Winkle.”

  March 19, 1931, Ella Cinders by Bill Conselman and Charlie Plumb  

“Ella Cinders” is drawn with a fair amount of detail – including Zip-A -Tone or something similar — maybe a little too much detail considering the reduced size at which the panels were reproduced in the paper.

  March 19, 1931, Mr. and Mrs. by Arthur Folwell and artists Ellison Hoover and Frank Fogarty  

Artists Ellison Hoover and Frank Fogarty did a fairly good job of imitating Clare Briggs’ distinctive style in “Mr. and Mrs.” Wives who are never on time are a perpetual source of humor, evidently.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1931, art and artists, Comics. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Funny Papers, 1931

  1. Native Angeleno says:

    Love it.
    Please tell your clone to dig up more from the ’30s, especially the early years of the Deepression, for comparison’s sake.


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