We’ll be back in this space later in June with a fourth offering of rarely-seen artwork from the Iron Gate 25th Anniversary volume. Meanwhile, we’ve recently found some other pieces we think you’ll find interesting …
In the heyday of comic strips the launch of a new feature in one’s hometown newspaper was often Big News, and it was not unusual to see prominently-placed advertisements promoting the rookie addition to the cartoon lineup. Here, in chronological order of their debuts, are the greetings a half-dozen LOAC favorites received in their nascent days:
Miss Boopadoop earned this full-column vertical ad circa 1930 in the Danville, Virginia Bee, the sister paper of the above-mentioned Register, where Blondie would be featured. Given the way Blondie’s popularity would eventually explode, Danvillites (a more flattering reference than “Danvillians,” we’re sure you’ll agree!) were getting in on the ground floor of a good thing. Today, the paper is still being produced, merged as the Danville Register & Bee and continuing a publishing record that began in 1896.
A final note about the title of this posting — the “ballyhoo” refers to the promotional nature of these six advertisements, and yes, “Foo” is a nonsense word originally coined by madcap Bill Holman in his delightful comic strip Smokey Stover, but in this case I snagged the entire title from an early-1940s song title by one of the 20th Century’s great showmen, Cabell “Cab” Calloway. And thanks to the miracles of modern technology, you can see a “Soundie” of Cab and some of his orchestra members performing the song right here. Hi-de-hi-de-hi!