A COLLECTION -AMERICAN SUNDAY NEWSPAPER COMICS 1920-1940’S

These are some of the very oldest comics pages that I have in my collection. They are full page American Sunday newspaper comic strips dating from between the 1920’s until the 1940’s, so some of them are almost one hundred years old. I was lucky to get them in an auction job lot some years ago and had them sent from America.I thought they’d be safer and better preserved for another while by binding them together as a large book.In the photographs I have added  some paperback books to give some sense of scale. The pages measure approximately 21 1/2 inches high by 15 1/2 inches wide, so it is literally as big as a hardback issue of the old broadsheet newspapers of the past. This was my first attempt at bookbinding, but what better way to start.

These comics were really the beginning point for the comic book industry because the first comics , ideas and strips  were made into the first news stand collections. I wasn’t lucky enough to find some of the wonderful “Krazy Kat “pages by Herriman  or the  earlier  “Little Nemo in Wonderland”  triumphs from Winsor McCay, but I did score with the marvellous “Bringing Up Father ” strips  from the pen of George McManus and some old early Katzenjammer Kids {They also called this The Captain and the Kids}. McManus’s drawing skill and design shines out of these fragile pages.

There are also some early “Mutt and Jeff “and “Prince Valiant”  pages among a plethora of old standards of the time like “The Gumps”. Most of the cartoonists who drew these strips in a pre -colour television and cinema world  were high -earning feted celebrities of the times , much as musicians and sportsmen were and are  idolised in popular culture. If you have only seen these in small black and white reproductions  in books , you’ll have little idea of the full-colour beauty of these skillfully rendered large pages.It’s hard to imagine that in a world where strips were gradually squeezed into  a tiny corner of the newspaper or phased out altogether.As is the case now.

As a sort of quirky bonus, some of these old newspapers have lovely names too .a particular favourite is “The Seattle Post Intelligencer”

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