An oddity in the comics collections

A true treasure trove of a gift has been coming over the past few years from Jens Robinson, the son of illustrator and Golden Age comics artist Jerry Robinson. In addition to all of Jerry’s Playbill art, his strips, his book illustration, and other materials, Jens has been giving us Jerry’s library.

In preparation for his book The comics: an illustrated history of comic strip art, 1895-2010, Jerry collected a lot of comic strip history. One oddity is this long, slender, staple-bound publication (32 cm/13 in):

Published by the Associated Editors Syndicate, it is a marketing pitch for newspapers to carry John H. Striebel’s comic strip, “Pantomime,” a wordless daily. It contains one month of strips, for Monday, October 30 to Saturday, Novermber 25, 1922–24 pages in all.

Striebel had a clean, elegant line, and went for human-interest humor:

On the front cover, the syndicate gives a few examples of the 50 papers currently running the strip, reassures that the content isn’t lowbrow, and provides column space options. This ephemeral survivor does not appear to be held by any other libraries.

Striebel has an interesting connection to another of our collections: the Amram Scheinfeld papers. Before Scheinfeld made his name writing books about heredity, he had been a professional cartoonist. For a couple of years in the early 1930s, he was the ghostwriter for the newspaper strip “Dixie Dugan,” written by J. P. McEvoy and drawn by…John H. Striebel. In the Scheinfeld collection, there is a box full of proof sheets, on each of which Scheinfeld has crossed out McEvoy’s name, and rubber stamped the words “Ideas and Lines by Amram Scheinfeld.”