The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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The Funny Pages, 1951


Looks like someone has painted a big arrow on the pavement! Are we really supposed to believe that anybody could fit in a slot machine? Even in “Dick Tracy?”

March 24, 1951:  Here’s what was on The Times’ comics page in 1951. There were the long-running stalwarts, like  “Dick Tracy” and “Nancy,” but also some obscure strips, like “Dawn O’Day” and “Casey Ruggles.” 


The Times comics in 1931

The Times comics in 1941

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

That crazy Al Capp has a sense of humor! 

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

Ferd’nand  by Mik, one of the world’s few wordless comics.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

What is going on in “Abbie an’ Slats?”  Looks like some fellow is terrorizing the office!

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

Oh dear. It’s “Rex Morgan, M.D.” by Dal Curtis.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

“Dotty Dripple” by Buford Tune, was one of the 1950s sitcom strips.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

I grew up reading “Moon Mullins” on the cover of the Chicago Tribune’s sports page. In 1951, the strip was drawn by Frank Willard, but by the time I started reading it, the strip had been taken over by Ferd Johnson.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

“Terry and the Pirates” by George Wunder is one of my least favorite strips because in later years the artwork was so mannered and busy. At this point, it’s still readable.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

“Ella Cinders” has somehow survived into the 1950s.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

…And so has “Harold Teen,” with a redesign of the characters.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

Look! It’s “Mary Meddler” (a.k.a. “Mary Worth), although the strip is now credited to Ken Allen.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

“Brenda Starr!!”

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

Until I pulled up this comics page, I had never heard of “Casey Ruggles,” by Warren Tufts.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

It’s the eyeless characters of Harold Gary in “Orphan Annie!”

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

Notice the distinctive lettering in “Gasoline Alley.”   But is poor old Gink part duck?

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

I didn’t realize “Napoleon” lasted into the 1950s, virtually unchanged.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

“Dawn O’Day” by Val Heinz looks like a “Terry and the Pirates”-“Steve Canyon” clone.

  March 24, 1951, Comics  

And, of course, the incomparable “Nancy” by the equally incomparable Ernie Bushmiller.
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Comments (3)

I remember "Napoleon" into the '70s, when i lost track.

Tho i loved the long narratives in Dick Tracy, considering the problems Chester Gould had drawing to scale, especially in the '30s, i am not surprised he thought he could hide a man in a slot machine.

More of the comic pages thru the decades & your commentary please!

I remember back in the early 60's they put Harpo Marx in some kind of vending machine for a Candid Camera episode.

Hi, I came across this page while looking for more info on Val Heinz and Dawn o'Day. I run a blog about comi strips of the fifties that you might find interesting. You are spot on with the Terry reference, but who Mr. Heinz was is unknown to every researcher I know. The strip itself is pretty hard to find, too. Does your post mean it ran in the LA Times? Do you possibly have dates?


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