01 August 2012

Not to Be Overlooked

Yesterday I was walking around a scenic overlook off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles with some friends from college. I lifted a colorful page of newspaper off the ground, thinking I’d find a trash bin somewhere.

It turned out to be a page of Sunday funnies from the Los Angeles Times. Dated 21 July 1946.

Atop the first page is a Superman strip from the Sunday series titled “The Unhappiest Clown in the World.” At this time the newspaper strip was still credited to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, though it seems clear Shuster didn’t draw these panels. In another year the team would sue DC and lose their legal claim on the character for decades. Funny thing is, my friends and I had just been discussing Superman.

Below the Superman strip are sequential-art ads for Colgate (“It Cleans Your Breath While It Cleans Your Teeth!”) and Veto (“Colgate’s Amazing New Antiseptic Deodorant” endorsed by four registered nurses).

On the reverse side are the strips “Harold Teen” (hijinks of a lovelorn fellow at the beach), “Grin and Bear It” (a collection of single-image gags, including a kneeslapper about the postwar housing shortage), and “Napoleon” (about a big dog who’s read Aesop’s Fables). Finally there’s an one-color sequential-art ad for Alka-Seltzer as cold relief.

The page is in good condition, considering it had been lying on the ground in a scenic overlook for an unknown time. There’s some discoloration and a small tear. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get it back home.

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