"Percy, Brains He Has Nix" and other ancient comix

Have we ever linked to this site? http://www.barnaclepress.com/list.php?directory=BetsyBouncer I have spent hours poring over the ca. 1900-30 strips Alphonse & Gaston, Fizzboomski the Anarchist, Harold Teen, Lady Bountiful, Winnie Winkle, the Breadwinner, the lesbian soft-core pron Lucy and Sophie Say Good Bye, and the truly disturbing Betsy Bouncer and Her Doll.

The main page is down, but you can still link to all the comics via the above URL.

–Eve (Brains, She Has Nix)

The Upside Downs loses a bit when you can’t turn your monitor over. :slight_smile:

Great site, though.

That is a wonderful site! I may be in trouble now that I know about it – I can see myself wasting many hours. A lot of old cartoons, caricatures, etc., from back then have a sort of bizarre or grotesque aspect that I find fascinating… they come from before Disney and its ilk codified “cuteness” (don’t get me wrong, I love Disney, but…). Some of that stuff was still around when I was a kid… I wish I had kept some of the Hallowe’en treat bags from back then. I also have a collection of old Kirchhoff noisemakers that I love for that reason (examples here).

I used to regularly check Don Markstein’s Toonopedia… it went into hiatus, but it looks like a new improved version is in the works.

Missed edit window… check out the cool vintage Hallowe’en stuff here.

Huh. I’ve seen that exact comic before. Was it in one of Martin Gardner’s books?

I was surprised to see that Charlie Sheen had his own comic strip way back when: http://www.barnaclepress.com/list.php?directory=CrazyCharlie

And that absolutely nothing has changed in New York since 1906: http://www.barnaclepress.com/list.php?directory=HurryUpNewYorker

Right mouse click on your desk top>Graphic Optons>Rotation>180 degrees. That turns it upside down for you.


Wow, thanks for this link, Eve. I think I’m going to be lost for hours checking this out.

Phew - I can’t decide if Loony Literature is brilliant or is the feverish result of a visit to an opium den.

There was a collection of Verbeek cartoons published a few years ago. It includes all the Upside Downs (in color) and some of his other work.[sup]*[/sup] A review on Amazon says Verbeek is mentioned in a Gardner book.

  • A friend of mine liked Verbeek (probably also heard about him in Gardner) and bought an old, out-of-print collection of the Upside Downs on eBay (I think). When the compiler of the new collection was putting it together, he wanted a copy of the title page from the previous book, and my friend’s had the one in the best condition. So he provided a copy of it and is mentioned in the acknowledgements.

I have. Down in the references.

I think I’m hooked on Buster Brown. I can see why this very early strip was so wildly popular. The earlier drawings were lovely - elaborate and Victorian. The pranks are still funny. The talking dog was an innovation and provides a model for later strips like Calvin and Hobbes.

I don’t know about the “Resolved” panel at the end of every strip, though. And the art went downhill in its last years, perhaps due to a new artist.

Outcault and the New York Herald parted in 1906. It looks like the last strip he signed was for January 28, 1906. The new guy could not draw as well as Outcault, who wasn’t that great technically himself, and completely lacked the whimsy of the real BB strips.